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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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!

Top 5 May Releases

I am super, duper excited for this month (even though I have a shedload of school exams and am freaking out big time) because one of my most anticipated releases of this year is being released and I can’t wait!

1) A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
Release Date: May 2nd

I was excited about this book at the start of the year anyway but since re-reading the first two books in this trilogy very recently, I am beyond excited for it. The second book left on a massive cliffhanger with lots of unanswered questions and question marks hanging over characters heads. I really want all of the characters to have happy endings (particularly my baby Mor) and for the evil douchey guys (cough Tamlin cough) to get what’s coming to them. I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS!

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2) The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Release Date: May 16th

You guys know how much I adore romance and the romance genre as a whole and this book is taking some of the main features of the romance genre and is taking them and shifting them into a totally new kind of story. This book is an action, thriller and almost dystopian novel where a secret organization takes teenagers and gives them the skills to retrieve information. This book just sounds fascinating and I’m really interested in reading it.

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3) One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus
Release Date: May 30th

I adore suspense and mystery novels – anything akin to How To Get Away With Murder is right up my alley – and this book is literally dripping with suspense. 5 complete strangers meet and then one of them dies suddenly. If that doesn’t sound intense, then I don’t want to know what you’ve been reading! I don’t want to know anything else about this book and go into it completely blind because that way I feel I’ll have the most exciting reading experience.

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4) Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Release Date: May 2nd

For some reason I keep forgetting that this book is coming out but I’m so excited to read this book. I love this series because it’s so cute and uplifting and happy and seeing as I haven’t read any Jenny Han for quite a while, I’m really excited to get back into this world again and say goodbye to these characters that I love!

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My Reading Wrap Up | April 2017

This month was the month of re-reads for me as I was feeling particularly nostalgic (and I had to re-read some things for school).

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I really fancied re-reading some Sarah J Maas this month and since it had been a pretty long time since I’d read this series – and because the final book in the trilogy comes out in May – I decided to give this one a re-read. It isn’t my favourite book that Sarah J Maas has ever written but I know why that is now – because Tamlin is a tool but he’s supposed to be a tool so that’s okay. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book which I completely expected because I love Sarah J Maas.

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An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley

I then had to give this one a re-read for school, which I didn’t really mind because it’s pretty short and like most of the books I have to read for school I actually really like this book. I really love the character development and the themes that are explored in this play as well as all of the historical and social context behind the story.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I’m really glad that I decided to re-read this book recently because it definitely reminded me of how much I love this series and how highly I’m anticipating the third book in the trilogy which is being released in a matter of days now! The characters are all so engaging and complex and while this series is definitely more adult than the Throne of Glass series (despite the last few books definitely heading in that direction) I still absolutely love it and am super, duper excited to read the final book and catch up with Mor and Nesta (who are my favourites) and see them all get their happy endings – hopefully!

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This was another school re-read and while it did feel quite strange reading this book in the middle of Spring and I definitely think this is more of a wintery read, I still enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. This is the only Dickens book that I’ve read but I definitey want to remedy that in the future by reading more of his works and checking out some more of his famous characters.

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Mid-April Favourites

This month was a pretty productive month for me and particularly because I managed to consume a lot of different stories and discovered some new ones that I am wholly and completely obsessed with.

Film:
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Director: Bill Condon

Was it ever going to be any other film? This film was basically made for me: it includes all of my favourite actors, it is a musical, it’s set in France and it is based of my joint favourite Disney film of all time. So there was no question that this was my most anticipated film of the year and I absolutely adored every single second of it. It’s now my favourite film of all time (was there any question about it?) and I can’t stop thinking about it. I know that I am rather biased seeing as I have such a strong childhood connection to this story but I think that if you see one film in the cinema this year, make it this one.

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Song:
Mama, I’m A Big Girl Now (2016)
Artist: Original Television Cast of Hairspray! Live

If you guys know me at all, then you know that I am full-on obsessed with musicals and am also full-on obsessed with Hairspray. So, naturally, I am in love with Hairspray! Live. And this month, this song has been constantly stuck in my head and I’ve been playing on repeat. This isn’t even one of my favourite songs in the musical of Hairspray! but for some reason I was just obsessed with it this month.

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Book:
A Court of Mist and Fury (2016)
Author: Sarah J Maas

I fancied reading some Sarah J Maas this month so I decided to re-read the first two books of her A Court of Thorns and Roses series. And while I like the first book a lot more now I can see Sarah J Maas’s true intentions (those who have read both books will not what I mean), I like the characters from the second book a lot more and I loved having the chance to re-read it again.

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TV Show:
Mr. Selfridge (2013)
Creator: Andrew Davies

This is a show that I started a very long time ago but then for reasons that I don’t wholly know stopped watching it. But I decided to remedy that this month, having a random spark to start it again, and I’ve been absolutely loving it. I’ve been flying through episodes and I’ve become completely swept up in the story and I love all of the characters, particularly Agnes, Henri and Miss Mardle.

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Album:
Beauty and the Beast Official Soundtrack (2017)

As I said, I’ve been having something of an obsession this month so it should come at no surprise that this is my most listened to soundtrack of the month. All of the actors can sing amazingly well and the modern adaptations really add another layer to the classic songs that everybody loves so much.

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Review

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I’ve had this book sitting on my shelves for zonks. Literally. And it’s been sitting there un-read and un-loved and I’ve absolutely no idea why because I love Morgan Matson and have loved every single one of her previous books. All this considered, I finally managed to pick this book up and give it a read and I am so glad that I finally did. It reminded me just how much I love Morgan Matson’s books and also got me very excited for spring and summer, which was a feat in itself (funnily enough I am absolutely loving spring at the moment which is a completely new sensation for me). The characters in this book are all realistic and flawed and engaging and they all go through some crazy character development through the course of the story. This book is filled with humour and emotional moments and was a really enjoyable read. I can’t wait for the next Morgan Matson novel!

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.
Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.
So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.
Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

I have to say that at the beginning of this book, I was too sure whether I was going to really like it or not and that was for a couple of reasons. Andie, our main character, isn’t the best person at the beginning of the book and I was struggling to find anything to connect with her about. And secondly, the plot seemed to be very politics heavy at the very start which I didn’t immediately get engrossed with. But my worries were very quickly quashed. The politics soon take more of a back-seat and Andie soon begins to develop as a character and this was one of my favourite parts of the book. The amount of character development that happens in 500 pages is frankly terrifying and Andie in particularly changes so much into a much more likable and compelling character. As for her friends, I loved the character of Palmer and how strong-willed yet optimistic she was, I liked Bri and I didn’t really care about Toby. In fact, she annoyed me the majority of the time and I felt like she was a bit winey. I really loved the romantic sub-plot between Palmer and Tom and the cute moments that they shared together as well as Clark because who doesn’t love a cute author?

Another element of this book that I really enjoyed was the development in the relationship that Andie has with her father. These were some of the funniest and most enjoyable scenes as well as the most moving and I really enjoyed watching them grow closer as a family. I really could relate to Andie, particularly at her tendency for over-planning and trying to control the situation too much. As per usual, I found Morgan Matson’s writing to be really entertaining and quick to read. I did think however, and maybe it’s just because I’ve read so many of her books, that sometimes her description and action scenes dragged a little and some of her sentences were a little clumsy.

However, on the most part I absolutely loved this book. I was still thinking about it days after I read it and it really put me in the spring mood. I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars and now I’m super excited to see what Morgan Matson comes out with next!