My Reading Wrap Up | May 2017

As I’ve said, I’m currently slap bang in the middle of my exams and sadly I haven’t had all that much time for reading. But, as I love reading so much, I make sure to read some pages when I wake up and before I go to sleep, so I’ve managed to complete a couple of books this month.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

So, I tried to read this book a while ago and couldn’t get past the first three pages. I started panicking that all the hype surrounding this book had killed it for me but I calmed myself, put it down and then, a while later, I picked it up again. And there was obviously something wrong with my mindset at the time because reading it now, I absolutely loved every single aspect about it! I adore all the characters and the humour and the complex plot and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Leigh Bardugo has obviously improved so much as a writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next!

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Cat’s Cradle by Julia Golding

I’ve finally finished my task in re-reading this series that I was absolutely enamored with when I was a few years younger. This definitely isn’t my favourite book in the series, mainly because it is away from the thriving and amazing city of London, but I still enjoyed the writing and the characters and seeing how far they’ve developed since the beginning of the series. I’m sad that it’s over!

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Doing It by Hannah Witton

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My TV Listings | May 2017

I’m currently right in the middle of the exam season which means that TV programs aren’t exactly the first on my agenda but I have been trying to watch a couple of things here and there.

The Graham Norton Show

I’ve obviously been making time for my favourite chat show because not only does it perk me up, it yanks me back to the real world and some pop culture!

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This show had some really poignant episodes this month that were slightly different to its usual format – they had a much stronger message behind them, particularly the episode ‘Moo Moo’ which dealt with police brutality and the idea of being a black man in America. This episode was so moving and important and was handled really well in my opinion; I love this show all the more now!

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Quote Me #9

Back again for some more great quotes!

1) Amy: This one says Die Pig. And worst of all, they didn’t put the comma between die and pig. (Brooklyn Nine Nine)

2) Peter Quill: You look like Mary Poppins.
Yondu: Is he cool?
Peter Quill: Hell yeah, he’s cool.
Yondu: I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!
(Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

3) Prince: [dancing with her] What? What is it?
Belle: [smiles] How’d you feel about growing a beard?
(Beauty and the Beast)

Mid-May Favourites

Today was my first day of exams so from now until mid-June I’m basically snowed under with revision. That said, I’ve still been finding time to discover a couple of new favourites this month and particularly my film favourite, I am completely obsessed with! That said, this list definitely isn’t up to my usual standards and I’m sorry!

Film:
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)
Director: James Gunn

Obviously, if anyone knows me, I am going to be obsessed with the newest Marvel release. I know that the majority of people love this film, though some people are sitting on the fence, and I am firmly in the camp of absolute adoration. This film was quite different in tone from the first one and was definitely more emotional and moving but was still full of brilliant songs, amazing characters and the humour that all Marvel films are jam-packed with. This film was so engaging and enjoyable and I encourage everybody to go and see it!

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Book:
Six of Crows (2015)
Author: Leigh Bardugo

I can’t believe that the first time I picked this book up I couldn’t even get through the first five pages because now I am fully obsessed with this book. I love all of the characters because they’re so complex and engaging and are characters that I’ve never read about before. This world is so vivid and dark and gritty that I just want to discover more about it and the plot was perfect – who doesn’t love a good heist novel? I can’t wait to read the sequel!

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Album:
Grease Live Soundtrack (2016)

After becoming absolutely obsessed with the Hairspray Live soundtrack, I figured I should give Grease Live a shot as well. Now, Grease isn’t actually one of my favourite musicals (with is a very unpopular opinion) but I’m pleased to say that I absolutely adored it. Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher are incredible in this and I have been listening to every single song on repeat.

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The Playlist Shuffle Tag #15

Here we go again!
1) Lethargy – Bastille
2) Stone Cold Sober – Paloma Faith
3) Wish That You Were Here – Florence + The Machine
4) Courage and Kindness – Patrick Doyle
5) Stay Alive – Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
6) Madhouse – Little Mix
7) Everybody Wants To Be A Cat – Charles Perry
8) Losing Sleep – John Newman
9) On My Own – Samantha Barks
10) Left Right Left – Charlie Puth
11) That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
12) Love Runs Out – Noah Guthrie
13) Happen – Emeli Sandé
14) If You Really Love Me – Stevie Wonder
15) Fifty Checks – Tom Wopat

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Review

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I first gave this book a shot what must be almost a year ago and I couldn’t even get past the first few pages. Terrified that all the hype surrounding the book had ruined it for me, I put it down and didn’t touch it for a while. I recently gave it another try and I honestly have absolutely no idea what was wrong with me. I absolutely adored this book this time around and now I can fully understand why there was so much hype surrounding this book when it came out. It’s worlds away from the Shadow and Bone series and it’s amazing how much she’s improved as an author in just a few years, which alone makes me excited about her future books. I absolutely adored the characters in this book as they are all so unique and not characters that I’ve ever read about before. Their dynamic is fantastic and the way they joke around and yet still care deeply about each other is something I loved reading about. I loved the plot because who doesn’t live a heist and all the political commentary that was hiding under the surface. I thought that this book was absolutely amazing and now I need the sequel because this ended on the biggest cliffhanger ever!

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached). Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world). Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it). Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

First, let’s talk characters because the characters in this book are amazing. I have a new all-time favourite character in the form of Nina Zenik. She is exactly what I adore in a character: she’s confident and sassy and intelligent and vivacious and I absolutely love her to pieces. I also love Inej because I could really relate to her on a lot of grounds – particularly her relationship and her thoughts on religion which is something that I’ve never been able to see in a character before. All of the characters are so complex and interesting and all have their unique pasts and flaws and quirks which I’m really looking forward to exploring more of in the next book. For the majority of the book, our 6 main characters are stuck with each other and their joking, sarcastic conversations made me so happy because I love witty conversations between witty characters.

Who doesn’t love a heist novel? And this book is pretty much entirely a heist novel. Obviously, there is a lot more to the plot but the basis is that our fabulous main characters have to pull off a heist. It’s fast and action-packed with twists and turns around every corner and because the story switches between each characters perspective you never really get the full story meaning there are lots of gaps and unanswered questions and as you don’t fully trust any of the characters, it makes everything a lot more interesting. I understand that the switching POVs could be hassle for some people but I thought they really added another layer to the story and made everything more interesting. The world is also wonderfully complex and layered and so vivid and I love it!

This book was engaging and heartbreaking and moving and it’s definitely a 5 star read for me. Now I need to read the next book!

The Be, Room, Cliff Tag #4

I haven’t done one of these tags for quite a while and seeing as I love celebrating strong female characters, I thought I’d do another!

1) Agnes Towler (Mr. Selfridge) v Lysandra (Queen of Shadows) v Elektra (Daredevil)

This is quite a hard one because each of these characters goes through a lot of terrible stuff in their lives but I think ultimately I’d…

Be: Agnes Towler – that way I get my hands on an attractive Frenchman and get to work at Selfridges
Room: Lysandra – she’s such a badass and I’d also get to interact with all the other Throne of Glass characters
Cliff: Elektra – she’s great but I’d never be able to fully trust her.

2) Morrigan (A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas) v Karen Page (Daredevil) v Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)

Man, this is hard! I love all these ladies so much! Grr…I don’t know! This is too difficult…*cries*…okay, fine…

Be: Morrigan – I’d get to have magical powers and hang out with Rhys, Feyre and Azriel (swoon) even though I’d have suffered through some horrendous things
Room: Elle Woods – I love her so much! She’s so fun and strong-willed and doesn’t let anyone stand in her way and I think having her as a best friend would be pretty incredible.
Cliff – I’m so, so sorry Karen! I love her determination and her resilience and the way she always views the best in people. I’m sure that Matt would save her though…right?

3) Nina Zenik (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo) v Tina Goldstein (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them) v Josie Mardle (Mr. Selfridge)

Again, this is a super tough one because all of these ladies are incredibly strong and powerful and don’t let anybody stand in their way. Hmm….okay…

Be: Nina Zenik – Nina is my favourite character out of Six of Crows and I love her to pieces and I would love to have her abilities and get to hang out with Matthias (swoon)
Room: Tina Goldstein – Tina would always have my back and be looking out for me as well as being really fun to hang out with.
Cliff: Josie Mardle – I refuse to believe that Josie would die in the fall because she’s survived so much hardship in her life that she would probably kill the cliff on the way down!

4) Andie (An Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson) v Amren (A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas) v Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows)

Okay, so this one is pretty easy…

Be: Amren – Not only would I get to hang out with the crew, I’d also get to be whatever majestic creature she really is.
Room: Inej Ghafa – Inej is such a strong and intelligent character and I just love her.
Cliff: Andie – Sorry Andie! But you just don’t live up to the others!

5) Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy) v Belle (Beauty and the Beast) v Queenie Goldstein (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them)

Aah, this is so hard! I love these ladies all to much…

Be: Belle – She’s my joint favourite Disney princess and one of my favourite characters ever so I have to be her, don’t I?
Room: Queenie Goldstein – I adore Queenie and I think she’d be a joy to live with!
Cliff: Gamora – Let’s face it, it would take more than this to kill of Gamora!

6) Palmer (An Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson) v Uhura (Star Trek) v Christine (Dr. Strange)

Okay, this is another easy one to finish…

Be: Christine – I love Christine and how strong and intelligent she is and I’d also get to hang out with Stephen (swoon)
Room: Uhura – While I might not be a fan of heights, I’d put up with them for Uhura because she’s such an amazing character.
Cliff: Palmer – Okay, I love Palmer but she sadly just doesn’t live up to the others!

And that was the Be, Room, Cliff Tag! I hope you enjoyed it and tell me what some of your answers would have been!