December Wrap-Up! (Including some 2018 bookish stats!)

December was a much slower reading month for me, with all the business of the festive season and the fact that I was working right up to Christmas Day. But that’s ok because reading is not a competition πŸ™‚ Plus it gives me more room in this post to talk about my stats for the year!


Review Books/Books I was sent

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

This feminist reimagining of The Iliad was a powerful and visceral read. The narrative voice was compelling and painted a harrowing picture of the reality of the Trojan war for women.

 

The Dark Vault by V. E. Schwab

This bind-up of two of Schwab’s earliest novels, The Archived and The Unbound, was darker than I was expecting and a little confusing at first. However, once I got into the flow, I found the story very enjoyable. Book two might just have the edge over book one for me, thanks to it’s exploration of PTSD (I love it when a fantasy novel incorporates mental health topics!)

 

Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

The fourth and most recent book in the Perfect series, this one was definitely the most gruesome! The character development was superb and I was 100% invested. Bring on book five!

 

Books from my TBR

the toymakers

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

My last read of 2018, I deliberately saved this one for months and months because I thought it would be perfect to read over Christmas. While it was indeed full of festive magic, it was very slow in pace and not quite what I expected. It was still an enjoyable read! Just not the 5 star book I had hoped for.

 

Rereads

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

My first reread of Harry Potter in ten years was nothing short of magical πŸ˜‰ I loved being back at Hogwarts and remembering all the little details that were left out of the film.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

The second book in the Harry Potter series is my least favourite but it is still full of great stuff! Plus Rowling’s foreshadowing is first class.

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The quintessential Christmas story that really does stand the test of time. You can’t beat this one during the festive season.

december 2018 wrapup.jpg

Stats

Total pages:Β 2551

Average pages per day: 82

Longest book:Β The Dark Vault (697 pages), though technically it’s a bind-up of two books so longest standalone was The Toymakers (468 pages)

Shortest book:Β A Christmas Carol (144 pages)

Favourite read of the month:Β Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Biggest disappointment of the month:Β I didn’t really have any major disappointments this month! If I had to pick, I’d say The Toymakers just because it wasn’t what I expected.

Male authors: 2

Female authors: 5 (though technically two Schwab so you could say 6)

Books read towards Pop Sugar Reading Challenge: 0. I decided not to push to finish the challenge because I’m fed up reading books just to hit challenge prompts.


2018 Stats!

Total books read: 146

Total page count: 51,023

Average page count per day: 139.8

Shortest book: The Castle of Otranto (125 pages)

Longest book: Middlemarch (912 pages)

Average Goodreads rating: 4.1 (wow, I thought I was harsher than that!)

Female authors: 94

Male authors: 52

Audiobooks: 29

Books from my backlist: 44

Rereads: 15


And that all but concludes 2018! All that’s left is to say a big thank you to everyone who has joined me on my blogging journey this year; your support means more to me than you can ever know! I have big plans for this blog in 2019 and I really hope you’ll all stick around to see it. Have a wonderful evening if you’re doing anything and all the best for the new year! x

Advertisements

2018 Non-Bookish Favourites!

Hey friends! I love seeing what everyone enjoy besides reading so I wanted to do a quick post highlighting some of my non-bookish favourites from this year πŸ™‚


Movies & TV

I didn’t watch a whole lot of stuff in 2018 as I really was making reading my priority, but I had a few standout viewing experiences.

The Greatest Showman: I gave in to the hype because EVERYONE at work was singing these songs and they were pretty catchy. I’m thankful that this movie definitely lived up to the hype! It’s such an empowering story with a great soundtrack and I really think this one will stand the test of time. Yes, it’s a bit corny but we all need a little of that every now and then, don’t we?

Vanity Fair: At first, I wasn’t really interested in the ITV adaptation of Thackeray’s classic, having never read it. However, the more I saw the adverts, the more intrigued I got. I ended up loving the sarcastic humour of Becky Sharp and enjoyed the show so much that I requested the book for Christmas. And my wish was granted! I will be reading Vanity Fair in 2019.

Bohemian Rhapsody: I’ve always been a fan of Queen’s music but this film has ignited a full-on obsession in me. Seriously, I am now listening to a Queen song every day just to get my fix. Nobody say a bad word about Freddie Mercury or I will fight you πŸ˜‰


Music

I’ve already mentioned that I’ve been alternating between Queen’s Greatest Hits and The Greatest Showman OST. But I did listen to some other stuff this year too πŸ˜‰

George Ezra: Ezra has released some cracking tunes this year. Many of them are, for me, tied together with fond memories of summer days at work, taking the young people I support out for daytrips.

Pentatonix: I’ve loved Pentatonix since I discovered them a few years ago but there was a period at the start of this year when I had their album on repeat in my car CONSTANTLY. I gave them a rest for a few months… and then started listening to their Christmas albums haha. They are so talented (though I’m still devastated that Avi left!)

Kodaline: I also went through a bit of a Kodaline phase in the middle of the year. I just really love the harmonies, as well as the cute stories they tell in their songs.


Experiences

Shrek the Musical: This year, the company of Shrek the Musical did a UK tour and I went to see them on opening night in Belfast. The show was uproariously funny, with some very catchy tunes.

Disney on Ice: I also got to relive my childhood this year by going to Disney on Ice! I took my young cousins and it made a lovely family memory that I will cherish.

Buying a house: It amazes me that this time last year, I went to view a couple of houses to get an idea of the market/housing prices etc. I stumbled upon a house that I loved and decided to pursue it – and in April this year, it became mine! I love living by the sea.

Starting my diploma: Another big development in my life this year was that I was offered a place on a counselling course. This came totally out of the blue as I hadn’t expected to go back to studying until Autumn 2019 but it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I’m so glad to be making progress towards my career goals!


What were some of your non-bookish highlights this year? Did anything take you by surprise? Do we share any favourite movies or music? Let me know in the comments! And if you’re a Queen fan, please join me in my obsession! πŸ˜‰ x

Mini Reviews: The ‘Perfect’ Series by Helen Fields

Throughout this year, I have been working my way through the ‘Perfect’ series by Helen Fields. Guys, this is by far my favourite thriller series. You can find my review of book one, Perfect Remains,Β here.

Since people aren’t always interested in sequel reviews, I’m going to keep my thoughts on Perfect Prey, Perfect Death, and Perfect Silence brief and just do bullet points πŸ™‚

A huge thank you to Avon Books for providing me with a free copy of this series!


Perfect Prey

This book in one sentence:Β Graffiti describing murder victims is appearing around the city of Edinburgh… before the victims are turning up dead.

  • This second book jumps straight back into the action with no messing around
  • Even more gripping than the first instalment; no time wasted on introducing characters
  • A great cast – it felt comfortable, like visiting old friends
  • Gory book is gory
  • Absolutely brutal twists!

perfect prey


Perfect Death

This book in one sentence: A killer watches from afar as his victims die slowly from poisoning.

  • Slightly slower in pace than book two
  • Less gruesome (what can I say, I’m here for the blood)
  • Hugely compelling plot that had me reading late into the night
  • Fantastic dynamics between the characters
  • A great exploration of gender roles in the police force; Fields writes brilliant female characters!
  • Raised the fascinating question of nature vs nurture

perfect death.jpg


Perfect Silence

This book in one sentence: Someone is abducting women and making dolls out of their skin. Yikes.

  • Definitely the most gruesome instalment yet, yesss
  • Links back to the previous books while never letting the story stagnate; everything is constantly moving forward
  • Once again, jumps straight into the action and doesn’t hang around
  • The righteous anger of protagonist Ava is exhilarating to read and drags the reader along, making it impossible not to root for her
  • Some adorable baby moments
  • A nice reference to my hometown – though I wish it could have got more page-time!

perfect silence


Overall, I cannot recommend this series enough. Fields’ plots are superbly clever; these are no bog-standard, generic thrillers. I think that’s what keeps me coming back to this series again and again. I’m invested in the lives of the characters and I am never EVER bored. If you like gritty stories with realistic characters, you need to get your hands on Perfect Remains.

I cannot wait for book five in the Spring!

My favourite books of 2018!

Hello bookies! I have been so excited about posting this – I love seeing everyone’s favourites of the year πŸ˜€

A note before we start: not all of these books were published in 2018, I just read them for the first time this year. Also, I’m listing them purely in the order I read them from earliest in the year to most recently; there’s absolutely no way I could rank these!


The Dollmaker of KrakΓ³w by R. M. Romero

the dollmaker of krakow

What I loved about it

  • Some of the most powerful imagery I’ve ever read
  • Characters that were precious and pure
  • Shattered my heart into a million pieces
  • Perfect for all ages
  • Magical and beautiful

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer

What I loved about it

  • Absolutely STUNNING writing
  • Incredible immersive world-building
  • Complex and fascinating characters
  • Realistic dialogue and SNARK
  • One of the most original stories I’ve ever read

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

the seven sisters.jpg

What I loved about it

  • The start of my new favourite series!
  • Superb character development
  • Sumptuously evocative descriptions
  • Intricate and clever plot
  • Captivates you and doesn’t let go

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

city of brass

What I loved about it

  • Superb attention to detail, including religious and political history
  • Cinematic descriptions
  • Perfectly paced
  • Gorgeous writing that sweeps you off your feet
  • Morally grey characters

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

the winter sea

What I loved about it

  • Instantly likeable protagonist
  • Took me through the whole spectrum of emotions
  • Seamless blending of timelines
  • Scottish accents written perfectly
  • History, romance, even psychology – this book had everything!

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

bone gap

What I loved about it

  • Seriously brilliant cast of characters
  • Stunning writing with beautiful metaphors
  • SO many levels to the story
  • Reads like a fable
  • A genre-bending masterpiece

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

language of thorns.jpg

What I loved about it

  • GORGEOUS writing
  • Subverts every fairytale clichΓ©
  • Dark and twisty
  • Speaks up for women and minority groups
  • The physical book is an actual work of art

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

the mermaid

What I loved about it

  • Brilliant activist protagonist
  • Multi-layered plot that defies categorisation
  • Fast pace
  • Beautiful writing
  • Gorgeous message of acceptance

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

a thousand perfect notes

What I loved about it

  • Cinnamon boys and sassy girls
  • Great sibling relationship
  • Brutally shredded my heart
  • Retells the life of a classical musician!
  • Cait’s voice was delightfully clear

More Than This by Patrick Ness

more than this

What I loved about it

  • So tender and sweet, it filled my whole heart
  • Brilliantly realistic characters
  • Romance, tragedy, drama – even a sci-fi element!
  • One of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to
  • Honestly, it spoke to my very soul

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

autoboyography

What I loved about it

  • Amazing realistic banter
  • The sweetest and most heartfelt romance
  • Hottest first kiss I’ve ever read
  • Handles a controversial subject with tact and respect
  • Positive and uplifting message

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

muse of nightmares

What I loved about it

  • Phenomenal character development
  • Exploration of mental illness in a fantasy novel!
  • Such a satisfying sequel/conclusion
  • Stunning STUNNING writing
  • Potential for an extended Laini Taylor universe?! YESSS

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

small spaces

What I loved about it

  • Such an intelligently crafted middle grade
  • Wonderful protagonist whom I connected with on a deep personal level
  • Fabulous exploration of childhood grief
  • Some genuinely creepy scenes!
  • The resolution is perfect

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

rebecca du maurier

What I loved about it

  • Creepy house setting
  • Symbolism EVERYWHERE
  • The characters are works of art
  • Unreliable narrator
  • A Gothic masterpiece!

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

the queens of innis lear

What I loved about it

  • Incredible world-building
  • Fantastic use of flashbacks and multiple POVs
  • Amazing levels of diversity
  • A setting that is almost a character in itself
  • A fantastic, faithful reimagining of King Lear

I genuinely found so many new all-time favourites this year and I urge you all to read any and all of the books on this list!

I was going to do some honourable mentions but it would honestly be like another 20 books so I’ll leave it hehe. But know that I am just so thankful for all the amazing stories I got to read this year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!

Did any of these titles make it onto your favourites list this year? x

My favourite blog posts of December 2018!

Hey everyone! My levels of busy this month have meant that I couldn’t really blog-hop as much as usual but I still wanted to feature a few favourite posts that I’ve seen around πŸ™‚ Everyone absolutely knocked it out of the park with all the wintery recommendations and festive blogmas posts so this list could have gone on forever! But here are a few December posts that I particularly enjoyed…


Reviews

Evelina wrote a great review of The Winter of the Witch, the final book in the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden. The Bear and the Nightingale was one of my favourite books of 2017 but I never got round to reading the second book; I’m hoping to remedy that next year and finish off the series!

The Orangutan Librarian wrote a super sweet and original review of Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien! I’ve had my eye on this book for a long time; maybe Christmas 2019 will be when I finally get to it πŸ˜‰

Jaime reviewed The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke. This feminist reimagining of Beowulf sounds really cool and I’m super excited to read it since I got it for Christmas!

Rita gave a wonderfully detailed review of The Happiness Passport by Megan Hayes. One of my goals for 2019 is to read more nonfiction and this sounds like a wonderful addition to my list!

Kat wrote a fantastic review, talking about the mental illness rep in Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares, something which I personally ADORED.

Melanie wrote a really interesting review of Every Tongue Got to Confess, a collection of short stories by Zora Neale Hurston.

Hayley reviewed Once Upon a River and got me really excited for this latest offering from Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale.


Discussions

Beth discussed the benefits of rereading, which you know is something I am all for. She raised some really great points.

Mandy started a great discussion about seasonal/holiday-themed books.

Kaleena discussed her fear of ‘sophomore’ novels, or the second book in a series, something which I definitely found relatable.

Kelly wrote an appropriately timed post about why Harry Potter is the perfect winter read.

Marie asked if book bloggers can ever avoid the hype, something I always struggle with!

Krysta talked about why The Hobbit is quite unusual for a children’s book. The Tolkien chat at Pages Unbound gives me life!


Other fun posts

Grace listed her favourite opening lines in literature, which I thought was a really cool idea for a post. Grace is a fairly new blogger so be sure to give her some support!

Charleigh talks about some scenes she wishes made it into the Harry Potter movies! As I’m currently rereading the series myself, it’s great to see someone voicing thoughts that align with my own.

Lily recommended some books with truly gorgeous writing! Three of her recommendations are on my all-time favourites list and I’m intrigued about the others, since Lily clearly has impeccable taste πŸ˜‰

Merline wrote a hugely relatable post about the things bookstagram has made her do. I feel you, girl!

Aurora had the great idea to get her mum to predict her next five-star reads! Visit her post to see if it was a success πŸ˜‰

Chloe took part in my ‘Alphabeticals’ meme! I promise I’m resurrecting this blog series in the new year ahaha.


Well, those were some posts I really enjoyed this December! I also have to say, I have been living for everyone’s posts recapping their 2018 reading and talking about their goals and anticipated reads for 2019. It’s all so exciting and I could have featured every single one of you! x

2018 Smashing & Dashing Character Awards!

I recently saw Cait posting this and just knew I had to do my own version! I promise I’ll try my best not to use Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares for every answer πŸ˜‰


Most Relatable Character

small spaces

Ollie. Arden’s portrayal of a girl grieving the loss of her mother is one of the most relatable things I’ve ever read.


Most Pure Animal Companion

pax

Pax. Even though I only rated this book 3 stars overall, Pax himself was precious.


Fiercest Fighter

the empress.jpg

Even though I was disappointed by this sequel, I still hold that Nemesis is a badass.


Am Surprised That I Loved You??

the queens of innis lear

Ban. Just ask Melanie. What a treat.


Best Sass-Master

to kill a kingdom

Lira and Elian bring all the sass.


Best Antihero

catwoman soulstealer

Selina Kyle. Genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed her origins story.


The Best Friends Of All

the halloween tree

I loved this coming-of-age story about a group of boys experiencing Halloween.


Best Villain To HATE

scythe.jpg

Scythe Goddard. ‘Nuff said.


Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

autoboyography

Both examples in the one book. Tanner’s parents are amazing, Sebastian’s… not so much.


Ship Of All Ships In 2018

strange the dreamer

I had to feature them somewhere. Lazlo and Sarai, my babies.


Most Precious Must Be Protected

a thousand perfect notes

Beck, sweet cinnamon roll that he is.


Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

her hidden life

Magda. My heart was in my mouth for most of this book.


Award For Making The Worst Decisions

the other side of lost

Mari. I really enjoyed this book but boy, did she make some terrible (and extremely unbelievable) choices.


Most In Need Of A Nap

muse of nightmares

Minya! She’s just really tired, ok?


Want To Read More About You

sweet pea

Rhiannon was hilarious and I can’t wait to read more about her escapades in 2019.


Well, those are my picks for the 2018 character awards! Do you agree with any of my choices? And is anyone else frantically trying to cram all of their last posts before the end of the year?! x

Harry Potter 10 Years On: The Chamber of Secrets

Hey everyone! I’m continuing my reread of the Harry Potter series and today, I’m bringing you my thoughts on book two: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! Once again, please proceed with caution as there may be some spoilers in this post…


Initial Thoughts…

Oh wow. I was only 5 when this book came out!

The Dursleys are actually vile.

I forgot how much amazing stuff was in this book! Dobby, the flying car, the Whomping Willow, the mandrakes…

Love getting to see more of Mr and Mrs Weasley!

Aah I remember de-gnoming the garden in the playstation game, it was great fun!

Lockhart really is ridiculous.

Ugh the deathday party, I always found this bit boring.

I laughed far too hard when Lockhart said “I remember something very similar happening in Ouagadougou”!

Surely it would have made sense to find out the way to the Slytherin common room before taking the Polyjuice potion? Then they wouldn’t have wasted so much time?

Really though, I love Hogwarts but what kind of school would stay open when kids are being attacked left, right and centre?!

I didn’t find the spiders nearly as creepy when I was younger… *shudders*

Nothing will ever be as mind-blowing as that twist at the end.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets.jpg


Thoughts Upon Finishing…

I always say that this is my least favourite book in the series. I think it’s because it’s in that in between stage of still setting up the world and not yet being into the full swing of the overarching plot. Even so, there are so many amazing things that are introduced in this book! Some seriously awesome details.

And it’s the start of the backstory! Rowling’s foreshadowing is sublime and her overarching plot is really so clever. I obviously never recognised it when I was younger but when you know what’s coming down the line, it’s fascinating to see the clues Rowling laid right back at this early stage. Like, she actually comes out and tells you what’s going to happen in the last book but you don’t recognise it because it’s hiding in plain sight.Β 

Plus, this is the book that gives us Dobby. So damn precious. I can’t wait for more of the house elves. I also love that this book continues to show Hermione’s worth; seriously, Harry would get nowhere without this girl. As amazing as her character is in the films, she is even better in the books. I love her character growth.Β 

I can’t wait to read book three (my favourite!)

harry potter and the chamber of secrets.jpg

What are your thoughts on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? x

2018 Resolutions Recap and 2019 Bookish Goals!

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are relaxing with some great books today πŸ™‚

Last year, I combined my favourite reads of the year with my review of my 2018 bookish goals. However, the post ended up miiiles long so this year I’m separating them – you can expect my top reads of 2018 soon! But for now, let’s see if I stuck to my 2018 bookish resolutions!


2018 Goals

Allow myself to reread

I’m pleased to say that I have reread 15 books this year, including starting my first reread of the Harry Potter series in ten years! I’m planning to continue with this in 2019 as I really love returning to old favourites and remembering what is so wonderful about them. I’ve already got a big list of books I want to reread.

 

Read more of the Discworld series

Ok, I majorly dropped the ball on this one. I only read one Discworld book all year! It was genuinely a case of ‘so many books, so little time’. I’m probably not going to have this as an official resolution again next year but I will keep it in the back of my mind when choosing my reads because I really do want to make progress through Pratchett’s epic series.

18512968_423324388053145_2404764811939282944_n.jpg

 

Read predominantly from my own bookshelf

I knew I’d failed this one but I didn’t realise quite how spectacularly. I’m actually ashamed at how few books I read from my own shelves. The majority of the books I’ve read this year were either review books sent to me by publishers or books I was enticed into buying. I didn’t think I was doing too badly but it turns out even if you’re buying backlist titles, they still count as new additions to your shelf. Who knew?

 

In 2018, I participated in the Pop Sugar challenge for the third year in a row. Towards the end of this year, I actually decided to give up on the challenge because I just wasn’t interested in reading books purely to tick off challenge prompts. The decision caused me a lot of angst, as I am such a perfectionist and hate to quit on anything, but I think I made the right call. I won’t be doing the challenge in 2019; instead, I’ll be focusing on getting through some of the backlog of books I’ve acquired in the last 3 years.


Goals for 2019

Read more books with mental health rep

I make no secret of the fact that I have my own mental health struggles, as well as working in the mental health sector, so I’d love to explore how more authors represent mental health in their books.

 

Conquer my fear of big books

I didn’t read very many long books (over 500 pages) this year but the ones I did read ended up being some of my favourite books of the year! I’ve got a few larger books sitting on my shelves that I’d really love to try in 2019; I’m definitely in the mood to immerse myself in a chunky tome.

17931849_1300731723350543_249064114112954368_n

 

Read more from favourite authors

I have a strange habit of discovering an author I love and subsequently avoiding their books because I don’t want to run out! So I’m going to try and stop being ridiculous in 2019 and read more of the books I’ve collected by favourite authors. Some examples include Leigh Bardugo, Patrick Ness, Susanna Kearsley and Christina Henry.

 

Try some non-fiction books

I’ve always had a fear of non-fiction but I know there are some fantastic titles out there. I’m looking to ease myself in with a few memoirs and book-related titles first, before tackling some heavier subjects that I’m interested in.

 

rainbow bookshelves home library

Of course, my main goal in 2019 is to read some of my backlist titles. I may need the help of a challenge such as ‘Beat the Backlist’ or ‘The Unread Shelf Project’, but I’m determined to get my TBR under control!

This year, I set my Goodreads goal at 100 books and managed to beat it quite significantly. Next year, I’m planning to set it at a lower number in order to allow myself to read some of those tomes I talked about. And I want to get back to reading for fun, not just to beat a number!

 

What were some of your reading resolutions this year? Did you manage to stay on track? Let me know in the comments! x

Harry Potter 10 Years On: The Philosopher’s Stone

Hey everyone! Since I’m currently rereading the Harry Potter series for the first time in a DECADE (!), I thought it would be fun to blog some of my thoughts now that I’m returning to the books with an adult perspective πŸ™‚

Obviously, these posts will potentially contain spoilers so please use caution if you haven’t read the series yet (though if you haven’t, where have you been?! Go read it and then come back!)


Initial Reactions…

Omg it’s actually happening. I’m rereading Harry Potter! Please let it be as good as I remember.

This is very young in tone… I’m scared this was a terrible idea.

Some of this dialogue is a bit stilted!

I hope it’s a warm night, baby Harry will freeze on that doorstep!

Ok, I never fully comprehended how vile the Dursleys are… surely making him sleep in a cupboard and not buying him new glasses or clothes of his own is child abuse?!

It’s so interesting to see the differences between the books and the movies.

How can Quirrell shake Harry’s hand in the Leaky Cauldron?!

Hermione bragging on the train about having tried a few simple spells… but they’re not allowed to do magic outside of Hogwarts?

Does Snape know the crack with Quirrell and his turban?

They got detention for being out of bed at night – but the detention is taking place at 11pm? LOL

harry potter and the philosophers stone.jpg


Thoughts Upon Finishing…

Ok, so it was a bit difficult at times to withhold my criticisms. I always praise Rowling on her foreshadowing but knowing that she’s so good at it causes me to question the tiniest inconsistencies! I don’t know if I’ve just forgotten things in the space of ten years.

I did feel like this book was very young in tone; but then, even reading the series in my younger years, I felt that this one was the most immature. Rowling’s writing becomes progressively more amazing and I can certainly make allowances for the quality of her debut.

I am just so thrilled to be back in this world. The amount of magical detail Rowling provides is truly stunning and her plots really are so clever. Knowing what is coming down the line, it is a joy to pick up on little hints that I missed as a child.

Rereading has also made me realise just how much is missed out of the movies (even the first one where you assume they got most of the details in). This book features some really great moments that I had forgotten about and which, sadly, are missing from the big screen.

Overall, while I am reading this more critically, I am trying hard to leave my reviewing hat OFF and just enjoy re-immersing myself in this magical world for the first time in ten years!

harry potter and the philosophers stone

When was the last time you read Harry Potter? Did you pick up on any of the inconsistencies I mentioned?! x

 

‘Naughty or Nice’ Book Tag!

Hello everyone! I figured I’d better do a festive tag before Christmas comes and goes! This one was created byΒ Jenn and I’ve been seeing it everywhere recently, so I thought I’d join in the fun πŸ™‚


Received an ARC and not reviewed it?

We’re off to a good start! I’m pleased to say that I always review my ARCs (not necessarily by the release date but I try my best!) I would just feel so guilty if a publisher or author sent me a book to review and I didn’t do it! Especially when so many international bloggers are not as fortunate in being able to get ARCs. I can’t take that for granted.

thankful.gif

 

Have less than 60% feedback on Netgalley?

I don’t use Netgalley so nope, this isn’t an issue I have!

shrug joey.gif

 

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come (but it never did)?

Nope! Whenever I’ve been unable to post my review and had to say ‘RTC’, it then gnaws away at the back of my mind until I get it done. I pride myself on the fact that I review every book I read on Goodreads, even if it’s just a few sentences.

good simon coweel.gif

 

Folded down the page of a book?

I used to do this when I was a lot younger but now I always have a bookmark to hand.

doc who reading.gif

 

 

Accidentally spilled on a book?

Oh man, yes, and it was traumatic. When I was studying for my final exams at university, I accidentally knocked over a cup of tea and it spilled ALL OVER the book about autism that I was reading. I tried my best to dry the book and left it on the radiator for like 24 hours but it was wrinkly and ruined 😦

new girl nooo gif.gif

 

DNF’d a book this year?

Not this year! I don’t like to give up on a book because I feel like my negative opinion of it isn’t wholly valid unless I’ve read the entire thing. I know it’s silly to waste time on a book I’m truly not enjoying but the perfectionist in me can’t get over it!

perfect gif.gif

 

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it?

I may actually be a little guilty of this. I went through a phase where the bookstagram hype completely got to me and I was buying all the pretty editions I could get my hands on. I keep telling myself I intend to read them but honestly, it could take me years to get to some of them. I have managed to curb the habit though and now I’m only buying books I definitely want to read – sometimes I’ll spend a little more money on a particular edition though! πŸ˜‰

heart eyes.gif

 

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)?

Hasn’t everyone? I’d always rather be reading.

rapunzel.gif

 

Skim read a book?

Very very rarely. I don’t see the point of skimming because then I’m not really taking in the story. The only time I ever do it is when I’m hating a book so much that I want to DNF(but can’t because of aforementioned perfectionism). So I’m calling this one a no!

thumbs up monica.gif

 

Completely missed your Goodreads goal?

I joined Goodreads right at the end of 2015 and have managed to hit/exceed my goal every year since then! With each year that has passed, I’ve managed to read more and more books and I’m so thankful for all the wonderful stories I’ve been able to discover.

spongebob thumbs up.gif

 

Borrowed a book and never returned it?

I once forgot to return a library book when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old? I subsequently felt so guilty that I never went back to that library. It makes me sad to remember this because, looking back, I’m sure the librarian would have understood that a library book was not at the top of a grieving child’s list of priorities.

sad jess.gif

 

Broke a book-buying ban?

Yeah… which is why I no longer bother with them! I tried to prevent myself from buying books at times in the past and ended up binge-buying. There’s just no point; by forbidding myself, I only want them more πŸ˜‰

no power in the verse.gif

 

Started a review, left it for ages, then forgot what the book was about?

I’m pretty good at writing my reviews in a timely manner – namely because I don’t like to mark another book as ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads until I’ve checked off the previous one. And as I said above, I review every book I read. So there’s your answer!

gatsby.gif

 

Wrote in a book you were reading?

I had to annotate my books in English literature classes at school but that’s the only time I’ve ever done it. I’m not totally outraged by the idea of annotating (I know some people think it’s the worst thing ever) but it’s not something I personally feel the need to do.
snape shrug.gif

 

Finished a book and not added it to Goodreads?

No?! What’s the point in setting a goal if I’m not going to log the books towards it?!

confused.gif

 

Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend?

Not for want of trying! I currently have a book in my possession that I borrowed from a friend back in August. I read the book within a week or two and have been trying to return it ever since but my friend is notorious for forgetting to reply to messages and we both work shifts, so trying to arrange a time to give it back to her is a nightmare! Otherwise though, I always return books so I’d count this as a point for the ‘nice’ side!

joey and chandler.gif

 

Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book?

Yeah, I hold my hands up to this one. I’ve had too many experiences in the past of lending out books and having them returned in terrible condition or not returned at all. So now, I dodge dodge dodge! I’d honestly rather buy someone their own copy of a book than let them borrow mine and potentially destroy it haha.

snow white.gif

 

Broke the spine of someone else’s book?

Based on my previous answer, do you really think I would do this? I don’t even break the spines of my own books so there’s no way I’d do it to someone else’s. Sometimes, when I donate books to the charity shop, they are so pristine that they look unread; books should always be returned to their owners in the condition you received them!

nope.gif

 

Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged?

Not that I can remember? I usually leave the dust jacket on the book’s shelf and don’t touch it again until I’m finished the book so there’s no way for it to get damaged.

who knows.gif

 

Sat on a book accidentally?

Yeah… I’m pretty clumsy.

clumsy gif.gif


Final score: 7 Naughty, 13 Nice!

Wow, I did a lot better than I thought! If you’ve done this tag, what did you score? x