July Wrap Up…

Welcome to my July Wrap Up. I had a pretty good reading month, finishing 6 books (6 books off my TBR). I also received 3 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 July Wrap Up…

Naughty Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton: I didn’t love this book. I have loved re reading Enid Blyton’s books and I did enjoy this one but it isn’t one of my favourites. It was sweet and I can easily see how kids love this book but it just not up there with Enid Blyton’s best in my opinion.

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke: This was an interesting one for me. I like the story but I didn’t like the characters. I just couldn’t relate to any of them. I think the jumping between time lines made it hard for me to warm to any of the characters. I can remember ever liking a book when I didn’t like any of the characters. It was a strange reading experience.

Sisters And Brothers by Fiona Palmer: I absolutly loved this book. This is the second book I have read by Fiona Palmer and she is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. This book is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, with a fantastic plot and truly wonderful characters. I will be reading this book many times in the future.

The Desert Nurse by Pamela Hart: This is the second of Pamela Hart’s books I have read and it didn’t disappoint. Her writing is amazing, her characters are three-dimensional and relatable and her descriptions are breathtaking. I don’t have a bad word to say about this book and I cant wait to see what Pamela Hart comes out with next.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King: I honestly don’t have the words to describe how amazing this book is. Masterpiece is the only word I can think of. I am a massive King fan and this book is the reason why. It was perfectly woven, with amazing characters and a really wacky plot line. If you havent read this book yet, do it now.

The Boy At The Back Of The Class by Onjali. Q. Rauf: This book was beautiful. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this book. it was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. I honestly believe that this book could change lives and should be read by everyone. Children and adults alike.

Shakespeare: I read 1 Shakespeare play and 10 Sonnets in July. I read the following Shakespeare Works This Month:

Much Ado About Nothing

Sonnets 61-70

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:

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

– Book 3: The House on the Rue Plumet

– Book 4: Help From Below May Be Help From Above

– Book 5: Of Which The End Does Not Resemble The Beginning

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

The Wolf And The Man

Gossip Wolf And The Fox

Little Red Riding Hood

The Wedding Of Mrs Fox

The Fox And The Geese

The Fox And The Horse

The Fox And The Cat

The Sole

The Willow-Wren

The Willow-Wren And The Bear

The Little Folk’s Presents

That’s it for my July 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 August Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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Naughty Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton

‘Look out! Amelia snips the tail off pink rabbit, squirts Tom the soldier with water and gets up to mischief at the beach. The other toys try to teach the terror of the toy cupboard to be well-behaved, but will they succeed?’

This book was very cute.

I have loved making my way through my Enid Blyton collection. Re visiting old favourites and discovering books I havent read before. Naughty Amelia Jane is one of the ones I havent read before.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the fact that the entire book was about toys. I can remember believing as a child that when I left my room my toys would come alive, and this book brought all of those memories back to me.

I loved getting to see the toys having fun and playing games. I even loved some of the things Amelia Jane did. Seeing the toys come together in times of need was really sweet and made this a wonderful little book.

One of the things I love most about Enid Blyton’s books is that they almost always try to teach the reader something, and Naughty Amelia Jane was no exception. The messages and teachings that were scattered throughout this book were perfectly woven into the story and really played into the theme of the book.

After reading this book I am excited to read more about Amelia Jane’s adventures. There is a reason why Enid Blyton’s books are classics and I honestly believe they can be enjoyed by both young and old.

Naughty Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton is a beautiful book that should be enjoyed by everyone.

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke

A senseless murder. A terrifying legend. A family haunted.

1990: In the darkest woods, three girls go looking for the Tall Man.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by one shadowy figure.

The tall man lives in the woods. He sees everything. He comes in the night and he takes you away. He is a murderer. He has killed his own daughter. She didn’t do what he wanted.

He can make you special if you ask him.

THE TALL MAN is coming…’

This book made for an interesting reading experience.

I could wait to read this book after reading the synopsis. I did enjoy this book but I was underwhelmed by it aswell. My main issue with this book was the characters.

The story itself was really interesting and I was really captivated by it. I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened and where the story was going. I didn’t find it so much a horror or thriller just a disturbing story, but that didn’t really bother me. I was still pretty creepy.

I’m not a huge fan of books that jump. Whether it be jumping character perspective or in this case time lines, it just bothers me. I understand why this tool was used in this story, there was a lot of ground to cover and we need to understand the history of what had unfolded yet I found the constant jumping from different timelines really hindered my ability to get lost in this book.

As I said my main issue with this book was the characters. I couldn’t relate or even like any of them. I think it was because of all of the time line jumping. I didn’t get to spend enough time with any of them to actually care about what had happened to them. This was a problem when I came to me caring about how the story ended. I couldn’t have cared less about what happened to them, the only thing I actually cared about was were the story was going.

Not being able to invest any interest in the characters really bothered me. I wanted to feel for them because I really liked the story being told but I just couldn’t. This made for an interesting reading experience for me. I didn’t care about the characters but I liked the story. It was a strange feeling. By the end of the book I realised that my overall feeling was one of little emotion. I just didn’t feel anything. I felt like I had read some sort of educational material.

I have never had a ready experience like this so I am still torn as to whether or not this was a good book. I have come to the conclusion that the story was good but it didn’t have any life. I can see this book being popular but for someone like me who likes character based stories it just left me feeling underwhelmed.

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke is out now.

International Friendship Day Reads…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday. With next Monday being International Friendship Day, I have decided to make todays post about books with great friendships. I had fun coming up with this list, and trouble whittling it down, so I hope you guys enjoy.

So without further ado, lets jump into my International Friendship Day Reads:

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: I mean come on, Is there any better Friendships than that of Harry, Ron and Hermione? These three amazing characters are ultimate Friendship Goals. I honestly couldn’t have made this list without including these guy, in fact they were the first to come to mind. True friends are there for you through the good and bad, and these books display that loyalty through the entire series.

Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer: I absolutely loved this book. The story was amazing, the characters were relatable and well-defined and the writing was superb. With such a strong bond shared between the main characters, this book really touched my heart and is the perfect book to read this International Friendship Day.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: I adore this book. This book was my first experience with social economic disconnect. I had never seen this sort of rift between rich and poor and the assumption of good and bad in my life. Unfortunately its all too common now, but at the time I first read this book it was a new concept to me. I loved the friendships between these characters, they weren’t just friends they were family. When they had nothing else, they had each other. This book really struck a chord with me and it is one of my all time favourite books.

The Midnight Gang by David Walliams: This beautiful book shows new friendships being formed under the saddest of circumstances. As this is a children’s book the story isn’t overly sad, but it definitely deserves to be on this list. Seeing these characters befriend each other in a children’s ward at the Hospital and then work together to make each other feel better is such a beautiful thing to read about. Not all friendships are decades long, sometimes new friends are just a special as old friends.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: This series was awesome. I loved getting to see these Peculiar children and their different friendships and bonds play out throughout this series. I loved that they all loved and excepted one another and they would do anything to protect each other. These amazing characters and their amazing friendships definitely won my heart.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. As usual if you have read any of these books or you have any recommendations for me, hit me up in the comments section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton 

‘Joe, Beth and Frannie move to the country and find an Enchanted Wood right on their doorstep. In the magic Faraway Tree live the magical characters that soon become their new friends – Moon-Face, Silky the fairy, and Saucepan Man. Together they visit the strange lands (the Roundabout Land, the Land of Ice and Snow, Toyland and the Land of Take What You Want) atop the tree and have the most exciting adventures – and narrow escapes.’

This book was wonderful.

Enid Blyton’s books are classics for a reason. I grew up with these amazing stories and now re-reading them as an adult has really been a wonderful experience, helping me escape the real world and remind me of the joys of imagination.

I really loved this book and I thought the concept of the Faraway Tree was brilliant. A magical tree where magical beings live is a wonderful idea for a story. To then have the addition of various whimsical lands come to the top of the tree made for such an exciting story.

Enid Blyton’s writing is an absolute pleasure to read, Her writing had amazing pacing and flow and even though it can be dated at times, the language is just so infectious that you become completely captivated after a few pages.

This book doesn’t just contain one single adventure but a collection of different adventures all beautifully woven together.

I loved the characters in this book, they were fun and entertaining. Getting to interact with these characters through the eyes of the children was a really joyful experience.

The magical lands at the top of the Faraway Tree were wonderfully imaginative; The Rocking Land, The Land of Take-What-You-Want and The Land of Birthdays, just to name a few. These wonderful places made for a truly wonderful reading experience.

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton is a book that I believe everyone should read at least once in their life time.

Sisters And Brothers by Fiona Palmer

Emma, a nurse and busy mother of three, has always dreamed of having a sister.

Michelle, at 46, wonders if it’s too late to fall in love and find her birth parents.

Sarah, career woman and perfectionist homemaker, struggles to keep up with the Joneses.

Bill, 72, feels left behind after the death of his adored wife.

Adam can’t stop thinking about the father he never had.

These five very different people are all connected but separated by secrets from the past.’

This book was amazing.

This is the second book of Fiona Palmer’s that I have read, and I can honestly say she is fast becoming one of my favourite Authors. Her ability to weave a heartwarming narrative is unmatched.

I am usually not a fan of reading from multiple characters points of view, but Fiona Palmer really make it work. Seeing these characters grow and solidify on their own timetables makes for a really natural progression throughout the story.

The wide array of characters in this book really kept the story flowing and added an extra layer to this book. The characters were so relatable and really grounded in reality. The were all so different but worked in perfect harmony to bring life to this story.

With so many amazing characters to fall in love with there isn’t a chapter in this book that I wasnt completely entertained whilst reading. I loved how the characters changed as they came into contact with each other. It felt so real that I sometimes forgot that I was reading a novel and not actually living this story.

I honestly can’t think of a bad word to say about this book. I was completely engrossed in this story from the first page till the last. I can’t think of a novel that has made me feel the way this novel has. I didn’t want it to end. I can’t wait to read what Fiona Palmer comes up with next.

I truly believe that everyone would benefit from reading this book, and I can’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t love this book.

Sisters And Brothers by Fiona Palmer is a must read book. Make sure you grab yourself a copy when it is released this September.

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I will be doing the Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag. I really enjoyed doing this Tag so I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

So without further ado, lets jump into the Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

Mechanics for this tag are as follows:

1. Pick 5 books, I suggest that you don’t read on the situations first before doing this tag. 2. Turn to a random page and the first name you see gets to be on your Zombie Survival Team, Repeat. You should now have ten names.

Keep in mind the order from which you’ve chosen these books. The situations are as follows:

Your Zombie Team

1. The first person to die: Percy Weasley – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies: The Evil Queen – The Land Of Stories series by Chris Colfer.

3. The first person to turn into a zombie: Tootsie – The Midnight Gang by David Walliams.

4. The person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies: Scarlet – Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

5. The idiot of the team: Thomas Creswell – Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

6. The “brains” of the team: Hermione Granger – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

7. The team’s medic: Alex Bailey – The Land Of Stories series by Chris Colfer.

8. The weapons expert: Amber – The Midnight Gang by David Walliams.

9. The brawler: Julian – Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

10. The Team Captain: Uncle Jonathan – Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

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 Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

‘There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.

He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbet’s, which are my favourite!

But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.

That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan. . .’

This book was absolutely beautiful.

I honestly don’t know if I have the words to describe how beautiful this book was. As it is a middle grade book I wasnt expecting to feel as moved as I did whilst reading this book.

This book is perfect for the time we live in. With the Refugee crisis such a prevalent issue, reading a book about it told from a child’s point of view is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

The innocence of children and their sense of right and wrong is something that adults should really take note of and learn from.

Onjali Q. Rauf has done a wonderful job in explaining such a divisive issue in a way that is both humourous and heartfelt. This book is the perfect book for young children to read to help them understand an issue that they are hearing about yet most likely not understanding.

The young characters in this book are both inquisitive and insightful. Having characters that you can really get behind and understand make for a truly honest reaction as a reader. Having a mix of adult characters with opposing views and beliefs really helps to shine a wider light on the issues being told and show varying points of view. Having multiple ideals being shown makes for a better discussion and a better understanding of the issues.

To have all of these points raised in a children’s book is a wonderful idea that makes for a truly wonderful reading experience.

Onjali Q. Rauf did a fantastic job in blending these big issue with humour, comedy and normal childhood issues. This book was perfectly woven to create a truly wonderful book that will not only entertain but also enlighten curious young readers.

I am truly overwhelmed with how amazing this book was and I can’t speak highly enough about it. I honestly believe I am a better person because of this book.

The Boy At The Back Of The Class by Onjali Q. Rauf is a true masterpiece in all sense of the world and should be read by both young and old. Maybe we can all learn something from Ahmet and his friends.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

‘Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.’

Book 1 in The Lunar Chronicles.

I picked this book up after reading and loving Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I had heard a lot of good things about this book. Unfortunately I didn’t like it. I’m not exactly sure what it was but this book did work for me.

I didn’t love the whole cyborg, hovers and AI elements of this book. I didn’t mind Cinder and Kai, but they where really the only thing about this book that I kind of enjoyed.

I really enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s writing in Heartless, so I was genuinely surprised by how much I disliked it in Cinder. I found it jumpy and at times hard to read. The entire story just failed to draw me in.

I feel like this book may have been trying to accomplish too much, and unfortunately, for me at least, this really effected my ability to stick with it.

I know that this is the first book in a series, and I wish I liked this book enough to pick the rest of the series, but I just didn’t. So for now at least I wont be continuing with The Lunar Chronicles.

Cinder: Book 1 in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is out now.

2018 Mid-Year Freakout…

I can’t believe how fast 2018 is going, I blinked and it was July. I’m a little late with this post but better late than never right? Now I know some of these book weren’t released in 2018, I just read them this year so that’s why they are included in this post.

Without further ado, here is my 2018 Mid-Year Freakout:

Best book you have read so far in 2018?

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Best sequel you have read in 2018?

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Sequel that came out this year that you still havent read?

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

 

Most anticipated release for the remainder of 2018?

Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

Biggest disappointment of 2018?

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds

Biggest surprise so far in 2018? 

The Selection by Kiera Cass.

Favourite debut Author?

Lyndsay Ely.

Newest fictional crush?

Jay Davis – Hollywood Heartbreak by C.J. Duggan.

Newest favourite character?

Camellia Beauregard – The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

A book that made you happy?

Happiness For Humans by P.Z. Reizin

A book that made you cry?

Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson.

Favourite book to film adaptation this year?

Love, Simon.

Favourite post you have done this year?

Wizarding World Adventure Book Tag.

Most beautiful book you have gotten this year?

Little Whale by Jo Weaver.

What books do you have to read by the end of the year?

I don’t really have a specific book I need to read by the end of the year. As long as I get through all of the ARC’s I receive I will be a happy camper.

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