Books, Reviews

May Books

Hi all! I still have two more posts to write about my holiday, but I thought I’d mix it up a little and write about what I read in May instead for a change. To be honest I thought I’d get more writing done over the weekend but poor time planning… Ok, that wasn’t honest, here’s honest – I was knackered and the weather was gorgeous. Although, I guess that’s still poor time planning as well. Well what do you know, eh? Anyway…

I only read two books in May. That brings me to a total of 15/30. Half way there! Wooohoooooo! One of them I’ve already written about a little and the other won’t come as a surprise to any of you, if you’ve read my previous book posts.

The first book I read was PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. What an emotional roller coaster! I kept crying when reading it and then laughing on the next page – I was all over the place. (You can read my thoughts from when I was about 12 pages into the book here from my previous post.) I watched the film based on this book first and was therefore a bit apprehensive about how similar or different the book would be, but I found a pleasant mix of familiarity and new bits. It was a great (albeit emotionally wrecking) read.

The second book I read was Shadows of Self (Mistborn – Alloy Era #2) by Brandon Sanderson. Quite a few AMAZING twists in the story as is common for Mr Sanderson. Although I haven’t gotten quite into this series like I was into the original Mistborn books, I still absolutely loved it. I thought the story was great, the characters were built well and the magic was brilliant.

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I was very happy with my choice of reading material in May, but I think I need to start writing my thoughts down as soon I’ve finished with a book. I find that I’m struggling a bit when I write after a month has passed and I’ve already read a few books afterwards. Hmm… Something to consider!

G.

 

Books, Reviews

April Books

Hmmm… I see a bit of a theme going on in my recent months books. I seem to be reading a lot of books from the same author. I wonder why? Maybe because I absolutely love what he does? That could be it, you know. In fact, I bet that’s what it is – he’s just THAT good! Yes, ladies and gents, it’s another month full of Brandon Sanderson. Wooohoooo! Ok, I’ll stop fan-girling and get to the books now. Oh, I almost forgot to say that I read 3 books, bringing my this year’s total to 13/30.

The first book I read in April was The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson. It was the last book in the trilogy and had me in complete tears in the end. My thoughts at the time were: ‘Absolutely brilliant. I don’t even have words… still bawling like a baby as I write this. It was just amazingly good. 100/10 stars. The ending… it’s just… I’ll go be incoherent somewhere else now.’ I was soooooo sad for it to end and the ending itself was very emotional as well. Just amazing. Oh, in case I wasn’t too clear – I loved it and would definitely recommend it to other fantasy/magic fans.

To shake things up a little I read The Choice by Nicholas Sparks next. It was in many ways predictable and unbelievable and in some ways surprising in a good way. Overall it was a nice change in between all the fantasy that I feel like I’ve been reading lately.

After reading that, I felt like it was time for a bit more of (what seems to be) my author of the year however, so I picked up The Alloy of Law (Mistborn – Alloy Era #1) by Brandon Sanderson. I must admit I wasn’t too keen on it to begin with, as it was slightly more modern than his previous books that I’ve read, but I got used to the new characters and the changes that had happened in the world and in the end I loved it. (Surprise, surprise…).

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This concludes my April books. I’ll try to mix it up a little in the coming months, but with the amount of books the man has published, I see myself reading at least one of his books almost every month for a while going forward to be honest.

Anyway, I’m actually quite behind with my May books so I best go get cracking! Or you know, sleep instead as I’ve just noticed the time. Where have the hours since I got home from work gone?!

G.

Books, Challenges, My life, Reviews

My March Books

I read 3 books in March which took me to 10/30. I’m 1/3 of the way there guys! Whoop! Anyway, I know there’s only 2 books on the picture and that’s because the third one has been travelling from person to person since I finished it. Having found it quite enlightening and useful, I’ve passed it on to two of my friends since and one of them currently still has it.

In fact, that’s the book I shall begin with. I’m a bit late to the bandwagon with this, but the first book I read in March was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō. I’m not claiming it was fully as miraculous as it claims, but I got quite a bit out of it. Overall this books is quite nutty in my opinion, you have to pick and choose what to take from it and it’s definitely not going to suit everyone’s taste. However I learned a few neat tricks to decluttering and better organisation. My wardrobe shrank considerably after I put some of those tips into use (like only keeping the stuff that makes me happy) and now I can wear anything from it, knowing that no matter what I pick, I’ll be happy wearing it. Such a simple concept but one that I never thought of myself. So I had piles of clothes that I hadn’t worn in years and a few items I’d never even put on. Well, not anymore! I also learned a few good ways to organise my clothes which I’ve actually stuck to as it just makes a lot of sense (like storing clothes side by side not in a pile). Anyway, long story short, I liked it.

The second book I read was Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman. Right, I’ve tried to start my review about this one three times now and nothing just seems to fit. I thought it was an OK book. It wasn’t amazing, but it was a nice read. It had its interesting bits and some crazy twists which were well done. Overall I’d say I enjoyed it and if you’re after a quick and easy read with some mystery then by all means go for it. Hmm… That doesn’t sound like a very good review. It’s just… You know how some books influence you more and some to a lesser degree or not much at all? Well, I don’t think all books can nor should be life-changing, some should just be simple entertainment. Which is what this books was.

Now then. I saved my favourite for last this time. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson. I’m sure you’re all getting a bit tired about me going oooon and oooooon about the Mistborn series but it’s just that good. If you like fantasy books with magic but are tired of the same old wands and mages then pick this up. I’ve never known magic like this before and it’s just… And the characters and the story and it’s all just. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I love it. Love it, love it, love it. That’s one of the life-changing books for me.

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That’s it for now. If you have any recommendations for what I could read next, let me know! 🙂

G.

My life, Stories

Lily, hold on!

‘Lily, hold on!’

‘What a brilliant piece of advice,’ Lily grunted, more to herself than to Poppy who’d called out to her, as it was almost impossible to hear anything over the wind whistling in her ears, not to mention the deafening noise the dragons made. She was currently hanging from a gigantic red one’s wing bone. She was holding on to dear life after their dragon had been attacked by another one of the creatures whose tail knocked her out of her position and almost off into the sky. At the last moment she’d been able to grab on to her dragon’s leathery wing and pulled her way back towards the dragon’s massive body in an attempt to get back on it. That plan had failed and she was all too aware that she wouldn’t be able to hold on for much longer, as her hands were getting sweatier and growing more tired by the second.

‘We need to go back or at least land somewhere!’ she shouted, trying to make herself heard over the continuous dragon roars and wind.

Poppy, who had managed to stay on the back of the beast when Lily slipped, nodded briefly to let Lily know she’d heard. Lily could see the panic in Poppy’s eyes. It wasn’t easy to fly a dragon on the best of days and today was pretty much as bad as it gets. The battle around them was raging on, drawing the dragon’s attention and the wind was picking up as well, making it even more difficult for the dragon to hear Poppy’s instructions. It took great skill and a powerful mind on top of years of training and bonding with a dragon to be able to control it enough to ride it. Poppy was young and inexperienced, but had been forced to take the reins anyway as they were losing dragon riders every day and needed to replace them or admit defeat. Without dragons they didn’t stand a chance. And they couldn’t afford to lose. Giving up now would mean that everything they know would be destroyed and millions would die. And the deaths wouldn’t be quick. The destruction wouldn’t be swift. It would be drawn out to ensure maximum amount of torture. They knew this as it had already begun to happen before they gathered the resistance and halted the doom’s progress.

Slowly starting to lose her nerve, Lily tried to swing her leg up again, as the dragon’s leathery wing beat down, but failed and nearly lost her grip completely. She closed her eyes, feeling tears and terror starting to overwhelm her. ‘I must hold on. I can’t let go. It’s not an option to give up,’ she whispered, to no-one in particular. She was out of ideas and about to lose hope. How could she not? They’d been in open battle for days and even before this she’d been in raid parties sent out to conduct surprise attacks on the enemy or scouting or bringing in more supplies. She was always busy, always in the thick of things. She was tired. It would be so simple to just let go and not have to worry about anything anymore. She was exhausted of trying to be what everyone expected of her.

Looking down, Poppy saw that Lily was really struggling so she focused all of her efforts once more on the dragon. She closed her eyes in concentration and thought: ‘It’s going to work. You’re going to hear me. We need to get somewhere safe. We need to land. I command you to fly away from the battle. Anywhere safe.’ She put as much conviction in it as she could muster, wishing that this time the dragon would pick up the command and do what she wanted. It was their only chance. Her magic was slowly waning and to be honest she was surprised it had lasted her that long. She had last refilled her reserves hours ago, before they set off towards the battle with the other troops who had been resting, if you could call it that. A couple of hours of fitful naps, more like dosing off from exhaustion than knowingly going to sleep. It was hard to get any rest so close to the war front. If you couldn’t get it out of your mind, it’d haunt you in your dreams. So it made little difference, but they were still grateful to know that at least for those few hours they weren’t in imminent danger from being burnt to death, thrown off a dragon, blown apart or any other common occurrences that came along with being in open war.

To Poppy’s immense surprise and relief, the dragon seemed to have heard and was now banking left, turning its back on the battle and making its way back. It didn’t take long for the dragon to get low enough so Lily wouldn’t be in mortal danger anymore. This seemed to encourage Poppy so she felt more confident when closing her eyes again and thinking: ‘Hurry.’ She felt the dragon speed up and looking down she saw the scorched ground fly by so fast it became a blur of fully burnt black and wilted yellow. Occasionally a grey rocky patch would break the monotony, but overall it was a bleak sight. Soon they were far enough so they were able to land.

Instantly Lily let go of the dragon, feeling drained. She tumbled and fell clumsily to her knees before collapsing completely. She was still alive. She could hardly believe it. She’d used the last of her magic to bind herself to the dragon as they’d been speeding off to safety. A few more minutes and her last drops of magic would’ve been gone and even though they weren’t flying that high, falling when flying at that speed would’ve been dangerous. So for now she was content just breathing in the smell of burnt ground and knowing that even though she’s not the hero everyone’s expecting her to be, she’s surprisingly lucky. And still alive.

As soon as the dragon’s claws reached the ground, Poppy slid off it. It wasn’t the most graceful disembarking, but little to do with dragons was graceful these days. Everything was rushed and technical, it was about practicality, not about what was right. That’s not something she wanted to think about now, however. She’d been lamenting over the poor treatment of dragons and her part in it ever since she was recruited to the army. She didn’t want to think about that either. She didn’t want to give in to her thoughts at all recently as a lot of them span around the horrors she’d seen, been through and inflicted. Attacking the enemy still meant killing and not all of the enemy soldiers were evil. Some of them were recruits like herself. The other side had just reached them before. She pushed all of that to the back of her mind and crouched down next to Lily. Her sister needed her and that’s all that mattered for now.

To be continued…

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The featured picture was drawn by my sister.

 

Books, Challenges, My life

Literally shaking with anticipation and excitement

To be honest I can’t believe I’m even writing this, but I feel like I need to share it with you lot. I’ve just reached the final hundred or so pages of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy and I feel like I REALLY want you to be a part of it.

I can’t remember when I was last sucked into a book like this, but it’s amazing. It’s all coming together in mind-bogglingly brilliant ways that I somewhat foresaw, but not to the extents that the book is revealing. I don’t even know if any of this is making any sense, I’m just SOOOOOOOOOOO excited.

Like the title says – I’m literally shaking. You’ll probably think me crazy, but I don’t care. To read something this great is just … I’m dreading the end because I don’t want to be done with it, but I know that once I’ve finished this post I won’t stop reading until I’ve finished.

Prepare yourselves for a post full of wallowing about how I’ve reached an end of an era, having finished the trilogy.

Ok, I can’t write any more for now. Must. Go. Back. To. Reading. Can’t leave my characters that long.

My goodness, I truly hope and wish that you’ve had a similar reading experience recently. It’s so invigorating.

G.