A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Hey all,

This was the Books Light the Way book club pick of the month for May 2016.

Rating: 4/5 stars (all will be explained :))

Plot Summary:

This book follows two main characters: Kell and Lila. Kell is one of the last magicals with the power to travel between worlds: Grey, Red and White. Lila is a thief who lives in Grey London (the parallel to Kell’s Red London).The doors between the Grey, Red and White are locked to all but those with the power of travel; this causes some resentment among the worlds which escalates in this book when the boundaries of these worlds are brought closer together…

[Yes my summary is vague but I think its best you go into the book with a clear head as there is a long explanation in the beginning]

DSOM - Quote

My Review:

  1. Setting – I feel as the different settings for the different London’s were very well developed thanks to the large amount of world building at the beginning of the book which held a large amount of desciptive language. This made imagining the various London’s very easy
  2. Pacing – This was intially a very slow read for me as the first 1/3 of the book was dedicated to world building which I personally felt compromised the plot a bit. However, once I got past the tremendous amount of world building it became an intriguing read which I got through reasonably quickly.
  3. Character Development – The characters were all built very solidly which I enjoyed. Lila in particular was a solid character who I felt complimented Kell very well and aided strongly in his character development.
  4. Plot – I felt this was a very good plot and unique in concept which I enjoyed immensly; due to the complexity of the plot I can forgive the large amount of initial world building which aids in the reader’s understanding of the plot.
  5. Writing – It was largely a very descriptive style which I didn’t mind as much because I didn’t feel it was extrememly overly descriptive; the descriptions used were necessary to the plot rather than being included just for the sake of it.

Victoria Schwab - AGOS

Overall… I think it was a solid start to the high fantasy series that I feel could almost be a stand alone. V E Schwab managed to tie up many loose ends and I’m excited to see where she takes the series in A Gathering of Shadows (BOOK 2).

March and April 2016 Wrap-Up

Hey all πŸ˜€

long time no post… and I am very sorry about that – but I have been super busy which has held me off reading 😦 this means my book count has been low – luckily I am currently on my last week of University so therefore I will have from May to October to dedicate myself to reading πŸ™‚

So without further ado…lets get into my wrap-up!

March:

LC - Cinder

 

 

 

 

The one and only book I managed to complete was Cinder by Marissa Meyer #1 book in the Lunar Chronicles Series – a series I hope to continue over the summer. Conclusion: March not a good reading month hence I didn’t do a March Wrap-up.

April

Illuminae - uk

 

 

 

 

The 1st book I managed to complete was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This book blew me and I can’t wait for the 2nd book that comes out in October: Gemina. Overall 5/5 stars – check out my review for a more in depth analysis.

 

 

ruby red

 

 

 

The 2nd book I completed was Ruby Red #1 book of the Ruby Red Trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it a 4/5 star πŸ™‚ There is no review up yet because I decided to give a full trilogy group review rather than a singular one & this will give me a chance to collaborate my thoughts on the films πŸ˜€

 

Well… that was my wrap-up. I didn’t complete that many books which is disappointing but I was more concerned with my studies than reading unfortunately. Thanks for reading πŸ˜€ – btw about The Book Thief I am still slowly reading (I have to be in a specific mood to read it)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Hey all πŸ˜€ well Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was my book club’s book of the month. None of us had read this book and we wanted to see what they hype was all about πŸ™‚

So firstly: this book had been getting a lot of hype and its hype well deserved!

Second: the cover and the art style of the book was phenominal!

 

Third: Lets get into the Review!

Rating: 5/5 stars (I would give beyond that if possible!)

Plot Summary:

This book is centered around a young couple who broke up on the day their planet was attacked. They are both rescued from the destruction but are on two different ships. The story recounts their experiences on the seperate ships. – I know my summary is vague but I believe you should go into the story partly blind πŸ™‚

My Review:

  1. Setting – I think the settings were made very clear throughout the book due to the format of the book. The format is a series of files and p.m’s (the art styles were as beautiful as the book cover.
  2. Pacing – I thought that the book overall had a good pace. However, talking to people within my book club (Books Light the Way) – they really struggled to get into it at first 😦 – but I got into it really easily. Therefore my advice is bear with it the story sucks you in the more you read it!
  3. Character Development – the character I felt I personally connected to the most was Katy as her personal files within the book give us an insight to her own personal torment. However, I felt the majority of characters were given a good basis within the book that I hope is continued in the next book Gemina that is being released in October πŸ˜€
    1. Kady: Was the primary protagonist to who the story is centered around. I felt that she was a well developed character due to her private files and the p.m’s she had with Ezra and Aidan. I felt her relationships with the other characters added to her depth as a character
    2. Ezra: OK. Just gonna state the obvious: I loved him! I thought he was absolutely adorable πŸ˜€ The relationship he had with Kady was often serious AND comedic – like they would bicker like a normal couple and have fights about their relationship despite their serious
    3. Aidan: He is another of my favourite ‘characters’ πŸ˜‰ he’s a computer that I feel had a human psyche – his relationship with Kady really emphasised upon his human psyche.

illuminae - aidan

4. Plot – I felt the plot was very well developed. To be honest it completely played with my emotions! there were moments I was on the brink of tears or deliriously happy or feeling faint.

5. Writing – This is largly based upon the format of the book which is very unique. I think it was a different writing style that I really enjoyed that gave me a break from just plain text like normal novels. Also, the style of the book meant that I breezed through the book very quickly.

Illuminae and authors

Overall…This was a wonderful start to a series that I am eagerly anticipating the next release in October (If there were one ARC I would die for this year it would be Gemina πŸ˜€ or maybe Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas :D)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

[Quick Statement before the review: SO SORRY about no posts but unfortunately my university coursework has drained my energy and enthusiasm for reading hence I didn’t get much reading done in March (Hence no wrap up and TBR the same as for March)]

Ok now onto the review:

LC - Cinder

Rating: 4/5 star

Plot Summary:

This is an adaptation of the well known fairytale Cinderella whereby she is a cyborg rather than a human girl. However, the society in general frowns upon cyborgs and robots. Linh Cinder (Cinderella) is one of the best mechanics in New Beijing; therefore Prince Kai πŸ˜‰ commissions her to work on something for him.

[This is all I’m really going to say as I feel you should go in blind if possible]

My Review:

  1. Setting – The world building was very good. I liked how the world seemed reflective of our contemporary time whilst also adding an industrialist & distopian element. This really added to the sci-fi feel and genre of the book.
  2. Pacing – Near perfect I would say. The plot was kept productive – it wasnt slow or fast but kept a nice brisk pace with pleanty of action.
  3. Character Development – I felt that the characters were all exceedingly well developed
    1. Linh Cinder: She is the protagonist. I felt that her character was very thought out. You could understand her actions and decisions very well due to the excellent character development.
    2. Kai: He’s the love interest. What I really enjoyed about him was although he was the obvious love interest – his romantic relationship with Cinder was not emphasised upon; rather it was more a friendship/companionship element was emphasised upon.
    3. Dr Erland: He’s a character who I feel is central to Cinder’s character development throughout the book. I feel as if he almost stands up in the father role – this allows him to aid Cinder in her character development throughout the book.
    4. Iko: Is probably my favourite character in the whole book. She acts almost as an ice breaker in some of the most tense moments in the book which I really liked. She is the closest companion to Cinder who also aids her character development.
    5. Queen Levana: Her role as the antagonist is made clear throughout the book despite her limited presence. I really want to see how her role and characterisation is developed in the rest of the series πŸ™‚
  4. Plot – The plot I felt was quite original. Although you could see elements of the Cinderella fairytale it was used more as a starting guide than a restrictive wall.
  5. Writing – The writing style was very nice. I liked the attention to details that were used in the descriptions rather than large bulky texts of descriptions.

Overall… I felt as if this was a solid start to the series that I really liked but haven’t yet grown into love. Which is why I hope Scarlet will help me feel more depth in my emotions for the series.

March 2016 TBR

I know this post is getting out a bit late – sorry!

Currently I am reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer – if your following me on Goodreads you will know I am half way through it and really loving it!

I hope that if I have enough time I will get to Scarlet and Cress πŸ™‚

 

Also, I hope to continue The Book Thief by Markus Zusak on audiobook πŸ˜€

The Book Thief

I hope you liked this post – feel free to let me know your March TBR!

Feburary 2016 Wrap up

As usual for this year: feburary was a bad reading month…

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

My primary focus was on finishing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for the movie release. You can find a full review for this book on my blog at:

https://fromparchmenttobooks.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-book-and-movie-review/

Also, I began the Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

The Book Thief.png

However, I was starting to get confused at the beginning which made me think the audiobook may work better for me. Therefore I purchased it in audiobook which I am currently listening to when I have time.

Thanks for taking time to read this πŸ™‚

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Book and Movie Review

As the title suggests, I will be giving a review for both the book and film adaption of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies πŸ™‚

Well then lets get right into the review, beginning with the book:

 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Rating: 3.75/5 star

Plot Summary:

This is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s well known novel and later film adaptation Pride and Prejudice. It follows the protagonist Elizabeth Bennett and her desire to remain a warrior rather than a wife; in contrast to her mother’s and sister’s views on marriage as a necessity. Also, the story follows Mr Darcy and the development of hisΒ  relationship with Elizabeth which causes him to open himself up more emotionally. Overall, its a regency romance with bits of action incoorporated.

My Review:

  1. Setting – I enjoyed how this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice maintained the regency setting and emphasised upon the troubles of young warrior women finding a balance between fitting into a society with strict views on a ‘proper’ lady.
  2. Pace – The beginning of the book had a very good pace that was not too fast or too slow. However, I felt the middle of the book was very slow in pace due to the limited amount of action to make the plot move forward; hence why the book took me so long to read. Although the ending went very quickly and had me yearning for more!
  3. Character Development – As I referred to previously, I really enjoyed the development of Elizabeth who initially gave a perception of caring very little for her portrayal in society; but as the plot developed I felt that I began to understand Elizabeth more and more. I feel as if she’s a character who yearns for independence in a society that would frown upon this desire. Similarly, I loved reading about Mr Darcy and the slow exposure of his emotions; whereby initially he felt very cold and distant, but as it developed you see his justifications for his actions and therefore feel a sense of empathy for him. Mr Collins is a character that I feel was vital to the entirety of the book; he brought comedy to situations that would normally be awkward or terrifying.
  4. Plot – I feel as if the plot was very well structured; it was designed very well, but at points I felt that there was too much description and back-story rather than actual action.
  5. Writing – It was very well written with plenty of description which aided in visualisation.

Overall… I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it as a read; the only reason I felt that this book didn’t deserve over 4 stars in rating was due to the massive amounts of description that I felt slowed the plot within the middle.

Now onto the movie review:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - film poster

Rating: 5/5

I absolutely loved the movie πŸ˜€

Usually, I absolutely loath any form of horror in movies (I get scared really easily (NO JUDGEMENT)); but this movie had a good range of horror, action, comedy and romance.

Horror:

Well the zombies were absolutely terrifying for me; how they managed to appear in places and their bloody look. Overall, I salute their performance πŸ˜€

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Action:

I really enjoyed how badass the girls were; which surprised the guys. From watching a few interviews about the film; the Bennett sisters had to go through a lot of training and needed to be co-ordinated with the zombie stunt teams. So basically: GO GIRL POWER πŸ˜€

ppz clipping

Comedy:

In the film I give the sole credit to Matt Smith’s character Mr Collins; he brought such a light hearted atmosphere to what otherwise would have been quite overwhelming. Remembering the film now – one of my favourite scenes was at the ball when Mr Collins was dancing with Elizabeth; a scene like this stopped the action from overwhelming the film. So bravo Mr Collins πŸ˜€

 

ppz mr collins

Romance:

There were 2 main romances that were emphasised in the film; Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy & Jane Bennett and Mr Bingley. Therefore I cannot do a review without taking a moment to fangirl over the casting of both Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley:

Sam Riley;Douglas Booth

Sam Riley and Douglas Booth in Screen Gems’ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES.

I loved the development of these romantic relationships within the film. I thought that the film conveyed the development very well in reflection of the book.

ppz weddings

Overall, I really enjoyed the film and would highly recommend you watch it; even if you are unsure about reading the book πŸ™‚

 

Janurary 2016 wrap-up and Feburary TBR

Hey all,

This month was a poor reading month unfortunately as I am settling back into university with a pile of assignments. Anyways as an update:

FIRST BOOK OF THE YEAR:

Vampire Academy - Graphic Novel

A re-read for me which I highly enjoyed for the fast pace and cool art- for the full review: https://fromparchmenttobooks.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/vampire-academy-a-graphic-novel/

Other reading updates:

I am currently reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith; I am on page 109 out of 307. For me this is a slow read, so far it has lacked action to keep the plot at it’s initial pace.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I have also read the 1st story of Doctor Who: Timelord Fairy Tales which I enjoyed immensely and can’t wait to read the remaining tales.

Doctor Who - Time Lord Fairy Tales

I have not started The White Rose or Snow Like Ashes; I think I will leave them for a later date to reduce my stress load. (Just saying I will get to them EVENTUALLY!)

Feburary TBR

If I manage to get my timings right for my current workload then I should be able to complete this TBR:

Finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Doctor Who: Timelord Fairy Tales

To keep up with a undeliberate theme I will probably do a re-read of The Night World by L. J. Smith or Graceling by Kristin Cashore (or maybe both!):

 

Anyways thank you all for reading this quick post! Tell me about any books your reading currently or your going to read soon!

Vampire Academy (A graphic novel)

Vampire Academy - Graphic Novel

Rating: 5/5

Plot Summary:

This is an adaptation of the original Vampire Academy novel by Richelle Mead. It follows Dhamphir (half-moroi(vampire) and half-human) Rose Hathaway and her best friend and moroi princess; Vasilissa (Lissa) Dragonmir. Initially Rose and Lissa are on the run from the academy but they are brought back to the academy soon into the book. It follows Lissa’s struggles in royal moroi society as the last Princess Dragonmir and Rose’s struggles to become Lissa’s guardian when they eventually graduate.

My Review:

Before I get into the ACTUAL review, I wanted to point out that this was a re-read for me; unfortunately due to university coursework overload reading has become a backbencher therefore I wanted a quick and easy read. This book provided that as I managed to read it in 1 hour and 30 minuites roughly πŸ˜€

1. Setting – I enjoyed the visual art of the graphic novel that the settings enchanced our view of the characters. It was as if the pictures of the setting were created in order for us to focus on the character. Anyways the art is beautiful.

2. Pace – If you read my little note then you can tell that I read this book very quickly showing the pace was very quick – which made it a quick read when you have a little spare time.

3. Character Development – Although the graphic novel doesn’t stress the specific characteristics of characters such as Rose who is snarky and overconfident; the art is really good in how it presents the characters as an inference to their personalities e.g. postures and expressions.

4. Plot – I like how this graphic novel was able to condense a large part of the Vampire Academy novel whilst still maintaining Richelle Mead’s wonderful plot line.

5. Writing & Visual Style – I found the art to be very good; it was simplistic in its nature which I thought was good in not detracting from the storyline.

Overall, I found this to be a very good graphic novel and a nice introduction for me into the graphic novel world. I would recommend anyone who didn’t overly enjoy the Vampire Academy series to give this a try!

Goodreads Reading Goal 2016

Hello my viewers,

I wanted to talk about my goodreads reading goal which was 50 books. However I have recently changed that to 40. Although the change is not that big; I feel less pressure to read because my goal has been lowered. I thought it would be good to list my 3 key reasons why I changed my reading goal:

  1. PRESSURE: Ok having a goal of 50 books makes me feel a bit overwhelmed since the beginning of the year has been rather unproductive so far; I feel as if I should read more books yet I haven’t felt like reading as much. I would rather have a smaller goal so I have less pressure.
  2. WORK OVERLOAD: Currently I am in my 1st year of University doing History; with university; there is a LOT of stress to write essays, critical commentaries, reviews and do extra reading – I know I NEED extracarricular reading for leisure time but having a high goal like 50 books makes me feel pressured rather than relaxed.
  3. STUDY ABROAD POSSIBILITIES: I am fortunately lucky to be able to have the opportunity to go abroard for a semester from september to janurary of 2017; this may restrict my reading time greatly but I hope to counter it with audio books. However if this isn’t possible I’d rather not be stressing over finding access to books whilst abroad.

So these are my reasons for cutting back on my reading goal but who knows! During the holidays I may smash that reading goal or come under it.