Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Harry Potter Spells book tag

1. Expecto Patronum: A childhood book connected to good memories

I'm going to go for The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. The book deals with a princess who's sent away to be married off and doesn't want to be but then oh no things happen and she's the goose girl at the palace. Makes friends, and not friends, and talks to the geese, and tells stories... an excellent book. And although it's listed somewhere (don't ask me where, I have no idea) as a middle grade, I think it reads well for all ages. 

2. Expelliarmus: A book that took you by surprise

One of many books which took me by surprise (I never see the plot twist coming.) is The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. I won't say what took me by surprise but I will say I do not usually read books with it in. Because they freak me out. 

3. Prior Incantato: The last book you read.

The last book I read some of is The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. But I wasn't getting on with it so I don't think I'll carry on. The last book I finished reading was Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli. It's very fun, lots of brilliant anecdotes and a good overview of Harry Potter, how it came to be and everything that surrounded it in the years between Philosopher's Stone and Deathly Hallows. And it has a foreword by JK Rowling herself! Just in case there was any doubt this is good stuff. 

4. Alohamora: A book that introduced you to a genre you had not considered before.

Carrie by Stephen King. I still don't read much horror but it kind of... I don't know, does Stephen King count as a genre? I'm counting him as a genre. Because now I desperately want to read The Shining. And Doctor Sleep. Which I never would have before Carrie. So there you go, maybe I'll get into horror more later on? Who knows? Not me. 

5. Riddikulus: A funny book you've read.

I think any of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books are hilarious! So for argument's sake let's say... All Wound Up. They're about knitting but really if you have any hobby that's rewarding, takes a bit of time and people think is a little pointless (I'm looking at you 'Why don't you just see the film?' people...) you'll get it. Her books are insightful and funny and very, very good for when you want to get up some enthusiasm for doing aforementioned hobby. 

6. Sonorus: A book you think everybody should know about.

I think everybody should know about Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. Partly because it's wonderful and just the right amount of unsettling, but also because the photographs alone keep you guessing. 

7. Obliviate: A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read.

Oh. Oh oh oh oh oh. Oh. I used to deliberately spoil myself for some books because if I was feeling really fragile I felt like I couldn't really do the whole thing but I really, really wish I hadn't read the spoiler for Clariel. Because I wasn't looking for it, it just came out of nowhere and it completely changed the way I read the book. 

8. Imperio: A book you had to read for school.

I had to read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood for school and I loved it! Well no. I didn't have to, I could have chosen a different book but this was the one I really really liked, I won't go into what it's about but I can tell you it's awesomely feministical and scary. In a good way.

9. Crucio: A book that was painful to read.

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton was really really painful in a good way. I just wanted to reach through the book and hug almost everyone involved. Note I said almost. There is one person I would very much like to give the cold shoulder to in a very emphatic manner. Because let's face it I am not going to get close to slapping anyone...

10. Avada Kedavra: A book that could kill (interpret as you will).

I'm going to pick S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst. This book could kill you with it's longevity. It's made to be a mock up library book that two people have written in and stuffed bits of paper into with notes and newspaper articles and postcards and letters... it is a magnificent concept. 

However.  

You have to read the whole thing (which is so heavy and stuffed with awesome little titbits and scraps of paper I can't take it outside with me) cover to cover four times. It is a tome.A tome that can't leave home for fear of dropping aforementioned titbits. 

It's also really confusing to read. Hence reading it four times, each time following a different set of notes. And then there's the book all the notes are to. You have to read that as well. As such I am on page 17 and have been for about two months now completely stuck, trying to work out what to do about it. 

Plus if you fall asleep in bed with it it will crush you. So yeah. It can kill you in two ways. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

There was only one element of this book I didn't like.

Simon Snow.

I love and adore Harry Potter but I didn't feel like they had a whole lot in common. Sure, there was a school and magic and... yeah. But both of those things are also in The Worst Witch and that's not Harry Potter either.

I felt a little jarred out of my reading haze by the passages from Simon Snow as well. Which probably says more about me than the book, but there you go.

Other than the Simon Snow thing I loved Fangirl!

I loved the way Cath didn't grow out of fandom like people do in fan books. They fall in love and suddenly their fandoms are silly and childish and that annoys the heck out of me because a) fanning all over things is what I DO and b) surely it isn't healthy to suddenly have a boy/girlfriend and have everything you used to be obsessed with just fall away?

I know. And don't call you Shirley.

I did like the way Wren... ok, this is going to be spoilerific, but I loved the way Wren grew out of fandom and then grew back into it. It reminded me a little of Pokemon. (Which is something I like.) (Big surprise there.) You know, how Pokemon used to be massive. And then it died away a little... AND THEN IT CAME BACK! And we were all old enough to stop going 'For babies' and start going 'Actually this is pretty cool...' again.

I thought it was really well done and I enjoyed the book. I used to write fanfic too, albeit not popular fanfic, but I know the whole I-AM-SO-BEHIND-ON-POSTING thing. It is an old friend of mine.

I enjoyed relating to this book.

This review isn't making any sense so I'll leave it there.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Clariel by Garth Nix

Now this one was a slow read.

Not because I didn't enjoy it, just because... I'm not sure why. It took forever. Or a week, one or the other. It's not a quick book even if you're a fast reader because it's so big but I liked it.

I liked Lirael more.

Not that that says much. Lirael is a book I love for lots of reasons, not least because it got me through a hard year at one point. I was pleased to have Clariel's story and all the little details made it better. But I didn't like it as much. I liked it better than Abhorsen though, but then the ends of series were all a bit wobbly for me. I may attempt a reread and see how that goes. But for now I have a towering TBR and more books on the way!

It's a prequel but it's a tricky sort of prequel... I won't go into the plot because of that but I will say two things.

A) As someone who is homesick a lot (without any reason but that's another story for another time) this book truly captured the feeling of homesickness to me. The longing and thoughts and oh, just everything. It reminded me of how I feel and I connected with Clariel over that. I know some people had problems with her, saying she's (POSSIBLE SPOILERS) selfish and 'nobody cares, get over it' (SPOILERS DONE) But I feel like that's what homesickness does to you. It does make you a more... that kind of person.

and

B) I got spoilered for this book by accident and it made me go 'Wait, WHAT?!'

If you've read his other books or you fancy trying them I'd say this book is a good one to get deeper into the world. The mythology and history of The Old Kingdom is really interesting... but I'd suggest reading the original series first. There's a little less action in this one, Sabriel is a more welcoming introduction to the world. So although it's a prequel it's handier as a companion to the series.

I'm looking forwards to the next book, whenever it happens!