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How I Choose My Books Tag

I saw this tag on Ash’s For the Love of Books Blog a while back and knew it was something I wanted to try for myself and I’ve finally got time to do it today so here goes and I hope you enjoy it! Don’t forget to check out Ash’s post and her awesome blog after too!

Find a book on your bookshelves with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?
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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I picked up this and Fangirl up together at the Worlds Collide tour Rainbow did with Leigh Bardugo, I had a few of Leigh’s books but I’d never read any of Rainbow’s before (this was also my first book event) and I didn’t want to seem rude when it came to signing that I didn’t have anything of hers. I’d also become intrigued after Rainbow and Leigh did a reading from each of their books.

 

Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

31870883_10155203264841581_4577211686036963328_nThe Gargoyle By Andrew Davidson
I mentioned this in my last six for Sunday post about my favourite less well known books strangely! Back when Waterstones did their 3 for 2 deals every Christmas I brought two books as gifts and could pick a third for myself for free, I picked this one as it was by the cash desk and was pretty (not pictured are black stained pages!) I don’t think I even read what the book was about before choosing it. Its now one of my favourite books.

Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

31817387_10155203265021581_2755769502376394752_nCrooked Kingdom By Leigh Bardugo
This is partially linked to the Worlds Collide tour aas well! While I was there I also brought Six of Crows because I’d enjoyed Shadow and bone and knew I wanted to read as much of the Grishverse as possible so decided to pick that one up as well. I honestly can’t remember why I didn’t pick up Crooked Kingdom as well, it did come out that year so maybe it wasn’t out yet? I asked my parents for this for Christmas that year for after I read Six of Crows. I’ve still not read either. Eep.

Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

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Illuminae
By Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
Jess my accidental Instagram friend kept reccomending this to me and I kept saying I’d get round to it, I posted a TBR post on this blog and got you guys to choose what I should read next Illuminae was one of the options and the one most of you reccomended so I finally read it and…It is bascially one of the best things I have ever read and I should have listened to Jess sooner!

 

Pick a book up that you discovered through booktube/bookstagram/book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

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The Extinction Trials
By S.M Wilson
I’d seen this book feautured in the Wildest Dream book box and the tag line instrgued me “Jurassic Park meets The Hunger Games.” I loved the Jurassic Park films and adored the Hunger games books but I never got around to picking it up until it was picked as the book of the month for the #Cronebookclub and it absoloutley lived up to the hype. The next one is out super soon and I can’t wait!!!

Find a book on your shelves with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

 

31890708_10155203265316581_6851838705439604736_nHeartles By Merissa Meyer
Everyone had been posting about this after the special cover in the OwlCrate book box went out and I was super intrigued because it looked gorgeous. I looked further into it and found out that it was about The Queen of Heart’s before Alice came to Wonderland and after seeing Once upon a time in Wonderland and rewatching Alice recently I was up for more things Wonderland and I’m a sucker for villans stories. This book is apty named because it tore my heart out and locked it in a box.

What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?

31793389_10155203265381581_5164314731644715008_nFallen by Lauren Kate
Bored and trawling through Netflix one day I saw the film adaption for Fallen and had heard aboout it briefly in passing and that it was really bad and trashy so decided why not and watched the film. It was totally trashy but I kind of liked it and decided if the film was bad compared to the books I needed to check these books out. I did and brought them all second hand. The first one is the only one I’ve read so far and was not…great for me, I may get around to the rest eventually.

Think of your all-time favorite book(s). When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

31775984_10155203265401581_898004621379764224_nThe Shadowhunters Books By Cassandra Clare
You can’t just ask someone what their favourite book is! I have so many favourite books so decided to pick one of my favourite groups of books (other than The Illuminae books and basically anything by Maria V Snyder) and those are The Shadowhunters books. There are a butt load of them now and I came into them just when the City of Bones film came to DVD and at the time  it was the first book series I had been really invested in since the original Vampire Diaries books and Harry Potter. The first book hooked me so bad and made me so angry at the same time it was such an experience and I’ve loved reading all the new books and short stories etc since. GIVE ME QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS NOW.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tag, I think this has been one of my favourite ones to do so far so thank you for checking it out. As usual I won’t tag anyone in particular but if you see this post and decided you want to try it yourself let me know and link me your post so I can see your answers!

Speak soon.

Jemma @Fantastic Books And Where To Find Them.

jemma setterington

 

 

 

 

#SixforSunday

#Six for Sunday – Favourite reading snacks

30777132_10155183734451581_1162724535_nOkay so the weather here the past few days has been AMAZING. It’s been warm and sunny but for the most part it’s been the good kind, not just humid and horrible but there’s a nice breeze and it’s just the right temperature and everything just feels nice. I love it. I spent a good chunk of my morning sitting on the floor of my balcony just reading in the sun so apologies for todays slightly later than usual blog post but it is here none the less! Today’s Six for Sunday post inspired from the prompt by the always fantastic Steph at A little but a lot is “Favourite snacks while reading.” Now I’m a larger lady and I do fit the unfortunate stereotype of quite liking food but that being said I don’t often tend to snack while I read so this one was a little harder than I thought it would be as I probably shouldn’t just list six different kinds of biscuits…

1. Biscuits. Most kinds.
I’m a huge biscuit fiend and would happily live on them alone. I quite often have a glass of milk and a few biscuits when I’m settling in for a long read. Cookies and biscoff biscuits are the best and most dangerous.

2. Nuts.
I quite enjoy eating a mix of nuts, seeds and or raisins and being a snack that can be easily eaten one-handed without paying much attention it fits the criteria for a book reading snack quite well. Also probably better for you than biscuits.

3. Hotel Chocolat white chocolate, hot chocolate.
Technically not a snack because it’s a drink but it’s so decadent and filling it actually does totally count and I love to have one of these at any time but it just feels so much better if I can sit and rea a good book at the same time.

4. A plain and simple sandwich. preferably cheese.
Okay so I’m scraping the barrel already I know but a nice simple one filling non messy sandwich is another good one…(I read a lot on my lunch break so have perfected this).

5. Humus and bread sticks.
YUM. Not sure how I’d forgotten this. You can probably sub the bread sticks for something healthier but this is super tasty, especially with chilli humus.

6. Cake.
This one is usually for in cafe’s etc whereas I usually read in bed or somewhere I don’t often have a table but if I’m eating cake in a cafe you can almost always guarantee there will be a book in my hand.

That was even harder than I though it would be but I got there in the end! The sun is still shinning so I’m going to head back out to the balcony with my book. Have a great day!!

#SixforSunday, Uncategorized

#Six For Sunday – Favourite places to read

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It’s that time of the week again and I’ve been looking forward to this weeks prompt which is “Favorite places to read” because although I can read pretty much anywhere (other than on a car/bus which makes me feel sick usually) I love reading in most of these places and doing so makes me super happy. Thank you, as always  to Steph over at alittlebutalot for this weeks prompt!

1. My bed.
I feel like reading in bed might be a popular one but it’s one of the places I read the most, even though I tend to nod off after about half an hour, usually I’ll get up, potter around a little bit and go back to reading. It’s super comfortable, my bed is HUGE so I can move into loads of different comfy positions and most importantly for me, I can move my legs around a lot. I suffer from mild restless leg syndrome and need to be able to move them around a lot or risk being very uncomfortable, I can do this easily in bed and sit however I like while being snuggly too.

2. A comfy seat in a bookstore.
There is a sofa in the Piccadilly Waterstones branch that I love to sit and read in. I travelled up to London alone for an important dentist appointment but got there so early I decided to check out this huge Waterstones and spent the next five hours on that sofa just reading and it was so peaceful and enjoyable that I completely overcame my anxiety and got through the appointment no problem. Although not easily accessable (£30 train fare!) and I don’t ever really have that amount of free time any more I think it may be my very favourite place to read.

3. Outside in the summer.
This is obviously a weather permitting one but in the Summer I would quite often leave a little earlier for work and spend 10 minutes having a cigarette (I’ve quit now)  and reading under a tree on my route to work, it always calmed me down perfectly to face the day at a time when a lot of things stressed me out or upset me. I’ve always liked to read outside and can remember when I was younger that I used to sit in a tree by the duck pond my family lived near and just read all day. Sadly I’m far too big to fit in the gap on said tree anymore but I love walking past it and remembering. When given the opportunity (rarely) I still like to sit outside in the summer (and if we’re lucky, the spring) breathing in the (mostly) fresh air and listening to the birds.

4. The bath.
I always used to be worried about dropping my book in the bath so never used to do this but since having my little man it’s one of the few times I got any peace for a while so would kill two birds with one stone and read while having a nice relaxing bath. I have a really bad habit of reading for so long though that the water goes cold and I have to re run half of the bath to actually wash.

5. The Library.
I love our local library and almost every Monday after work and usually about an hour or so before my Dungeons and Dragons session about ten minutes down the road I quite often sit in my particular spot there and read or write. I discovered during a lot of time spent there during one NaNoWriMo that I loved the quiet atmosphere and it made me feel relaxed and could focus much easier. Now I look forward to it every week.

6. My Balcony.
I don’t use this one as often as I used to as I used to sit outside there to read and smoke simultaneously and I don’t smoke anymore but on rare occasion the weather has been mild enough I do sometimes sit out there to enjoy my book, we have a little slide out there so my son can play out there too but most of the time I tend to wait until he’s gone to bed so I can read in peace as he is the complete opposite of chill most of the time.

I realised looking back at all my favourite places they have to be reasonably quiet and relaxing with somewhere comfortable to sit, I don’t think I ask for a lot >.< I want to give an honourable mention to coffee shops, especially the Hotel Chocolat in Colchester as they serve my absolute favourite drink (white chocolate hot chocolate)  and this particular branch is often relatively quiet and has, you guessed it! Comfy seats! Also lots and lots of chocolate! It doesn’t hurt that it’s less than five minutes away from the local Waterstones aswell! I’ve only been able to sit and read there a couple of times so far so I didn’t think it had been tested enough yet to make it to the official list quite yet but had to mention it because it’s potentially pretty high up on my list.

Where are your favourite places to read? Do we have some of the same ones? Let me know and make sure you use the #Six For Sunday hashtag if you share on social media so I can check out your posts!

P.S I finsihed Obsidio and my review will be up soon!

book reviews, spoiler free

Star Wars: Phasma – Review

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Star Wars: Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by: January LaVoy

Rating: XXXX

Published: September 1st 2017 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. (Also available in hardback and paperback, this review however is for the audio book but most points will also apply to the written text as well.)

“That’s the problem with following all the rules—somebody else is eventually going to get ahead by breaking them, and then where will you be?”

One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.

Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armoured stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.

What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.

I wish I had found this book sooner. This was my first real foray into the world of Star Wars books and I wasn’t sure what to expect. For years and years I’d seen all the different books and comics mounting up about one of my favourite film franchises and I did read a good few of the comics when I was much younger but there seemed to be so many books I had no idea where to start. In April 2014 the expanded universe became non cannon and gave way to a new set of novels and comics which I kept meaning to get back to and last year while waiting impatiently for “The Last Jedi” to release I had a spare audible credit and after seeing it crop up on social media and in my local bookstore I decided to spend it on Phasma. I was not disappointed.

If you’ve ever heard a Star Wars Audio Book before you’ll know how immersive they can be, they feature sound affects and music along with the narration and I was shocked at how much difference those details really make. As soon as I listened to a sample of this and heard ships firing, doors opening and closing, droids beeping and the background noise aboard “The Absolution” I knew this Audio book experience would be a completely new one for me and I couldn’t get enough. I’ve since brought other Star Wars audio books, much preferring to listen to them because of these extra details, each month I get a new audible credit means I get a new Star Wars books at the moment.

The plot in Phasma is two fold, we have the present plot of Vi Mordai, the captured rebellion spy being interrogated and the story she tells of Phasma’s past. I was worried switching between these two plots would be annoying but somehow it works and the interrogation frames Phasma’s story well as they weave together quite organically,  although I’m not sure either story could completely hold it’s own (Phasma’s story comes fairly close) they support each other and makes the plot feel whole as the plots merge together in a way that is only partially satisfying. I wasn’t sure how I wanted this to end but it was only partially the way it did, something felt missing but as it was a precursor novel to “The Last Jedi” I feel I should have expected that. (Don’t get me started on Phasma’s story in TLJ though…) On the whole though I enjoyed both plot lines and the separate feels each had to them.

Before this book was released the way the story would be told was a cause for debate, would this just be a current story about Phasma or would we really get inside that Chrome helmet at last and see her inner workings. What we ended up with was a mixed result but that kind of works. I was expecting to get a back story from her point of view and we’d find out that she was misunderstood or there was a part of her to feel for but neither parts of this book are told from Phasma’s point of view and that just makes her feel more formidable and somehow even more of a mystery despite learning how she got to be where she is today. I’m surprisingly okay with this as it is kind of refreshing to find a villainous character today who is pretty much completely villainous. We do however find some possible redemption of a First Order character here with Cardinal, the high ranking storm trooper interrogating Vi and the trainer and mentor of the young children set to become storm troopers themselves.

The setting of Phasma’s story is her planet of origin, Parnassos and I feel like the planet was almost a character all of it’s own with a threatening presence to match Phasma herself and so many stories to tell about it’s past shown to us by the different trials our characters go through along the way giving the whole planet a very dangerous feel. As for our more humanoid characters I enjoyed meeting our current General (Armitage) Hux’s father Brendol and I’m honestly not sure if he’s better or worse than his son because they’re both such weasels. Other’s from Phasma’s clan join her journey across this deadly planet and a few of them are slightly memorable, Siv being the most developed as the story is from her point of view. Siv is a very likeable character, she does what she needs to do for her people and is brave and compassionate if not the most original character.

I think if I had just read this book I might have only given it XXX as it is an enjoyable book but nothing completely blew me away and I have a hard time imagining liking it as much without the added atmospheric sound effects etc. Nether the less I’m glad I read it and it’s certainly opened me up to reading (and listening to) more of the Star Wars books which can only be a good thing.

You can buy Star Wars: Phasma in print here with free shipping, or here on audible.co.uk, (you can listen to a sample too!) If you’ve never signed up before your first audio book is free! You can also add it to your goodreads here. 

Don’t forget I’ll be posting Star Wars content all week! Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Bloodline by Claudia Gray.