#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books you’d take on an Autumn Walk

Six for Sunday

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I read this around autumn last year and I did actually take this out on an Autumn walk so I couldn’t leave it out. I’m hoping to get the second book read before the end of this year with any luck as I really enjoyed the first immensely.

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab
This is another book I’ve taken out on an autumn walk, I spent a good couple of hours in a book shop reading this while the rain poured and the wind howled outside as I sipped a lovely hot chocolate. It was basically perfect.

City of Bones by Cassie Clare
This is a book I genuinely love to snuggle up with and just enjoy reading but because I’ve read it so many times I tend to just flick through to my favourite parts which I could honestly see myself doing a nice Autumn walk.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
A great chunk of Tolkiens books just feel like they have this connection to nature and The Hobbit is no exception and this is defintley a book that would fit an Autumn walk.

Hex Life Anthology by Various
I still have to read this (it’s next on my list, Angel Mage is just taking me quite a while to read) but I feel like this would be perfect with all its witchy stories!

City of Ghosts by V.E Schwab
I feel like this is a fairly obvious one as it is full of creepy, spooky vibes that are perfect for an early evening Autumn walk, but maybe not after dark eh?

I think if the weather improves next week I may have to grab a book and go for a nice walk! At the moment it’s just been raining almost non-stop and I don’t want my book to get wet. What books would you choose to take on an Autumn walk with you?

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Debut books and authors

Honestly, how is it still March? I feel like this month has been ending for months and now we’re finally here with an ode to Debut books and authors. Thank you so much, as always to Steph at A Little But a Lot for the Six for Sunday prompts and happy it’s almost April folks.

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I had missed most of the hype train that preempted Caraval releasing as I had only dipped my toe back in reading YA at this point and hadn’t even considered blogging again yet but was pleased when I found it in my Fairyloot box for the month after having it recommended to me by a bookseller at Waterstones Picadilly while visiting with a friend. I read it in just over twenty-four hours, which for me was unheard of at this point and I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the mystery, the strange setting of the Caraval and the shady story of Legend. I’m sorry to say I have yet to read Legendary despite buying it on release, I think maybe I’m worried I won’t like it as much as the first?

2. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
I know this is one of the books I almost always mention but it is one of my favourite debut books and As a result, is now one of my instabuy authors. (Keep an eye out for my Summer Bird Blue review coming Monday 8th April)

3. The Near Witch by V.E Schwab
I’m gutted I didn’t have a chance to read this when it first debuted but so glad I got the opportunity to read it on its rerelease. This book is super spooky and perfectly witchy, a fantastic debut for Schwab’s distinctive style.

4. A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Another of my most anticipated releases to come this year, I was lucky enough to receive a super early ARC at YALC last year and this murder mystery with a dark turn is a must read, it’s full of great tense moments and really keeps you guessing. (Review to come in May closer to release).

5. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
I had expected to like this book because kick-ass girl and dragons but I absolutely ADORED it, another debut that has made this author an instabuy name for me. Before this book, I had grown a little bored of fantasy but The Last Namsara felt like it really gave the genre new life for me.

6.The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Another book I don’t often stop talking about, The Exact Opposite of Okay is a brilliantly funny and thought-provoking book that really challenges a lot of norms in our society while being fantastically witty and an absolute dream to read. I’m desperate to read the sequel, “A girl called Shameless” which is out now!

 

 

Monthly Wrap up, Uncategorized

March Wrap Up

I don’t usually do wrap-ups but as this month I didn’t manage to find the space for a monthly TBR post I decided to try one. Most of the books I’ve read this month have been reviewed here already so I won’t go into huge detail but just thought it would be nice to have it all in one place, in addition, I also wanted to include not just books but other forms of media I’ve enjoyed too. I’m not sure yet if this will be an every month occurrence yet or just a one-off for March but let me know if you enjoy it and we’ll see where it goes!

Books

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab XXXX (Spoiler free review here)
A brand new reprinting of V.E Schawb’s debut novel, The Near Witch is an absolute gem. It’s dark and spooky with the perfect amount of angst and a little romance. This debut, although not as polished as her later works it still very decidedly hers though and well worth a read even if you’ve read it before as this new version, in addition to being absolutely gorgeous also features an extra short story “Ash born boy” which was fantastic and well deserving of a XXXXX rating all of it’s own.

Firefly: The Magnificent Nine by Jame Lovegrove XXXXX (Spoiler free review here)
This was such a fun book to read, a fantastic tie in to the original TV series and although it certainly is an enjoyable book to read without any prior knowledge of the show its crowning glory is the brilliant way James has managed to really capture the whole feeling of the show and it’s world as well as it’s characters as well as giving us a deeper look into those characters in a way we weren’t able to get through the media of television but translates easily to the written word. A must for Firefly fans especially is Jayne Cobb is your favourite. I also did a Q&A with James which you can check out here.

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy XXXXX (Spoiler free review here)
The only words to do this justice are ones I’ve already used in my full review…SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES. Once and Future absolutely blew my mind, it riled me up, it crushed my heart then it brought me back, shoved a sword in my hand and it told me to go save the world. This is an absolute whirlwind of a book and despite the King Arthur type story, or even the reincarnation of King Arthur, Once and Future not only manages to feel new and unique, it feels damn well revolutionary. There is SO much fantastic rep to be found here and I honestly love it so damn much.

Currently reading: Summer Bird Blue By Dawn Akemi Bowman (Review to come soon!)
I’m SO close to finishing this book right now! I wasn’t sure how I would feel jumping from sci-fi into contemporary which isn’t my favourite of genres but Akemi has excelled once again, as with Starfish it explores complicated feelings and relationships and how her characters deal with those, in the case of Summer Bird Blue, Rumi loses her sister and is consumed by not only the sadness that we often associate with grief but also the anger and resentment we feel as well. A spectacular, moving story that I know is going to continue to break my heart.

Films

The Conjuring 2
The start of a slippery slope deciding to try out a horror film as I don’t ever really watch them at home but thought heck why not. This was actually really great. It had some great twists and a nice variety of different scares with the story actually being really interesting and making me really want to watch the third one now.

Don’t Knock Twice
Second horror film after the first one went so well, the trailer was pretty damn creepy and this one definitely had some moments and I actually screamed once but honestly, there was just too much talking for my liking and I did nod off a little once or twice.

The Lego Movie 2
My four year old has recently become obsessed with the first lego movie and it’s accompanying video game so we took a trip to the cinema together to check out the second film and it was fantastic, I really liked the first one and this sequel did not disappoint. It made fun of itself, there were some genuinely sad moments, some great twists and in the vein of the big twist/reveal at the end of the first one we got another great reveal that had been hinted at throughout the film and was done really well. I also have to say that I’m in love with the soundtrack and downloaded it the moment I got home, the catchy song is fantastic as is a slightly different version of “everything is awesome” towards the end of the film and the song that plays over the credits is just gold. Definitely, want to see this again.

Passengers
On my Sci-fi kick and when trying to decide on a film to watch this one really seemed interesting and was one we both hadn’t seen before and decided to try out. Really glad we did, I wasn’t sure what direction it would take and it definitely surprised me. Not to mention there was an android I got attached to. This film really went to places I wouldn’t have guessed and ended up being pretty thought-provoking and harrowing in places while also being sweet as well as having a good amount of action when the need called for it. Will be watching this one again as well.

TV Shows

Star Trek Discovery – Season 2 episodes 7-9
I have absolutely loved getting to see young, slightly crazy, hot Spock with a beard these past few episodes and it’s been super interesting finding out what really happened to him, not to mention we got to see parts that directly connect to the very first episode of the original series. Also I can’t help it but every episode I have to tell Chris (the husband) how much I just adore Captain Pike, he’s just so wholesome while also being a little damaged by his past and he’s just such a perfect character and Anson Mount has done an amazing job at portraying him, he’s an absolute gem.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different post from me, I enjoyed writing it and recapping my month. Where there any particular stories that you loved this month? Tell me all about them!

 

 

book reviews, spoiler free

The Near Witch

42370636The Near Witch – By V.E Schwab

Rating: XXXX

Published: March 12th by Titan Books

“Maybe one day the words will pour out like so many others, easy and smooth and on their own. Right now they take pieces of me with them.”

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy

Having read a few of V.E Schwab’s books in the past and a couple of them quite recently when I heard that her first book “The Near Witch” was being republished I got pretty excited, when looking into getting into her books I had tried to find this book as it had intrigued me but was gutted to find it was out of print. I was doubly pleased to then receive a copy gifted to me by Titan Books in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to talk about this book on an aesthetic level briefly because this book is beautiful and just feels physically perfect. The cover is a simple yet elegant pattern using a nice palette of colour, under the dust jacket the book is a lovely wine/maroon colour with a gold foil figure who I assume to be the near witch, I love hardbacks that have little “secrets” under the covers like that as I always take dust jackets off to read. It’s beautiful inside as well with the insides of the covers being covered in a nice pattern that has a palette to match the front cover and helps to capture an important part of the story, the wind. In addition to art and colour, I love that it comes with a built-in wine coloured bookmark ribbon and that although this is a hardback it’s a smaller one and is similar in size to a paperback meaning it’s much more comfortable to read. I feel like a lot of work has gone into the way this book works and it’s really paid off so wanted to draw attention to it.

As for the content of the book itself, The Near Witch is a brilliant spooky tale that I often found myself refusing to read in bed after freaking myself out a few times. The tale itself at its heart is certainly something that’s been done before, even at the time of its original publication and I can see why it may not have done well as an authors debut perhaps because there are a lot of tales about witches who are wronged by town folk who seek their revenge and steal children etc. The plot alone doesn’t completely blow me of the water like Vengeful did but it’s written and embellished in a way that really draws you in which really feels like Victoria’s writing and although nowhere near developed and polished as a lot of her more recent work is, it is very decidedly hers still.

In a rare occurrence for me, I actually very much enjoyed the relationship between Lexi and Cole, I’m not a huge romance fan unless it’s angsty or broken enough (not healthy, I’m aware, that’s what fictional characters are for), but just the way their interactions are written had me wanting more. It wasn’t the worlds most epic love story by any means but small, imperfect and not defined in any way. I loved it.

Along with the original Near Witch story we were also treated to more of Cole’s story and I absolutely adored this extra and would actually have quite possibly given “Ash-Born Boy” an even higher rating than The original story itself because although I did very much enjoy The Near Witch, I LOVED Ash-Born Boy with every fibre of my being. It definitely has the more finished quality that a lot of Victoria’s later works have and I wonder when it was written. It may just be I’m morbidly fascinated with Cole, to be honest, and his entire situation.

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab is out today and if you like spooky, witchy mysteries and even more mysterious boys and girls who fight to protect them and those they care about The Near Witch is absolutely for you.

Have you had a chance to read The Near Witch yet? If so let me know what you thought, if not tell me about your favourite mysterious boys, your best brave girls, the spookiest book you’ve read!