The Booklife Tag

Hi guys.

I went searching for some inspiration for a blog post and ran across this really interesting book tag that really inspired me.

I’m not sure who initially created this tag but believe it originated from GloriaTheViolinst . I happened to find it on Crazy for YA. So here we go. Feel free to do this your self and post your answers in the comments

Who would your parents be?

There is no end to the amazing parents, as well as the shocking parents. For me, I’d prefer my parents to be Abe Mazur in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, because he’d be that cool dad who is a terrible role model but totally bad ass and has all these tricks up his sleeve. I would like my mother to be Hazel Grace’s mum from the Fault in Our Stars because she’s such a strong, practical woman who is always there for her daughter and willing to fight hard for her. She also kind of reminds me of my mum in real life.

Who would be your sister?

Blue from The Raven Cycle series. I personally think we have similar personalities and I think we’d just get on well in close quarters. Also Cath from Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell) would also be a fantastic sister to have.

Who would be your brother?

This is overwhelmingly tricky and I honestly can’t decide between two different characters; Park (from Elanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell) and Mr Bingley (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen). Both men for clearly different reasons. Mr Bingley would be that doting big brother that would move mountains for you before you batted an eyelash. And Park would be the quiet younger brother who would be constantly getting in fights for you but pretending he really doesn’t care.

Who would be your pet?

people may laugh at me for this but I’d love Crookshanks (Harry Potter Series) as a pet. I think Crookshanks is a bad-ass and he’s super intelligent. Sure he’s supposed to be ugly as heck but in my experience, it’s the ugliest animals that are the most caring and often the cutest. I’ve got a soft spot for all animals and would love most pets but Crookshanks is my MVP. Notable mentions also go to Professor Malory’s (The Raven Cycle series) Service Dog who doesn’t actually have a name and also to any literary dog ever.

Where would you live?

Most literary world’s capture my attention as fantastic places to live. Honestly my top picks however would be London (Sherlock Holmes), Prythian (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and also Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia)

Where would you go to school?

… seriously? Is this even a question? Surely everyone answers the same way.

MOTHER F’ing HOGWARTS

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Who would be your best friend?

Rose Hathaway and Sydney Sage from The Vampire Academy Series (and spin off Bloodlines series). Both these characters are very dear to me and I think we’d get on smashingly and be the best of friends.

Who would be your significant other?

oh man… Oh dear. ARE YOU MAKING ME CHOOSE BETWEEN MY BABIES?! No I won’t choose that’s unacceptable. I have a list you see…

list unfurls

This list includes and is not limited to: Mr Darcy, Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, all of the Raven Boys, Dimitri Belikov, Adrian Ivashkov, Levi (Fangirl), Valek, Tamlin, Warden, Bill Compton, Dracula (don’t judge me), Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Peeta Melark, Finnick Odair, etc. (Please note this list is frequently updated and I would swear violent and passionate allegiance to all of these men with zero hesitation or clarification. This list is not in order.)

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

or: OMG WOW

Goodreads   ||    The Book Depository

Synopsis: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

A few days ago, I posted a blog post about how I had been in a readers slump and was desperately seeking a book or something to break me out of it. This was that book

I’ve been looking for a while to expand my author reading list as I’m increasingly worried I’m becoming too encircled by the same group of authors and since several of my favourite bookstagramers had been absolutely raving about this book, and everyone in the Fantasy YA community seemed to be talking about it, I couldn’t resist the lure of the book with the pretty cover.

My love for this book didn’t grow until a few chapters in and honestly I don’t know why. I blame the reading slump. Feyre’s life in the human world didn’t capture me and the first chapters of character building seemed drawn out and slow. Don’t fear though, the moment Feyre is taken to Pyrithian things change for the better. The beginning is a solid three stars, but the moment Feyre is taken by Tamlin, woooo boy do things jump on the fast train to epic vile.

I fell in love with this book and the characters. The plot twists were unpredictable even though Maas was very very loosely following the old classic tale, and I honestly had zero problems getting sucked in the moment Feyre reached Tamlin’s estate.

Being a big “Beauty and the Beast” fan when I was a little girl, I was unsure of what to expect when everyone was saying “interesting redux of an old classic”. I was paranoid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations and it would fall flat. How can a book live up to such a massive hype?

Oh boy did Maas kick ass. Nothing in this book feels like a cheap rip off. She takes the classic and flips it on its head, pulls it apart with gentle hands and makes everything as vivid and fantastic as if the Fae world sent it to us mere mortals as a gift. Feyre is so different from Belle that its refreshing but not too jarring. Tamlin was hotter than a ghost pepper and I think I’ve found a new fictional heart throb. Lucien was the perfect addition to the story (love me a sidekick with a tragic backstory) and the villains were as twisted as they were interesting.

This book is what I like to call an “Epic Adventure Love Story”. This has substance, allusions/internal reflections on deeper issues and asks the reader to challenge their perceptions of how a heroine should act and what she should be like. This book was gripping and had me gaping and gasping throughout. I stayed up to 1:30 in the morning reading this book because I simply couldn’t bear to put it down to go to sleep. I HAD to know what happened to Tamlin, Feyre and the Spring Court.

Honestly I’m so glad Maas is planning a sequel to this because I have a mighty need to know what happens. While the ending didn’t end how I expected it to, I’m kind of glad it did end that way. I love when authors surprise you like that. I love that it didn’t end on a cliff hanger but was so enticing that you want to stick around.

Maas who has other beloved books (which are now on my too read list BTW), really knows her stuff. Her skill is phenomenal and her style of writing is so vivid its easy to slip into her world even if you don’t fully understand it. This may not be a surprise to readers who have already read Maas’ other works, but you don’t need to be well acquainted with her work to slip right in. This book is more of a bridging book between YA and Adult but swings more towards adult in certain areas. I’d recommend this book for 17 and up.

Man, I don’t think I gave this book an adequate review… it’s just too good to put into words. Trust me, if you can, run your little butt to the store and get this book in your life. Thank me later.

The Dreaded Reading Slump; Why is it That I Get Them at the Same Time Every Year?

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The Dreaded Reading Slump; Why is it That I Get Them at the Same Time Every Year?

I have been a bookworm since I was a baby; I pretty much came out of the womb with a book in my hand. As I journeyed through my childhood and teenage years, I would read whenever I got a spare hour or two. Holiday time, where school had been ditched for a week or two as mandated by the government, was heaven! I could read all I wanted for two weeks! It became an agonizing decision to try and decide what books I wanted to read.

However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve unfortunately fallen prey to an unfortunate reality; being a college/university student. Why is this a drama? Because for the last 3 and a half years I have had little time to read for pleasure. These last three and a half years I’ve read until my eyes ached and spent hours upon hours of reading, highlighting and note taking. I’ve read more scholarly articles and textbooks than I care to recall.

But reading the books I really want to? Sorry, aint nobody got time for that.

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Besides the fact that during session I simply didn’t have the time to read for pleasure, I was also severely book hungover from all the articles/books I HAD to read for my course. Every semester I would attempt to read for pleasure, but would always get a painful reminder in week 2 that it was a bad idea.

Between sessions, there were those glorious days called ‘holidays’, where you were free of classes, books and course content for a blessed few weeks. Between catching up on sleep, binge watching TV shows, taking on extra shifts at my part time job, and seeing friends, one of my favourite hobbies and uses of time was being forgotten; Books.

Because in a cruel twist of fate, the times when I could read for pleasure, I couldn’t find the will to pick up a book.

I know, I must have been seriously ill or something, but it still doesn’t explain the fact that every year without fail in my winter or mid-term breaks, I was unexpectedly unable to pick up one of the many books in my to-read pile and finish them. I still wanted to read… I just couldn’t summon up the will. I was, for lack of a better term, in a reading slump. A slump so mighty that it crushed my bookworm heart. Every June/July without fail I would fall prey to this terrible beast. And every June/July I would wonder what was wrong.

Fast forward to the present- July 2015. I am a University Graduate with my bachelors and currently undertaking another qualification (Insane? I know! But there is literally zero jobs out my way looking for a Bachelor of Arts graduate). Even though I’m undertaking a technical Diploma, a much different style of course compared to the previous book-laden University Undergraduate degree, I’ve found myself stuck in the same rut as the previous years.

In these blissful two weeks of winter holidays… I cant pick up a book.

My “50 books in 2015” goal is starting to look a bit out of reach.

Like most members of Generation Y, when faced with a serious life question, there was only one suitable place to turn to… Google

After a brief google search where I was overwhelmed with a veritable lexicon of blog posts and online discussion boards, It quickly became obvious that I wasn’t alone. Multiple bloggers offered ‘tips to beat reading slumps’ and while it has become clear that no one is really sure of what brings these dreaded slumps on, everyone is determined to beat them.

Urban dictionary defines a ‘Reading Slump’ as “a readers worst nightmare. Not being able to pick up a book and read because you just can’t, you just can’t read.” Lauren over at ‘Lauren Reads YA’ describes my thoughts on the matter perfectly and offers some helpful tips to overcome the disaster. For example, her seventh suggestion “focus on writing reviews” is the method I was immediately drawn to, hence the reason for this blog post. Lauren also suggests reading books outside your comfort zone, picking up a reading buddy, or reading a fast-paced or shorter book. All valid suggestions and all ones that I will employ in an attempt to kick this slump in the ass.

fangirlfeeels.wordpress.com offers some more suggestions; attend a book event, set daily goals or watch book reviewers on YouTube. There are a multitide of blogs offering different suggestions, how helpful they are depends on how/why you read and your personality type.

What gets some people out of their slump may be different to others. From previous years of experience, probably the best solution I’ve found is to just wait it out and keep trying.

So, what can you, dear reader take away from this?

Don’t fear if you’re like me and get reading slumps. It happens. Why? who knows. Just don’t despair and give up when it does. Maybe, like me, yours might occur annually or within a cyclical period. That’s ok. Just wait it out. Reading sessions are ahead.

That’s the good thing about books; they’re always there, just waiting for you to pick them up and come back into the fold between their pages.

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