Saturday, 30 January 2016

Books That Deserve More Hype | Guest Post by Maia Moore

Today's post is a guest post from fellow book blogger Maia Moore from http://maiaandalittlemoore.com/. Go check her wonderful blog out!


Firstly, thank you so much to Rachel for having me here on her blog today. It’s nice to take a trip out and away from my own blog!

Rachel suggested a few topics to me when discussing guest posts, and the one that immediately jumped out to me was books that deserve more hype. This probably appeals to me as an older reader of YA - I’m 24, so not really the target audience, but I loved reading YA as a teenager and, despite what people said, knew it was something that I was going to ‘grow out of’.

Since I started blogging at the beginning of this year, I’ve read a lot of amazing, new (and new-to-me) books, but I’ve also been revisiting some old favourites. While they may have had some hype in their time, they’re still books that I think people should be reading and raving about today.

Note: After writing this, I’ve realised they’re almost all trilogies. I’m a big trilogy fan, it seems. Also, the photos are all my scratty old copies. I think it shows how well read/well loved they’ve been.

So, here we go:


5.


Tales of the Otori - Lian Hearn


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This is a real epic tale that captured me completely the first time I read it. While the writing style can sometimes seem a little detached, it’s the characters that really make this series - for all their weird and wonderful powers and the political intrigue, it’s the character traits, relationships and emotions that make this a thrilling ride as we follow Takeo and Kaede as they fall in love and make wars. While the trilogy is wonderful on it’s own, there’s also a sequel and a prequel for those who want more.




4.


The Looking Glass Wars - Frank Beddor


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I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, so this series leapt out at me straight away. It’s one of the best Alice themed books I’ve read and brings the characters everyone knows and loves to life in such inventive ways. It’s all slightly twisted and more serious than the more light hearted original, and I love the way it links things back to Lewis Carroll and the real Alice Liddell. I wouldn’t say it’s the best trilogy ever, but the first book is really something special. If you’re an Alice fan, you have to give this a read.




3.


The Welkin Weasels - Garry Kilworth


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This is a series of 6 books - but I’ve only read 3 so far - they’re from when I was about 14 years younger, and I’ve only just discovered there’s more (and I can’t wait to read them now!) They’re fantasy novels about a group of weasels who set out to find the humans who mysteriously disappeared years ago. I’m not always a fan of books with animals as main characters, but these were utterly charming and the story was captivating: they were forever running into strange creatures and dangers, some amusing, and some downright creepy. I haven’t read them since I was a teen but will definitely be revisiting soon.





2.

The Echorium Sequence - Katherine Roberts


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This is one of my all time favourite series and another that I like to recommend at every opportunity. I did get a blogging friend to read it this year - she gave it 4 stars, so I was happy. The world that Roberts has created is so rich in myth and history and magic that you can’t help but be sucked into the world of half-creatures and Singers and Karchholders. I feel she could keep on writing these books and I would just eat them up forever. The Khizpriest is also one hell of a creepy villain.



1.

The Borrible Trilogy - Michael DeLarrabeiti


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This is a series I can never tire of raving about. I got a battered copy of the second book in the series when I was about 10 - it was passed on from an aunt whose school didn’t want it in their library any more (probably because the book says words like ‘Crap’ a lot!) I read it and didn’t realise there was a book before, and one after, until a year or so later, but it felt like all Christmases came at once when I did. Borribles are clever, pointy eared, thieving children who never grow up, and spend the books earning names on adventures and avoiding the police, who want to ‘clip’ their ears and make them grow up. If there’s one book you read from this post then please make it this one, then come and talk to me about it!




Sunday, 10 January 2016

My Favourite Fictional Relationships

For me , the relationships between characters in a book or a series make or break the story. I decided to pick some of my favourite types of relationships and pick my favourite for each. Obviously these aren't all of the relationships but they're just a few I could think of!




Friendship

This one obviously had to be Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices my Cassandra Clare. I am yet to find a bromance as real as theirs. Their circumstances are far from perfect but their story arcs are so beautiful. The thought of them still makes me want to cry! Honourable mention : Chaol Westfall and Dorian Havilliard from The Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas.


Romantic Relationship

I never thought I'd see the day when I wasn't on Team Chaol but I am now officially on Team Rowan. Celaena and Rowan from the Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas have a really interesting relationship and I can't wait to see how it progresses! They're both damaged and flawed but they bring out the best in each other!   

 Familial Relationship                                                                                                                      One of my favourite things about To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han was the relationship between Lara Jean , her sister Kitty and their Dad! It's not often in YA books that a parent will have a big part in their child stories but this book was as much about family as it was romantic relationships.
                                       
                                 Hero/Villain Relationship                                               
Vicious by V.E Schwab probably has the most interesting hero/villain relationship. The thing is , we don't know if it's Eli or Victor who is the hero... 



Boy/Girl Friendship                                                                                                               I know that I've already done a friendship one but I think that there needs to be more friendships between the opposite genders that aren't romantic! For this one I chose Harry Potter and Hermione Granger because I think that's a classic example of why these relationships can be so great! Honourable mention: Clary Fray and Simon Lewis from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.


What are your favourite types of fictional relationships? Which characters have your favourite relationship? Leave me a comment! 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Should We Trust Book Ratings? | Discussion

One of the biggest things that define a book is the rating that it gets on Goodreads , Amazon or even on your favourite book blogger or booktuber's review. It seems like a pretty solid system but can we trust it? Everyone will read a book differently to the next person and we all have our own opinions and experiences that will have an effect on our liking or disliking of the book , so how can we trust other people's rating? What if reading the rating is stopping us from reading books that we could love , just because we're afraid of not liking them? 

What is a star rating anyways? Everyone has a different definition of what each star means so for one person 3 stars could be a really good book but for another it could be a not so great one. Sometimes I can't even figure out what rating I should give a book based on my personal system! 

For me there's a list of books that go well beyond 5 stars but there's no way of showing that. If a book leaves me with an emotional connection to the story , I put it on my special 5+ list but again , this is different for everyone! I'm definitely guilty of avoiding books because of a bad rating and it frustrates me to think that I could've missed out on an amazing story.

I've noticed that a lot of people mark a book down because of a character who acts in a way that's not right for example being racist, sexist or manipulative which I never really understood. I understand that you may not think that things like that should be promoted but in my opinion it's a character trait that should change your opinion on the character not the book. If there was a murderer in a book , I wouldn't give it less stars because I don't think murder should be promoted. Of course if it makes you uncomfortable , you didn't enjoy the book as much so mark it down but I don't really agree with thoroughly enjoying a book and marking it down because one character was discriminating in some way.

The point I'm trying to make is should we be so trusting of book ratings when everyone has different ways of rating that you might not necessarily agree with? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this in the comments! 

Friday, 1 January 2016

My First Blogaversary and Blogging Announcement

Technically , I started my blog in October 2014 but I made one post and let it go until January 4th when I made a post about my favourite books. The January 4th post has since been deleted ( I don't remember why...) but I still remember the day which makes today the anniversary of when I decided to take book blogging seriously. 



I'm going to start off my answering some questions from a book tag post , solely for the purpose of nostalgia but after that I have an exciting announcement to make so stay tuned! This one is from Loving Books  , let's get started! 


What is your favourite book?

As of right now , it is Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J Maas.

Who is your favourite author?

I have lots but I'll just say Colleen Hoover.

What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary , Fantasy and Historical Fiction.

What is your favourite book series?

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare AND Throne Of Glass by Sarah J Maas

What book did you hate reading in school?

I remember we read this book about an insect detective and I really didn't like that.

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

My mam used to get fairy tale books from M&S , they were most likely the first!

Bookstores or Libraries?

Bookstores. (I love libraries though , don't get me wrong.)

How many books do you own?

I own 200ish physical books and 61 books on my Kindle.

Do you read before bed?

I try to most of the time , yes.

What is your most comfortable reading position?

Lying in my bed , in my PJs preferably.

What is the most recent book you read? 

At the time I write this , I'm reading Daughter Of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor so most likely that.

What book quote will stick with you forever? Why is it significant?

There are spoilers for The Infernal Devices in this quote so I've blocked some names but the point is still there and if you've read the series you'll understand.

“Not forever, Tessa thought. They had a long, long time. A lifetime. His lifetime. And she would lose him one day, as she had lost XXXX , and her heart would break, as it had broken before. And she would put herself back together and go on, because the memory of having had XXXX would be better than never having had him at all.”  -Tessa Gray , After The Bridge by Cassandra Clare 
The main reason that this quote stuck with me was that not loving someone or being friends with someone in case I lost them for whatever reason is something that I could see myself doing. One of the things Tessa taught me was that having the memories and the pain is better than regretting it. I think it's a really powerful message and a really moving series.



Announcement time..

I was brain storming ideas for something new I could add to my blog to mark my first blogaversary and I realised that there has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. I had tried it before but this time I put in the research and set up my own Mailing List! 
You may have noticed the PowR mailing list button on the right sidebar of my blog , that is how you can sign up! Just type your email in and you will get a newsletter post every two weeks that will include the following...

>Freebies (Blogging tip and tricks posts that are exclusive to the mailing list.)
>Bookish news updates 
>Wrap up of my posts and blog updates
+Much more!

Thank you all for welcoming me into this amazing community! I'm so grateful to everyone who reads my posts (It still surprises me that I get views!) , comments or tweets me and everyone who has helped me along the away! I would also like to mention the #UKYA chat because it's one of my favourite parts of the book blogging world!