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3 Reasons I fell in Love with Anna and the French Kiss Series

So it’s official, I went and fell in love with the Anna and the French Kiss series within approximately 5 hours, after finally (months behind everyone else) jumping on the bandwagon to read. My hands were literally glued to Anna and the French Kiss, which I kept promising myself “one more chapter before bed” and ultimately forgoing sleep to consume the whole book. I read the first two books within the space of a day, and then decided I needed to draw myself away and lasted all of around a week, before succumbing to the calling of Isla and the Happily Ever After. (Oh, and mentally slap myself every time I read Isla phonetically rather than Ey-la – I have problems with saying that name as much as I love it!).

Love-Potion

By the point I reached the end of Isla, this was me; entirely star struck. What on earth had I just undertaken, reading contemporary, fluffy young-adult literature, finding genuine meaning, love, friendship and just all around elation?

So here begins my list of reasons to love the series, rather than composing a review for a set of books most of you have probably read/heard about, and you are honest to god bored of reading another mundane review.

1. THE CHARACTERS

I would literally compare how I feel about all the main characters: Anna, St. Clair, Cricket, Lola, Josh and Isla to how I feel (very nearly) about the Harry Potter characters. They are not perfect, they do have issues and they may not honestly be everyone’s cup-of-tea, however I found them quirky, relatable, fun and most of all likeable. Stephanie Perkins makes real effort to flesh out her characters, give them all backstories and connect them all in different ways, despite the fact that many of them end up living in different cities. Beyond these 6 main stars, she also brings in a plethora of secondary characters to support each individual, add more dimension to their character and make you understand them a little more.

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Just sayin’, six awesome characters here, six awesome characters there..

I can literally probably talk your ear of for a good hour about these characters, but I am going to pick one as my favourite. I have to say it has to be Isla, there was just so many times when I connected with her and understood her.

“Because I thought no one could love me.”

“And why did you think that?”

“Because I didn’t think I was worth loving.”

Hattie takes this in. And then she hits me in the stomach. I yowl in surprise, and she hits me again. “Don’t be stupid.”

Ow.”

“Everyone is worthy of love. Even a dumb sister like you.”  – Isla and the Happily Ever After

YEAH SHE MAY BE A BIT OF A DORKY, INSECURE IDIOT AND YOU WANT TO SLAP HER HERE, but that is okay, I did too and I am EXACTLY the same kind of person. Like seriously, Isla and her nerves (okay, I’m not nearly as bad, but sometimes I do stupid things and make situations awkward). Her doubt of herself, her continual pushing that things are not good enough (school nerd here), and just generally everything about her. Also her inability to handle painkillers – totally me.

“Oh, shit.” I tuck up a leg and smack my kneecap on the table. “Am I acting that loopy?” – Isla and the Happily Ever After

There were so many aspects that I loved, but the part that made me applaud Perkins more was that she made Isla realise who she was without Josh. SHE DID NOT NEED A BOY TO FIND HERSELF. WOOOO FOR FEMINISM. YES. GIRL YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT, GET WHAT YOU WANT AND THEN STILL FIND THE BOY LATER.

Anybody gathering that Isla and the Happily Ever After got five stars from me on Goodreads yet? Winking smile

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

And I realise…it’s okay. It’s okay if St. Clair and I never become more than friends. – Anna and the French Kiss

Although Isla is not the only book that Perkins does this in, she started it at the very beginning with Anna. SELF-REALISATION FOR THE WIN!

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2. THE SETTING

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“looks like a fantasyland castle – wet sand dripped through fingers, both sharp and soft. Bright construction lights are everywhere, and workers are tinkering around its massive spires in dangerously tall cranes.” – Isla and the Happily Ever After

I mean, I literally visited Barcelona this summer, I saw the amazing Gaudi’s church. (My beautiful photography *laughs* – it’s just so tall and I’m so small, there is undoubtedly neck cramp here. Yes it’s also the background of my blog!). THIS IS WHERE ISLA AND JOSH WERE. I mean, I literally love the fact that I was there, and so were they (I do remember they’re fictional, okay). Barcelona has to be one of my favourite European cities, it is just so beautiful. I think this has to also be why I connected to Isla and the Happily Ever After so much more.

We’re splashing towards the heart of Barcelona. Red- and yellow- striped flags – some with the blue triangle and star of independence, some without – hang everywhere from apartment balconies, soaked with storm. The city’s appearance is distinctly Western European, but it’s also filled with colourful architecture and steep hills. Palm trees and leafy trees. Purple vines and red flowers. – Isla and the Happily Ever After

Not to mention Paris, I love Paris. It has been a long time since I visited, but I have plans to go back next year and the majority of the setting was in Paris. It is such a beautiful, romantic city. Just downright being set in Europe won me over from the start because most YA contemporary teen fiction is set in America, and I don’t mind, but occasionally, I want something different, something European.

3. THE ROMANCE

Oh, Etienne St. Clair where are you? Oh, Cricket, the boy next door and Josh the troublesome artist.

I definitely have to say I found it hard to pick between love interests. As much as I loved Isla and the Happily Ever After, I do not think Josh was my favourite love interest. And whilst I think I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door the least out of them all, I do think Cricket was my love, the nerdy boy next door who cared about Lola and only wanted the best. There was just something so geeky and loveable about him.

I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.Lola and the Boy Next Door.

I mean – weeping – somebody come sweep me off that feet with such a line? Perkins just seemed to make it so effortless when she sweeps you off your feet with her beautiful way with words, and carefully crafted romantic proposals.

Perkins does not just craft an easy boy + girl = fall in love and happily ever after. She brings in the fact that people fall in love with people in a relationship and are afraid to leave them when it doesn’t work, but why? She talks about how we might be too afraid to step from our comfort zone. How we might appear to others, but is that truly us? I think despite the fact that this is contemporary romance and at times, fluffy, there are real issues that she tries to deal with subtlety and with love and attention that makes reading these books such a beautiful experience.

“Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to ‘Point zero of the roads of France’. In other words, it’s the point from which all other distances in France are measured.” St. Clair clears his throat. “Its the beginning of everything.”

I look back up. He’s smiling.

“Welcome to Paris, Anna. I am glad you’ve come.” – Anna and the French Kiss

There are just far too many quotes to take from all these books (I realise I have taken probably lots from Isla in comparison to Anna and Lola, but there was just something magical about that book for me. 

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How could I resist the charms of these three guys?

Okay, I will admit this series is not perfect and it seriously has its imperfections, but there is just so much to love. So much beauty in her writing.

But I don’t want to give you this broken, empty me. I want you to have me when I’m full, when I can give something back to you. I don’t have much to give right now. – Lola and the Boy Next Door

This is me and how I am currently feeling towards any other book. This is The Absent Historian signing out on a serious book hangover, after falling in love with Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and then having her heart confiscated by Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Now go read it if you haven’t already.

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Filed under 2010 Publication, 2011 Publication, 2014 Publication, 4 Books, 4.5 Books, 5 Books, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Dutton, E-book, Romance, Stephanie Perkins, Young Adult

Book Review: The Walled City

The Walled City

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Genre: Young-Adult, Crime, Fantasy, Gangsters

The Review

“There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.”

These are the words that drew me in from the blurb of this book. In all honesty, I was unsure about a book that talked of rape, drug culture, gangsters, crime, death and prostitution, never mind the fact that it is a young-adult book. However, that does not mean to say I feel it is wrong for such a book to be published under the young-adult genre. After all, the term includes ‘adult’, the term only refers to somebody slightly below adult years and we have to enable our youth to learn and be educated through some means, and we cannot continue to hide the world from them. So I think whilst this book is gritty, harsh and at times dark and discomforting, it is a book that holds meaning, honesty and a brutal reflection of what human nature can lead to, and I think it is a fabulous addition to the young-adult genre as not the typical read.

The Walled City was unexpected in so many ways. It focused on three youths, Jin, Mei Yee and Dai. They all had secrets, all had a past and the alternate POVS throughout the novel slowly began to unravel their lives, their pasts, their hopes, dreams and needs and I really connected with all three of them. Personally I felt the strongest connection with Jin who is out in the Walled City to find her sister. She is young, but she is determined, feisty and frankly I would not want to mess with this young fireball. She is an absolutely brilliant character and my heart throughout the novel was firmly rooting for her. That is exactly what I want books I read to do too, have me rooting for the main character and living the story with them.

Dai is a mystery, and not exactly the one I expected. He is a likeable, rather tortured character, but underneath the first impression of a prickly, mysterious and rather untrustworthy exterior, he also found a place in my heart.

Mei Yee is the character I connected least with, however I feel that is because we got to know her least. By the end I could see her as an equally strong individual as Jin and Dai, but she faced her own struggles, being sold into prostitution at an early age by her father and being locked in one building for her future, it does appear that she lives a dismal life. There are no real explicit descriptions of the prostitution or lewd events in the brothel, however there are a couple of rather sadistic moments of brutality from a customer and the master to be aware of.

Throughout the novel Graudin is challenging how human nature has allowed this ‘Walled City’ to be created which is a place untouched by the laws of society and police force so that drugs, crime and death can continue. It challenges how human nature can become so depraved. Despite all of this, underneath it are shining moments of friendship, determination, a genuine care for others, doing the right thing and family.

There is a small amount of romance in the novel, but honestly it is not the dominant aspect, in fact it is entirely limited in terms of the plot. This is one of the other reasons why I really enjoyed this novel, because it was a somewhat refreshing look at the young-adult genre without the dominant aspect being romance. It was about friendship, family and trusting others with not just emotions, but your life. Having said that, the romance was entrancing, well-written and it was genuinely built up to. I thought it fit into the narrative with a fluid ease and was not forced in the slightest.

When I finished this novel and found out Graudin had based her novel in part upon a place called Kowloon’s Walled City in Hong Kong which in some ways made her question the type of people that would be there and the happenings, it made it all seem more realistic and heart-wrenching. Obviously the novel is fictitious which leads to the kind of fantasy element, because I would struggle to label this city as ‘contemporary’. Although the genre labelling is one topic that I struggled with when it came to this novel. Despite all this, Graudin is making a clear statement against human trafficking and I appreciated the message of the novel.

Overall, The Walled City was a novel that sent my emotions into turmoil, tugged on my heartstrings and had me racing through the last part of the novel. I almost certainly applaud Graudin on tackling such a sensitive topic, not being afraid to delve into the grit and darkness of humanity and coming out the other side successfully with 5 shining stars that shows human nature is not all bad. An absolutely phenomenal addition to the young-adult genre, and so splendidly written that every word despite being full of grit and tension, was quite beautiful to read; I recommend it to you all!

Survival Chances: 87%

Expiration Date: 2095

Favourite Quotes *quotes taken from an earc subject to change on publication

But there are still more wishes in my soul than there are stars. I wish I could hold Jin Ling’s hand in mine, I wish Sing never tried to run. I wish the boy didn’t make my chest burn, make my thoughts soar like a phoenix. I wish every girl in this brothel could be one of the lucky ones. I wish, like the boy, I was somewhere else. Someone else. And on and on and on.

“I work alone,” I say quickly. I do everything alone: eat, sleep, run, steal, talk, cry. It’s the curse of the second rule: Trust no one. The cost of staying alive.”

We stay like this for a long time. Skin to skin under false stars. The ones that never fall.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under 2014 Publication, 5 Books, Crime, E-book, Fantasy, Little, Brown and Company, Ryan Graudin, Young Adult

Fangirl

fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young-Adult

The Plot

Fangirl is about a girl called Cather moving away to college, dealing with new people, new experiences, living alone and being without her twin Wren for the majority of the time, who is off partying and ‘living the college experience’.

Cather is a quiet, shy individual, who is awkward and geeky and still stuck in her world of Simon and Baz, characters from her favourite book series, who she writes tonnes of fanfiction about.

Fangirl also happens to be about growing up, learning to communicate with people, relationships and family. It has a lot of dynamics that make it about more than being just a ‘fangirl’.

The Review

Fangirl has to be one of my favourite contemporary reads, it also happens to be my first Rainbow Rowell book and I just could not tear myself away from the book. It definitely left a little bit of itself with me when I read it, especially when moving away to University around the same time as I was reading it, I could definitely understand and empathise with some of the situations Cather was in. Personally, I think this book will depend on the type of person you are, to how much you like it, in terms of whether you fall absolutely in love, or just like it.

Cather for me is an adorable heroine. She’s awkward, geeky, frustrating and always seemingly out of her depth, but she shows real growth throughout the novel and she is a likeable character. Her obsession with Simon and Baz, fictional characters, is kind of one I wanted her to lose throughout the novel, but she never did and whilst that annoyed me a little bit, I think it demonstrated that no matter how old you are, you can still enjoy getting lost in fiction, and manage to mature at the same time. Cather went through quite a few difficult moments in terms of family when dealing with her dad and his mental health issues, becoming estranged from her twin and meeting her mother who abandoned her when she was younger. It definitely shows Rowell was not afraid to tackle more serious issues with this novel, but then I liked how she still managed to interweave romance despite Cather’s blissful ignorance.

Levi is one of my all time favourite love interests, he is charming, cute and he cares about Cather. Despite the fact she is not aware that he flirts with her and goes out of his way to help in an attempt to get her to notice that he likes her, he does not give up. He is definitely a good guy, and the type of love interest contemporary romances should be projecting because whilst the ‘bad boy’ might hold appeal, he is not always the perfect guy for every girl or always a good role model. 

Finally, the bunch of secondary characters beyond this which were Wren, Reagan and the twin’s father happen to be fairly well developed in terms of their personalities, style and story. I wish in some ways we had gotten to know a little bit more about Reagan who is Cather’s room mate, but despite her surly exterior, I loved the way she took Cather under her wing and looked out for her as a friend despite saying she wasn’t that type of person. In addition to this, the twin aspect of the story was one I really enjoyed, and whilst for the first half of the novel I did not particularly like Wren, I understood her behaviour and style. I was pleased largely by the resolution of the plot line between the siblings and I definitely think the family aspect of the novel was important.

One of the reasons I loved Fangirl was because it became so much more than a contemporary romance, it definitely looked at growing up, discovering yourself and facing challenges with family and studying as you are away from home. There were a couple of aspects such as the lack of real resolution between Cather and her mum and the lack of knowledge about how Cather ended her Simon and Baz story that I would have liked to have seen more fully developed. Nevertheless, Fangirl for me had a lot of potential that it fully lived up to and I’ll be putting it on my shelf for a rainy day re-read when I need a book that is bound to tick all the boxes.

Favourite Quotes

“I know.” Reagan shook her head. “But you’re so helpless sometimes. It’s like watching a kitten with its head trapped in a Kleenex box.”

“You’re not the ugly one.” Levi grinned. “You’re just the Clark Kent.”

Cath started checking her e-mail.

“Hey, Cath,” Levi said, kicking her chair. She could hear the teasing in his voice. “Will you warn me when you take off your glasses?”

“How do you feel when I smile at you?” he asked—and then he did smile at her, just a little. Not like myself, Cath thought. She gripped his hands tightly, for balance, then stood on tiptoe, leaning her chin over his shoulder and brushing her head gently against his cheek. It was smooth, and Levi smelled heavy there, like perfume and mint. “Like an idiot,” she said softly. “And like I never want it to stop.”

The Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under 2013 Publication, 4.5 Books, Contemporary, E-book, Rainbow Rowell, Romance, St. Martin's Press, Young Adult

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

Mad Scientist's Daughter

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Genre: Science-fiction, Romance, Adult

Expected Publication: February 7th 2013 by Angry Robot

The Plot.

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Review.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot. I mean a robot to me has always been metal pieces controlled with complicated electronic circuits inside and sometimes, occasionally the robot may have a system that allows responses. However, Finn is a robot like no other. He was human, he felt human to me and ultimately I couldn’t displace him as not being human and this humanity that surrounded Finn made his story all the more heart-breaking because whilst our protagonist is following Cat growing up from a very young age to her later years which works surprisingly well across the novel, I felt that there was a strong focus through the novel on Finn and that viewing the world through his eyes would have really changed the workings of the novel because I would love to get into his mind and delve further because he has a complex character that is still hard to pinpoint by the end of the novel. I am frankly enamoured with Finn and this is probably why I sobbed quite a lot when reading The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

“His eyes loomed steadily in the buzzing light of the porch. His skin was much too fair, sallow beneath the swath of black hair that flopped across his forehead.”

Don’t get me wrong, this novel is far from being faultless, but I did really enjoy the novel. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a gritty novel that whilst it delves into the world of science-fiction, it touches on friendship, relationships, loss, grief and a changing world. It isn’t full of flowers and happiness, Clarke shows her versatility as an author as she takes on loss of close family relations, abusive relationships and coming to terms with your feelings for others and the meanings that truly lay behind these. I think the cover perfectly encapsulates the kind of desolation that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter delves into and the moon that becomes a very vital part of the story. If you are looking for a happy novel, then The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is not it and I suggest you run far away. However if you want something that’s gritty, emotional and an all around rollercoaster, but still manages to end of a moment of hope and love then pick up The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because I don’t see how it cannot fail to wow.

Cat is the protagonist of this tale and she’s a very complex character. Her relationship with her parents is rather turbulent, but I am thankful to say they are not absent. They show concern for her and whilst they aren’t always present they genuinely care for her welfare and their actions dictate that they only endeavour to give her the best with pushing her. Despite all of this, Cat is not a happy character and she comes with her fair share of her problems. Personally, her isolation as a child with only her robot tutor, Finn, for company and then her friendship group of rather unstable, gothic junkies through high-school lead me to say that this clearly influences Cat’s rather wild behaviour. She’s not an easy character to get along with and whilst I can’t say I liked her, I could connect with her and I found her issues and feelings moving and turbulent. She clearly felt conflicted throughout the novel about Finn and what he can actually be to her, after all, he is a robot and she can’t fathom his nature. It’s rather sad their relationship and the pushing and pulling that takes place and it’s always one of my favourite aspects of a romance to see a rocky path to love and these two take a real roller-coaster. Cat through the end of it, manages to stick to her beliefs after being a very flighty and indecisive character throughout particularly when she lost herself. I did like that she seemed to have matured and found a semblance of who she truly was by the end of the novel and this allowed me to like her more by the end.

“You’re welcome.” He regarded her with his dark eyes. Cat crawled forward on her bed and reached across the chasm between them to pull the chair, with him in it, closer to her.”

The one thing that I didn’t like about The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is that we had very little background to the state of the world and what had happened. Clare seemed to skip straight  over this and I was always hoping that we get some idea of what this “destruction” was and the extremes temperatures they had which all led to the robots being brought in to rebuild the world. I felt we had a great lack of world building for the past and this was Clare just seemed to drop. Everything else about the novel excelled because it was so character driven with fantastic, primary and secondary characters, but the history of the world seemed to vanish. For me, with this, Clare’s novel would be in a whole other league, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it immensely.

Finn is a robot and that will not change no matter how much humanity you apply to him and this was an interesting concept to deal with. I can see how this may make some people uncomfortable in reading because of that, but if you look at the perspective of his behaviour and his feelings then he’s not just a hunk of metal. You need to push aside him as a robot, and look at the romance and Finn as a person because he can be moving and he raised emotions in me. He was a character I grew to respect and love and he’s the reason I kept crying. If it were not for Finn, I do not think The Mad Scientist’s Daughter would be quite the same and I’m afraid my favourite Star Wars robot, C-3PO has been replaced by a new one who’s after my heart. Clare clearly excelled with Finn’s character and I think she worked wonders on the angle of the robot. She also followed this up with protests and underground groups working to gain rights for robots and the changing environment of the world meant that robots were being accepted and I liked the political aspect of the novel and Finn’s character because he was clearly entangled with these elements.

“I can’t tell you what it means to be the only one of my kind,” he said. “I can’t… There is a lack in myself. But your thesis almost filled it in. It was… a start.”

Clare does a fantastic job of building up secondary characters and relationships outside of Finn and Cat because the novel does focus on their relationship it does not solely revolve around it. Clare builds a world up around Cat, so we can only see the world and the people that she connects with. Outside of this we are blank, but because Cat seems to run into lots of people it actually works surprisingly well because we don’t feel confined to just a few characters. The strongest characters I feel are Cat’s parents and in particular her father who plays the strongest secondary character in the novel, but this is probably important because he is the “Mad Scientist”. I didn’t think this aspect of the novel was played on strongly enough about him being the “Mad Scientist” because whilst Cat dealt with issues from other teenagers it was never truly explored. The meaning of this name is implied, but it’s never stated obviously and I think Clare could have explored it a lot further to a greater advantage of her novel.

Through The Mad Scientist’s Daughter Clare presents her versatility of an author to broach both into Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction as you may more commonly know her as the author of The Assassin’s Curse and this novel is incredibly different. I like that the two novels were very different and reflected two entirely different meanings and that she didn’t try to apply the style of The Assassin’s Curse to The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because she made them two entirely different things. If I’m honest, I enjoyed The Mad Scientist’s Daughter more because I thought it was more developed in meaning, but that The Assassin’s Curse has the stronger world foundations. Either way I recommend both novels without reserve, but suggest if you prefer young-adult that you stick to Clare’s The Assassin’s Curse.

Overall, whilst I can nit-pick at The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and I do not see it as a perfect novel, it is one that I could connect and enjoy despite my emotional outbursts and this is what makes it one of my favourite releases of the year so far. Perfection does not always equate to enjoyment in my opinion, so I think despite the few points of contention that you may have with The Mad Scientist’s Daughter or people’s queasy reaction over Finn as a robot, you shouldn’t disregard this novel because it is definitely a stunner in the making. There are lots of brilliant elements that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter manages to encapsulate with the emotion, the characterisation, the politics and the pacing that whilst this novel pushes being quite lengthy keeps it moving and kept me reading. I’ll be looking out for more works from Clare because she’s an author to watch out for.

*quotes taken from an uncorrected arc e-copy provided by Angry Robot via NetGalley.

5 books 

 

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Filed under 2013 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, Angry-Robot, Cassandra Rose Clarke, E-book, Romance, Science-Fiction

Rebecca

Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Genre: Gothic, Classics, Romance

Published: January 30th 2003 by Virago Press Ltd

The Plot

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

My Review

Rebecca is a novel that haunts you long after you’ve set it aside. It wriggles its way into your brain and has you recounting every event to try and define the very moment that such extraordinary events took a turning because it blindsided me. I found myself unable to pinpoint within the novel a point of elusion to such events and it was utterly fantastic. To be so shocked by the novel really shows Maurier to have a craft. We recount the naive footsteps of the new Mrs de Winters as she recalls her youth and innocence at becoming Maxim’s second husband and the events that conspire to amount against her and test her very strength.

The way in which Maurier delivers the novel means we very much see the world through Mrs de Winters eyes and her utter ignorance at the world is enlightening because we learn with her as she begins to stand on her own feet and discover the world. She’s so childlike and desperate to learn and please and it’s rather endearing at first because there is this drive in her to succeed and she just continues to stumble. She appears to be rather a weak and sappy character and whilst some protagonists fail to make any development, Maurier completely diverts her character into somebody who has been forced rather brutally to grow up in only a few moments. From the feeling of drowning and not being able to survive she is once again thrown into a colossally damned situation and manages to recover herself that makes her character truly courageous and strong by the end of things.

“I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.”

Rebecca is definitely a novel that touches on appearances to be deceiving because not only does it appear to fit into so many genres from mystery, to romance to the Gothic, it is most certainly a hybrid of genres, the plot and the characters change beyond belief throughout the novel and Maurier teases us with little glimpses of a truth and a dark side, to slowly unveil the truth of Rebecca. After all, the novel at first sight appears to be about a woman Rebecca who is indeed present, but only in the ethereal sense because she haunts the characters lives and manipulates their emotions even whilst dead. This makes the novel so distinctly Gothic in the effect that ricochets across all their lives from a dead woman. It’s so unnerving to think the presence of a dead woman could unsettle a house so much and this makes Maurier’s Rebecca so infinitely gripping that you are kept on tenterhooks as you turn each page waiting for the new bombshell to fall and to twist the story again.

There are some critics who dismiss Maurier’s Rebecca as merely a “Gothic Romance” but honestly the romance is focused on very little as a romance. There is a focus on the relationship and the dynamic of this relationship and to how events impact upon their lives. The tensions between the Winters and the strain that Rebecca the dead women, haunting the house who continues to drive the couple further and further apart without even trying and it makes for an engaging and thrilling read. Rebecca touches every aspect of their lives and I found it so utterly intriguing to watch the romance that seemed so perfect if not rather awkward at the beginning begin to crumble because of doubts and misgivings that unravel by the end of the plot and change a whole spin on my previous perspective.

“Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me.”
“Do you mean you want a secretary or something?”
“No, I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool.”

Maxim is a man that baffled me from the very moment the novel began until the very end. I had a very turbulent relationship with his character because his mood swings were rather violent. He could appear loveable and doting and the next he was a brooding angry mess. His character was so wrapped up and secretive that I could never truly fathom him, but I think this was partly the nature of the narrative that makes Rebecca so utterly engaging because we see the world through Mrs de Winter’s eyes and she never truly understood Maxim. There always appeared to be a rift between them and whilst I never disliked his character and he appeared strong and dashing and everything a love interest should be, I found I could never truly like his character either. It is not that I felt indifferent to him, I just can’t place whether I could place him directly in one camp of emotions because he was so diverse and changing. He never settled because he was in this constant state of agitation and this reflects into Maurier’s protagonist, Mrs de Winters and that keeps the pace of the novel forever pushing forward when it seems as though we are about to drag.

The most fascinating element of the tale is Rebecca and how she was reflected her in her hut, the decor of Manderley, the ball every element of Manderley could be seen by Mrs de Winters as reflecting Rebecca. She was constantly present and this is what made Maurier’s recount of a dead woman so effective.

Then there was the cold, hard and rather sad Mrs Danvers. Its safe to say I abhorred the woman, but equally I felt deep sympathy for her sad attachment to Rebecca who seemed to be her very reason for life. She made a fantastic villain and it is very often that we see somebody so dark and seedy becoming a villain or terrifying and monstrous like Frankenstein’s monster in the Gothic. However Mrs Danvers appears to be a women driven mindless by devotion to Rebecca which drives every action of hers and leaves pour Mrs de Winters terrified. Ultimately though, I found that Mrs Danvers is a woman I could not like under any circumstance because however she appeared to be motivated by love, her actions filled the book with hate and rage that made her an unsightly character.

I simply adored the setting of Manderley it was so encompassing and suffocating in its stature and reputation. The idea of the old house that was so poignant and Gothic. I could so clearly image this dark, almost brooding house in my imagination with the vivid red flowers that cloaked the side of the house. It only adds to Maurier imbedding symbolism everywhere in Rebecca and the little connections and misgivings and feelings that you got when reading it, all added up to making it a wonderful experience.

Classics have not been a genre I’ve ventured far into, but with Rebecca I found a new door and a new avenue in which I genuinely found a magical experience in that wasn’t clustered with archaic language that took hours to unravel, but the complexity of the plot made up for the simplicity of the writing style (in comparison to something as Austen) and that made it all the more enlightening that I found nothing to be the same in Rebecca. For me, Rebecca can never just be a “Gothic Romance” because it is so much more and undeniably one of those tales that shall sit with you long after reading. It is a novel I am desperate to get on my shelves and whilst the ending isn’t entirely fulfilling in its rather tragic way that leaves one pondering what can really come, particularly from whence we came in a place not known, it is one that I would love to read again and a novel that I recommend without a doubt to each and every one of you!

We’re not meant for happiness, you and I.”

4 books

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Filed under 2003 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Classic, Daphne Du Maurier, Gothic, Paperback, Romance, Virago Press Ltd

Legend Unleashed

Legend Unleashed

Legend Unleashed by M. Latimer-Ridley

Genre: Fantasy, Werewolves, Romance, Young-Adult

Published: Published October 26th 2012 by Cranmer Publishing

When an infamous criminal is unleashed from his prison, it has consequences for everyone in Carwick. Temperance Levinthal in particular…

Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life.

Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.

After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.

They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.

However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.
There are secrets within secrets.

Even Alastair may be more than he seems…

My Review:

I simply adored this book because from the very first moment I stumbled across Latimer and Ridley’s blog I was intrigued by the premise of this book and all the art work, youtube videos and little teasers of the book being formed excited me and when they asked me to review, I just knew I couldn’t say no. I’m so glad to say this book didn’t let me down, not one bit. I didn’t want it to end, I kept stopping just because I couldn’t bare to see the end of this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect, but it’s quirky, original and everything that I adore so for me this is the werewolf book I’ve been looking for, this is exactly what I want a book to do. It drew me in, excited me and I engaged with the characters and it’s safe to say a book of 2012 I will not forget.

This book has a little bit of everything. Romance, fantasy and mystery in abundance. It’s clearly the driving force that makes the book so engaging and whilst I will admit there were points and still points that have left me a tad confused, this book was undeniably a guilty pleasure. Oh and this book was gory too and exciting. It was thrilling on all kinds of levels as well as having this low level romance that bubbled throughout, but didn’t take over the story.

“A bloodcurdling howl echoed throughout the cavern. Claws dug into his back, slicing through the muscles. A piercing scream ripped from his throat. Fangs nicked at his neck; the warm rush of blood blurred his vision and his head was yanked back.”

On top of all the gore, mystery and adventure that happens in abundance there is the romance. Now don’t be put off by this book because first appearances are very much deceiving. When you begin to read it appears to become a point where we meet a love triangle, but what makes the book so entirely loveable is how it completely eliminates this direction and surprises you in doing so. Meanwhile, enjoy the bubbling tensions and antagonisms between the characters because it is so deeply entertaining!

“Halvard stalked over to her, invading her personal space. She gasped and bumped back up against the wall away from him. His handsome face drew level with hers. He was growling.

He brushed a fingertip over her cheek, drawing back a strand of her hair. His striking amber eyes bored into hers.

“I’m not an adolescent pup. I don’t show just any female affection. All you need to do is tell me to stop…”

Temperence isn’t the highly intelligent super-freak that seem to have become normal or entirely stupid, she’s a nice balance somewhere in-between and there was only a rare moment where I wanted to bash her head against a wall because she was so oblivious. However, I think this only makes her character more realistic and how much there was for her to unravel about the time was exciting because little pieces of information were slowly released to you to fit together a puzzle as Temperence was too. There was lots of surprising elements about Temperence that really made her a victim, but she was a strong character even though she was put into this position and I appreciated this about her. She was a very likeable character.

The plot for this story is eccentric and weird, but this makes is so engaging and creative. It drew me away from the real world and really immersed me in every element of Temperance’s story and all the little associations and mysteries of Carwick that surprise you at every turn. One of my favourite little quotes to share.

“Little Alice here is taking a trip down the rabbit-hole with you then,” Winthrop mused.”

Overall, I would recommend this book without a doubt and suggest that everybody get themselves a copy of Legend Unleashed because M. Latimer-Ridley have some real talent and I cannot wait for more from them!

5 books

Nerd Fact

There is an actual mental illness called lycanthropy or clinical lycanthropy where the patient believes they have actually transformed into or can transform into a animal such as a wolf.

 

Extra Nerdy

 

This video has to be one of the quirkiest things I’ve seen. I’m not usually a fan of book videos, but this one works really well with the shadows and giving you a brief, but intriguing overview of the novel. And it’s only 54 seconds long so it doesn’t take much time at all.

Fulfil the inner nerd and find out even more here!

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Cranmer Publishing, E-book, Fantasy, M. Latimer-Ridley, Romance, Wereshifters, Young Adult

Pushing the Limits

Pushing the LimitsPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Genre:
Contemporary, Romance, Young-Adult
Expected Publication: July 31st 2012 by Harlequin Teen

 

So wrong for each other…and yet so right. No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Review:

I just couldn’t put this down! From the very first moment I began this book I was drawn in and it literally became an addiction to finish. I stayed up late into the early hours of the morning to finish this book and I can safely say it has been an awfully long time since that happened! The last book I remember doing that with was one of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books.

Whilst I wouldn’t call this book the perfect piece of literature (which I don’t believe there is) and it did have faults, I found that this book really evoked a response and an eager need to read in me, which I feel like I’ve been lacking in quite a few of the books I’ve read lately. So the refreshing feel this book brought me, certainly moves towards its appeal!

The models on the cover are close to how I depicted Noah and Echo in my mind, and I think it represents their relationship well.

Noah and Echo were two fantastic characters! Echo is a troubled teen girl, but I didn’t feel any of the usual rather annoying teen problems. Through Echo we tackle the issues of mental health and the view of the world. We look at the social pariah status she obtains from rumours and how popular people who were once her friends discard her for her choices. I think McGarry crafts Echo’s character to tackle issues in society in an emotional and realistic way. Not only does Echo move along a real journey over the book, I felt like I connected with her whilst reading.

We constantly split between both Echo and Noah’s perspective and this disrupted me at first, but then it began to flow really well and integrate the emotional response of both teens to get a rounded view on the plot.

Noah is a bad boy. However he has a side that is really in need of comfort. I’ve seen people point out that not everybody in foster care can end up in such a situation, but obviously his parents death had a profound effect upon his life and thus crafted his lifestyle choices. I don’t think Noah is a stereotyped foster care case, but he is a representation of a population of children that fall through the cracks in the care system. I found Noah suave and cheeky and whilst his mind might have been sex focused, he never pushed Echo passed a point she didn’t want to. He also stopped things when he recognised her inexperience which I really enjoyed seeing because it showed that teenage guys can be responsible.

They are two very endearing characters and their search for “normality” and a place to call safe and home is something that everybody wants and McGarry really brought this contemporary young-adult novel down to a level that could connect across the young to the slightly older generations! Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this book to my nan, I’d say anybody up to your thirties/forties is still likely to enjoy this!

This book is certainly emotional so be prepared for a roller coaster of a ride. You might need a tissue or two because I know I did! Also, be prepared to hate Echo’s parents. I can safely say, Ashley was the wicked step-mother in this story. She pretended to be nice and friendly, but somewhere beneath that it really felt like a facade and even by the end of the story, my feelings towards Ashley were not ones of kindness. Her father has redeemable moments and I could appreciate his character by the end, but they are certainly not loving parents that you could wish to be your own!

However, my favourite adult figure has to be the therapist Mrs. Collins who was smart and witty and always had Echo and Noah’s best interests at heart. I had to laugh at her road rage and driving skills, especially upon Noah’s many recommendations to teach her how to drive. For me Mrs. Collins was the saving of both Noah and Echo and she really was my third favourite character!

The only think I’d have to say against this book would be sometimes the pet names Noah seemed to create for Echo could be a tad overbearing. However, I think this is more McGarry trying to reflect teenage thinking because it seems the rage for you to call you girlfriend “baby” or “cutie-pie” or something else sickeningly sweet.

I can safely say I adored this one! It has to be one of my favourite young-adult novels of the year and I will be rushing out to get a copy for my shelves when it comes out. I suggest you do the same too! All I can say is, McGarry has certainly made an entrance with her debut novel.

My Rating:

5 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Contemporary, E-book, Harlequin Teen, Katie McGarry, Romance, Young Adult

Graceling

GracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore
Genre:
Fantasy, Young-Adult, Romance
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Published: October 1st 2008 by Harcourt

In a world where people born with an extreme skill – called a Grace – are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graces with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po’s friend.
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Review:

I’ve had Graceling a long time and I’ve finally got around to reading it as part of my TBR-intervention scheme. I didn’t know what I was expecting from this book, but I found it thoroughly entertaining, and fell just a little bit in love!

Cashore unveils the plot gradually and builds up the world as the story moves along and I appreciated the feeling and grit of the fantasy world. Whilst we ploughed straight into the actual story and didn’t waste time building up the world to start with, it took me a while to assimilate to the actual world of the book. However, once I did, I found the story flowing and engaging at every moment.

Fantasy is a genre that I dip into now and again, but actually really love when I read it! I felt like Cashore created a fantastic fantasy world. We are set up with seven kingdoms and Katsa lies in one of these seven, serving her uncle Randa. In serving Randa she travels across all seven kingdoms and we really witness an medieval feel with castles, sword fighting, hand to hand combat, trading ships and lots of other aspects. I feel like these things all make up a true fantasy world. Nevertheless, I felt like we lacked a little bit in knowledge about all the seven kingdoms and the organisation of the world, so I hope this will become more apparent as the Graceling Realm series continues that the seven kingdoms evolve into something bigger.

Katsa is certainly a strong, kick-ass female protagonist and I appreciated that she could fathom things out herself and defend herself. When it was necessary she had to divert her protection to others such as Po, but this came in only moments of real dire need. Katsa never failed to shoulder the stress, pain and work that some female protagonists certainly do in being ‘weak and vulnerable’ females. However Katsa is graced with the art of “killing”; this is not all it seems and makes for some very interesting development in Katsa’s character. As a leading character she makes a very noticeable progression and whilst she left me disappointed by the end of the story with the way Cashore wrote her, I could applaud her for sticking to her decisions firmly. In some instances I feel like my respect for her would have decreased if she’d have chosen to move back on the front she’s argued from the very start of the novel! Katsa is a very easy character to like and she becomes very endearing by the end of the story, especially with her friendship with Po and Bitterblue. In some ways Katsa reminds me of Katniss from The Hunger Games with her protective instincts and sturdy foundations as a character.

Po was cheeky, smart and totally irresistible. I fell in love with him from the very first moment we met him and I couldn’t help but vent my anger in certain parts of the novel where they came across trouble. However his self-pitying act at the end and his lack of taking firm control with Katsa over his feelings really annoyed me! And I felt like I was always waiting for more from him. He may have been the perfect, smart and caring character, but he had flaws that frustrated me to no ends. Ultimately I understand his self-pitying act at the end of the novel, but it became a little tedious for the couple of chapters it spanned over. I also felt like it was never truly resolved!

Raffin was a character I also really liked. My complaint here would have to be we never saw enough of him. He brought many light-hearted moments to the early part with Katsa when she was incredibly serious. I hope to see more of Raffin in the near future, because as the future king to the Middluns, I find it hard-pressed that we will not see him again.

Of course this young-adult novel contains romance, however this is very much NOT at the forefront of the novel, but I do think it added to the story. It was not insta-love. Although I felt like hitting Katsa for her behaviour because she reflected Katniss’ stupidity about love throughout the novel and I don’t think is necessarily a bonus point for young-adult novels: the female protagonist being stupid not to realise how many people are in love with her, it almost reminds me of Bella from Twilight which pains me to say! However, the fact that the romance had a progressive movement and still was being left open by the end of the novel could certainly indicate a new direction to young-adult romance because I don’t feel like there was sufficient conclusion to this romance. I hope these two will be witnessed in future novels as background characters to see their development.

Overall, I felt Cashore has a well-written, engaging young-adult novel that has set up a great start to the series and should go far. I had a few discrepancies whilst reading, but I wouldn’t say this deterred me from my overall enjoyment of the book. I’ll be looking forward to the next one when I get my hands on it and I’d suggest to fantasy and young-adult fans alike to pick this book up because it’s not one to be overlooked!

My Rating:

4 books

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Filed under 2008 Publication, 4 Books, Fantasy, Harcourt, Kristin Cashore, Paperback, Romance, Young Adult

Lord of Misrule

Lord of MisruleLord of Misrule by Rachel Caine
Genre:
Young-Adult, Vampires, Romance
Series: Morganville Vampires #5
Published: January 6th 2009 by Signet

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.
Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.

Review:

Wow! It has been an awfully long time since I picked up the Morganville vampire series. I own them all, but I just never seem to find time to read them. It was around last August I think that I read book 4 and I just haven’t found the right time to read this one. All I can say it, why didn’t I pick this book up sooner? It was fantastic!

I think Rachel Caine has such a talent with this series and the premise for the town overrun and ruled by vampires is fantastic. We don’t get sparkly teen angst from the Twilight series or the indestructible vampires she creates, but we get a hard core grit and pain from these vampires along with the towns folk that makes Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series so brilliant. The humans are almost ‘pets’ kept by the vampires and they control the town and who comes in and out. It’s quite sordid in an effect and really suspense building.

Not only do the books read well, she has some fantastic covers. I love looking at the covers of her books and this one is no different. We get some very pretty ones and it always boosts you up to read a book that is easy on the eye and just as good to read.

This one picks up exactly where the last one left off. However, I love that Caine gives us a little run down on what has previously happened in the last four books to jog our memory. My memory is pretty good, so most of it I’d remembered anyway, but for those of us that don’t have quite the memory, it’s really good to have that there to rely on. Another reason why Caine is such a wonderful author!

I didn’t find myself bored at a single moment of this book. I read it in around one sitting with a couple of breaks and I literally couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Claire is a fantastic character! She’s highly intelligent, brave and concerned for her friends. She puts herself into danger to save others and even to those she doesn’t like she always finds herself lending a hand. It’s refreshing to see a forward thinker like Claire in young-adult novels who is so highly intelligent and forward thinking on her own. She is literally a child genius and it’s a reason that I love the novel so much!

And, a real bonus to this novel was how highly unpredictable it was. I found that we were dotting everywhere like a ping-pong ball and it was exciting. It’s so easy for authors to fall into a stereotype of predictability and this makes Caine a very refreshing read!

The relationship between Claire and Shane is certainly developing in a positive direction and I find those two highly adorable. I am definitely a Team Shane man all the way. He’s protective and honourable and whilst he may have been the bad boy at the start, he really cares for Claire and it’s incredibly sweet. Shane is one of my favourite love interests that I read about and it’s safe to say I am entirely enamoured with the guy. The guy is humorous, quirky and caring and he steps out as brave even though he might be a little stupid, you have to appreciate his character.

The only thing I had about the whole novel was that Claire didn’t really learn much in this one or do much in the case of her brain or scientific. There are hints that she’s going to learn all about the portals with Myrnin, but it would have been nice to see more of an active intelligence side to Claire that we have seen in previous instalments to this series. Nevertheless it was a highly enjoyable read!

I felt like we got progression from the previous novel and Caine left us on a rather a cliff-hanger. It was highly unfortunate I didn’t have the next novel with me otherwise I know I would have started it straight away. Nevertheless I’m sure I’ll be picking it up soon, I know that I won’t be able to stay away now.

My Rating:

4 books

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Filed under 2009 Publication, 4 Books, Paperback, Rachel Caine, Romance, Signet, Vampires, Young Adult

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Author: J.K. Rowling

Series: Harry Potter #1

Genre: Fantasy, Young-Adult

Publication: 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Plot:

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

Review:

What can I say? I have adored this series since I first picked up the books about the age of 6 or 7. I was a very advanced reader and I remember hearing all the rave about these books. To be truthful, the first time I read this book it took me over a year to read it because I have lost it, but then when I actually sat down to read it, I was stunned that I’d allowed myself to lose it. From the first moment I started reading it I fell in love and became immersed in the world of Hogwarts. After re-reading again recently with a group of friends I can say the magic is still there. This book has to be one of the best additions to the young-adult and children’s genre of the 21st century and I can only say that Rowling really creates a magical world! This should definitely be what our literature is remembered for and if Harry Potter doesn’t become a classic, I don’t know what should!

I think re-reading the books brings a very new experience to the books. You certainly see things from a new angle and witness things that make you smile. I think you can still appreciate the books no matter your age and whether it’s for the first time or the hundreth, the magic is forever there.

This book for me has everything! We get the humour and quirky aspects that Rowling’s characters bring and the dynamics of their relationships bring a smile to your face. Then we get all the adventure and magic of their journey and it becomes highly exciting. There is not one point where the story drops to be dismal or disappointing. We witness a real journey for these characters and their friendship is highly endearing to watch. I truly cannot help but fall in love with the story and the characters.

The characters? We get such wonderful characters. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley are our three protagonists with Harry at the centre of all our attention. We witness how very different they are, but this draws them together as friends and their friendship becomes one of very firm grounds. It has to be my favourite part of the series that it stretches across all of the books and never fails. Then we have the likes of Snape, Dumbledore, Hagrid, even the Dursleys and Malfoy. The characters have real sustenance and honestly at times Rowling makes me almost forget these characters are not real people.

How can we not love these three? For me, I think they’re pretty perfect for the characters.

One point of contention I do have is the name. It is and will always be ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ never  will it be ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ which is America’s attempt to Americanise Harry Potter. I am very proud of Harry Potter for its British heritage and it certainly thrills me that we have the setting for it in England. Another reason why I cannot help but love Harry Potter because of its origins. It truly makes me appreciate the story more.

We get a fantastic plot along the way and if you enjoy fantasy and magic then this book is certainly for you. For anybody to say they dislike these books it’s surely a crime. However I’d suggest getting all the books to read—even if the last ones do get quite hefty—before you start reading because you’ll not one to stop reading once you start! Nevertheless do not allow that to deter you because they are engaging the whole way through!

These books to me are probably my most cherished possession and I look after them dearly. I often find the Harry Potter series to be a place of comfort for me to go and reside in. If I’ve had a bad day, I usually stick on the films, but reading the books brings so much more pleasure and thrill to me.

Harry Potter takes you through a descriptive tale that stretches your imagination while you follow a tale of friendship, love and good versus evil. It’ll never leave a dull moment and if you’ve watched the films, you’ve only more to gain from reading the books.

My Rating:

5 books

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Filed under 1997 Publication, 5 Books, Bloomsbury, Fantasy, J.K. Rowling, Paperback, Young Adult