Top 5 Classics

So I have enjoyed doing Top 5’s and Top 10’s but I haven’t been really enjoying the topics. But I came across Bionic Bookworm and I really liked the topics.

So here are my Top 5 Classics

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice And Men

So this is probably my favourite of all time. I read this in school and I really really loved it. It wasn’t until I was out of school and reread it an extra couple of time that I realised that I loved this. I admit I haven’t read anything else by John Steinbeck and I really should have.

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

agnes grey

So I did not expect to like this after reading Wuthering Heights but I really loved this. It was such a lovely, sweet, quiet tale and it really gave me a good insight into Anne and the Victorian era. I liked seeing the governess perspective and what that meant.

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

the sign of four

I am really ashamed of myself for having put of the Sherlock Holmes novels because they’re amazing. I really thought that it would be too difficult for me. I think I’ve always had that opinion of classics and the more I read them the less I think that.

The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

the catcher in the rye

This is one of the book that both me and my boyfriend agree on and that’s saying something. I loved the rawness and honesty of Holden and him confronting adulthood. A lot of people apparently hate this book but I love it! I think people should really read this and maybe understand themselves a bit more through the lens of Holden.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

the stranger

This is probably the most impact classic I’ve read. It has always stuck with me and really cause me to evaluate how I treat people and think about them and their actions. I struggled through this and cried my way through the end. At one point I threw it across the room because I didn’t want it to happen.


Writing about my favourite classics is just making me want to reread them all!

What are some of your favourite classics?

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ScallywagAThon Wrap Up

scally.jpgathon.jpg

You can find the rules and more about the readathon here

So this ran from May 20th to 27th – love an 8 day readathon. Really works for me. I didn’t think I was going to do it but saw BooksAndLala’s video. I thought – oh well, I’ll look at my shelf and see what I can do. Luckily I was able to do this.

I started at 4 with a ‘Fictional world you want to explore’

I’ve been dying to get back to Discworld with Terry Pratchett and I’m so happy that I did. This is just an all round good book that I think is really a growing point for it. It felt to me like we were starting to explore what is possible on Discworld. We seen what ‘real magic’ is and the difference that has to Wizards. Anyone should pick up this series. I know it’s massive but it’s just individual stories to enjoy so please don’t be intimidated by that.

5 stars

I moved onto number 8 a ‘Book that starts with R’

So for anyone that doesn’t know I really enjoy the show Shetland and knowing there were books I decided to pick Raven Black by Ann Cleeves up. I have read a book from her before and did enjoy it. This was different and I don’t think it was as good. It’s still interesting and I enjoyed the story and the mystery but the characters felt a little flat for me. It was strange to be in so many heads but I suppose that helped with the mystery. I did love being in Shetland culture and it just reminds me of home.

3.5 stars

Next was A for a ‘Standalone’

I decided to pick up History is all you left me by Adam Silvera. I have now read all his published works. And he frustrates me. There’s like no consistency with him for me. I don’t know if I like or don’t like this book. I think I’ve just become indifferent and I think that can be worse. I want to do a full discussion on Adam Silvera because I don’t think there’s an author out there that I have this amount of trouble with.

3 stars

Lastly we have number 9 with a ‘Female Author’

I had been reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte so I have included it. Classics are such a challenge to read and I really hated this book. Emily’s poetic writing is just not for me. I really cannot connect with this book or this story line. It just feels so stupid and ridiculous and completely unauthentic. I went to watch why others like this and  understand it but I don’t really fully agree with it.

1 star

So this was such a mixed readathon for me in terms of rating and in terms of genres and age range. I really like this readathon for allowing that mix.

Series Review – Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld et al

So I started reading this series when the first book came out because I had read Uglies but didn’t really like it then I read Afterworlds and loved it! I can’t believe that I actually picked this up in 2015! So I decided to pick this up and what I’ve noticed is that it’s a series that no one really talks about. I’m not saying its the best series out there but it’s really quite unique.

Before I go into anything else I would definitely say that any fan’s of Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series really should pick this up. It has the spin on ‘superheroes’ thing and I think they’re good comparators.

So Zeroes is about this group of teenagers born in the year 2000 that have developed ‘super powers’ but they’re not like traditional powers. I think that they’re more a twist on people’s personality and the power amplifies one element of someones character.

So we are basically following a group while they’re trying to figure these out without getting themselves caught and with each book this sort of amplifies as more and more people get in the way or cause problems.

It’s told from 6 perspectives and that’s definitely the strength of these novels. I really loved getting into each of these heads and hearing their thoughts and about how things affect them. The group really don’t feel like they would have been friends with each other if they didn’t have their powers so it’s quite an interesting dynamic.

There are some characters that you will really bond with and some you’ll instantly hate but grow to dislike. What I found interesting is that I had a character that I liked well enough to begin with but then with each book and each passing chapter I realised that I despise them. They’re so selfish and manipulative and argh!!!

The jump between each book felt really disjointed to me. With each book it took me  long time to get into them. However, I did enjoy them when I got there. The plot was pretty thin at points. Like there was one thing and it took forever to find out what it was really about and that let it down a bit.

This book is more for people that like friendship group dynamics and working together and as a team. It’s about overcoming obstacles together and growing with each other.

We do tend to stay in pretty much one but expanding to two locations throughout the series. I would have liked to maybe have seen other parts of the world because it does make it out like it’s a world wide phenomenon rather than just the US.

I honestly do think this series should get a bit more recognition than it does and I do recommend picking it up especially because the full series is now out. I think it would have been easier for me to have marathoned these because you do kind of lose touch over time.

I would give this whole series 4 stars.


I will say that reading a question on GoodReads about how many books are these one of the authors did say ‘3, so far…’ What I will say if that this does feel like a full 3 book series but I can see maybe how a side series or a companion series could be developed in this world.

p.s. the UK covers are MUCH prettier than the US covers.

My classics experience so far

So this year I wanted to get into more classics and I’m not going to lie it has been really hard. I really wanted to expand my reading but so many people decide that has to be through diverse books and that’s fair enough but I think classics are diverse in thought and they’re not like things we get in modern writing.

So due to circumstances I really have been getting sick of American based books – it’s just boring now and I really struggle to relate.

The classics that I have been reading have been England based (I want to branch out to the rest of the UK but they’re less popular) and it has given me a much better understanding of my history (I am Scottish however) and what people went through to get to where I am today. I am currently reading Wurthering Heights and being based in the North West of England currently (travel with my job) gives me a really interesting perspective. There are places being mentioned and I know that if I felt like it I could drive to them and see them. I think it just brings you a really different connection to the books and the stories. I really want to go to the Bronte’s parsonage museum and that’s really pushing me to read their books. I want to go to visit the places that these authors come from and are writing about. I want to go to Bath where Jane Austen spent a portion of her life. I want to go to Sussex, I want to go all the way down to Portsmouth and see the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle museum (he’s Scottish – did not know that until I picked up Sherlock Holmes)

So I struggled to know where to begin with classics so I just picked editions I like (penguin english library) and when I was in a charity shop or seen it for cheap I picked it up. Great way to do it for me. I also am trying (and slightly failing) to do the Bronte book club hosted by LucytheReader. That’s a good way to introduce you to 5/6 books of somewhere else to get started.

The most important thing I’ve found is that they take such a long time and can be really confusing at times. Don’t be afraid to google what it is you’re confused about and it might clear it up. For example while reading Wurthering Heights I could not figure out the narrator and just asked google – total epiphany.

 I big tip I have is read a small amount each day. The Sherlock Holmes books are 100ish pages they’re a piece of cake – loved them! But for books reaching 200-500 pages (not tackled the 800 pages beasts yet) I have found that sectioning off 2 chapters a day is such a life saver. It may take me 2/3 weeks to read them but the important part is that I’m reading them. It also means that I can read the easier books that I enjoy as well.

I understand that maybe you’re not the type of person that can read more than one book at a time so what I would say is that block yourself out more time for them. A 300 pages classic is going to take you twice as long to read it as a normal modern book at least!

You have to allow yourself the time to read them and not beat yourself up. Lucythereader is such a great channel if you’re looking to get into classics. Finding booktubers that focus way more on classics has made me excited to read them.

I would love to talk to people about classics if anyone is interested.

First Impression Friday – Undead Girl Gang

So I’ve seen this a couple of times and think it’s kind of interesting. The idea comes from JW Martin and the ‘rules’ are:

• Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
• Did you think you’d love and ended up hating it? Or did you think you’d hate it and wound up loving it? Or were you exactly right?
• Link back to Storeys of Stories so I can enjoy reading all the First Impression Fridays out there!

So I decided to do a book that I finished and talk thorugh what I thought of it at the beginning and then how it turned out.

So I recently finished Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson as part of the Buzzword Readathon hosted by BooksAndLala.

So I tend to avoid books that are new and people are like really hyping up even before they come out. Each time I heard it mentioned I totally skipped over it. I was then struggling for ‘girl’ books to read and decided – fine, I’ll read the synopsis. I was hooked – I totally judged this book to be something it wasn’t. I think people’s description of the story totally put me off because I kept getting hung up on zombies.

So reading this I first thought that it’s really not my kind of story but I was really loving the writing. The humour and honesty just kept drawing me in and I was think – yeah, if I’m lucky this could be 4 starts.

I was wrong – 5 stars! I absolutely LOVED this book. It’s so different for my style of reading but it just kept me hooked and I absolutely flew through it. I just couldn’t put it down. I loved out main character Mila and then the plot twist and storyline. I cannot recommend this enough. Don’t listen to people describing it because in my opinion they’re not doing it justice. They’re focusing on complete the wrong aspects of the story – read the blurb below.

It’s funny how a book you were so against ended up being one of your favourite reads of the year. If you are a fan of the Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater you have to read this.

 

The blurb from Goodreads

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

Series Review – Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

So I’m back with another series review. There is maybe a slight spoiler but I wanted to state it because of how the first book was sold to me.

So I tend to try a avoid really hyped books and authors. I think I have tried reading her before but really didn’t like it.

So for This Savage song it wasn’t until the third time that I picked it up before I actually started to enjoy it. I read it as part of a buddy read and I think that’s what really pushed me through it.

This is a story of Kate Harker (why is everything I’m reading a variant of Catherine) in a distopian style America that has Monsters (hence the title of the series).

This is quite a dark atmospheric story where you just imagine that there isn’t enough light and you can’t really see the detail in things. This series really was great for the setting and being able to vividly imagine it. The first book really wasn’t dark enough for the premise but the second book really picked it up.

So this first book was portrayed as not having a romance and I was so in for that because YA really does have a lot of romance. She first book no romance but it still feels like it would lead to it.

Slight spoiler but not really – second book – romance – completely ruined it! I was just so mad at it. There was absolutely NO NEED for it!

So the characters and the story in this were pretty good. You did get hooked into it as soon as you got actually into the story rather than the . It was a little bit slow to begin with and I would say that for both books. It did feel like a little bit of padding but I think it was more so for introducing our characters and their backstories and personalities.

So Kate is quite a brunt and harsh character and I wouldn’t say you grow to love her in all honesty. She’s really rough around the edges and I do like that in characters so I can appreciate that.

August on the other hard is WAY more likable. And I think that’s the irony of this since he is meant to be the monster. He’s just devoting his life to try and be good. I also really like his family in this – the side characters really bring it all together.

The musical element in this is also interesting however, I’m not quite sure how relatable it is. I didn’t really connect to how August felt about music. It just didn’t feel that authentic to me. It sort of seemed really surface level.

The most unique element is the monsters and the different types that we have. The different names of our monsters are really confusing to remember what they do but as soon as you encounter them you sort of figure out what type they are.

So the ending to this was really really good. I liked where the direction went and it was a type of ending that we don’t really get to see from YA.


I would recommend this duology especially as it is only two books and it is pretty quick to get through. I would recommend it because I like dark gritty books and it’s probably a 4 star from me.

p.s. is anyone else really sick of attending school in books? I especially struggle because it’s an American school and they’re just so foreign to me.

Author Portfolio – Jay Kristoff

So back at it. I’ve actually read quite a few of Jay Kristoff’s work and was first introduced to him through the Illuminae series. I have had some mixed feelings about his writing and books but that’s sort of what drives me to reading his works.

Illuminae – 3 books – 1876 pages

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

This is a collaborative work that I absolutely love and because of that it’s sort of hard to truly see each authors writing. This is a really good si-fi written in a really unique format.

The Nevernight Chronicles – 3 books – 1325 pages (incomplete)

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

So I had some issues with this. This doesn’t seem like as short a series that the page count would suggest. The first two books took me ages to get through. It was a really dark and gritty series but some of the elements in here I was pretty apprehensive about. I am looking forward to the final book that’s coming out.

The Locus Wars – 3 books – 1598 pages

Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun’s crimes, both against her country and her family.

Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?

So I’ll be honest I didn’t realise that this was such a long series. I am really wary about this because I was not particularly fond of the way different cultures were portrayed in Nevernight. However, that being said it doesn’t have bad ratings on GoodReads so I feel that I should maybe give it a go.

Lifelike – 1 book – 416 pages

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

So I am really looking forward to this but unfortunately I live in the UK so it’s not due out for a while. I don’t know if this is a series but I’m hoping that it will be good.


If you have read The Locus Wars let me know what you thought.