Top 5 Wednesday|Top 5 DNF Books!

Yay, a Top 5 Wednesday Post I can finally write about!

This weeks  topic as you probably already know if top 5 books you did not finish and I don’t usually DNF books a lot now but there are still a couple of main books that have just slipped off my radar until now. Let’s go then!

By the way, Top 5 Wednesday was made by Lainey on Booktube (here channel is gingerreadslainey). You can look at the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads page here.

1.  Angelfall by Susan Ee


I actually don’t know why I didn’t finish off this book, but I didn’t and I have lost interest in Angel orientated books at the moment so I won’t be picking up this book again.

2. Paper Towns by John Green


Now I was really looking forward to this book but it literally left my radar. I was in a kind of in a reading slump during the summer so I didn’t read much of anything so don’t take it personally any Paper Towns fans!

3. The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson


This is a middle grade-ish story I believe and I was just not getting into it. And even though the book wasn’t for people of my age, the start of the book was still rather slow and not interesting.

4. The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag

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I have just lost interest of the book completely. Though the characters seem interesting in there own right, there’s is just too much specialist jargon for me to really enjoy this book.

5. Lord Of The Ring: The Fellowship Of The Ring by T.R.R Tolkien


A DNF list wouldn’t be complete without my special little buddy Lord Of The Rings. I think I need to get the special edition where the story is cut into 10 smaller parts because the Lord Of The Rings is just too massive to conquer in one.

There is my Top 5 Wednesday done! Do link your Top 5 Wednesdays or just comment below what books you didn’t finish.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

WWW Wednesday!

Hello, hello, hello guys! SO how’s your Wednesday been? Mine has been very chill and relaxed which is great and I got some new books which is always so exciting!

On with the post and you know the drill, here are the three questions I’ll be answering:

What are you currently reading?

What have you read previously?

What books you are planning to read?

Let’s get to it!


What are you currently reading?

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins– The movie is coming out really soon so how could I not reread this. I am one of the few people I feel that really really liked this book and how it ended the trilogy. I think people feel that it isn’t the Hunger Games because there’s no hunger games, but I still feel that it is full of action and tension and drama!

What have you read previously?

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More Than This by Patrick Ness- I literally finished this a few hours back and I absolutely LOVED IT! The ending left me wanting more and to find out what happens to our pretty likable cast of characters. There are still so many questions I have, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ANSWERS?!

What books you are planning to read?

Legend by Marie Lu- I haven’t read a fantasy-esque dystopian in a while so I was thinking of picking this book up. It’s rather short so hopefully it will be a fast paced read.


What have you been reading for the past week? Comment below and link your WWW Wednesday posts if you want!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

My Life In Books Tag!

Yes, yes another tag. I was suppose to post a review today, but I am so tired! NaNoWriMo is slowly sapping away my energy. I can feel it! Sorry for being dramatic 😛

Anyway, I am here doing the My Life In Books Tag and I was tagged by the lovely Becca @ Ghostystories. Remember to check out her blog which is really great!


Find a book for each of your initials

I am picking up for Astra Guild, All The Bright Places by Jenifer Niven and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.



Count your age along your bookshelf. What book is it?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell!


Pick a book that represents a destination you would like to travel to.

I’m picking a graphic novel set in Japan. I would really like to visit Japan when I’m older as it’s an awesome country with some a lot culture. So it is Town Of Evening Calm, Country Of Cherry Blossoms.


Pick a book that has your favourite colour/colours on the front cover.

I am going for the beautiful yellow cover of Fangirl which I never see ANYONE own.


What book do you have the fondest memories of?

There are too many! I know I use Harry Potter in my tags, but I just cannot not use Harry Potter for this one. I read and reread the series for the first time when I felt really isolated from everyone and it just really brought my confidence back up. I have a lot to thank Harry Potter for.


Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

I will use the Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring. I don’t know if I will ever finish this book, I just keep rereading it and only making it to like page 10 because I just get annoyed with the writing. Also, I don’t have any motivation to seriously read the whole trilogy.


What book on your TBR pile will give you the greatest sense of achievement?

Probably How To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Or Pride and Prejudice. Any classic actually!


Tagging time…

Michelle @ Book Adventures

Emma @ Emma the Book Lover

Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

My Most Hated YA Trope…

A white washed cast.

 
Now I’m a young black teen who lives in one of the multi cultural cities in the UK so when I read books that are clearly set in a world that either is or mimics our world it really worries me that almost everyone is white. Not just white either- straight, skinny and almost certainly prett- I mean ‘plain’. Plain has basically lost it’s original meaning because some YA authors would use it to describe the most beautiful protagonist ever made.

Now let me get a few things clear. I am NOT against any white, skinny, heterosexual protagonist who is beautiful. What I am against is that that protagonist is in 90% of YA Novels. Dystopian or Contemporary, Romance or Fantasy. It’s the norm. But it isn’t the norm is it?

I think it’s getting to the almost dangerous point where I automatically white wash every person in a novel I read and I only don’t do this the odd occassion where I can clearly see the person in mind because of the authors creative descriptions. I already knew I was doing this unconsciously but while I was reading The Rest Of Us Just Live Here I realised I was still white washing a character who the author said was black. That was probably just my stupid self being stupid, or have I been more deeply ‘programmed’ to just always see a character a certain way or ethnicity?

I don’t know or maybe I do and I’m just afraid to say the truth. It doesn’t matter because the conclusion stays the same either way. Something needs to change in YA and it is slowly, but surely.

I am also trying to actively read more minority ethnic authors  authors as well to just support them I guess. I really do need to read more LGBTQ+ books as well, just to broaden my understanding of the LGBTQ community through books.

Anyway, if you do have an opinion on this subject matter please do voice them in the comments because I will be very interested in hearing them.

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

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Scraping The Muse Barrel- NaNoWriMo Week 1 Recap!

Hey guys, I hope your Sunday is brilliant, I am currently slaving away on some Biology homework which forces me to write a lot more than I would even write in English! And as you might probably tell I changed my theme of my blog. I think I just wanted something clearer and lighter, so picked this cute theme. Tell me down below if you like it or not because you’re the ones who will have to see it!

But today’s post isn’t about me failing at life, but me failing at NaNoWriMo (sort of). I have decided to write my story into three parts and I am still on the first part of my first part (I hope that makes sense). Two more days and then I should be on the more interesting parts of my story.

Weekly Word Count: 13, 414 words

So currently I am on top of my NaNoWriMo game! I am seriously shocked by this because yesterday was a really bad day for me.

Now even though I missed the word count by 200 words yesterday, that wasn’t the problem. I think I hit a writer’s block, or really tripped on pieces of a writers block. I was writing well for a few minutes but then I just could write anything after. It was super hard to write and I just couldn’t bring myself to even write the 200 words I needed make the word count. Six hundred worlds before that I was writing utter crap. I was on a scene that I really didn’t expect or want to write. The characters were doing there own thing and I couldn’t write to compensate that.

I went to bed feeling frustrated and defeated. 200 words was all I had to write and I couldn’t even write a sentence more.

I woke up today and didn’t write anything, I wanted to distance myself from the crap I wrote just yesterday.

Why couldn’t I just have a break for one day from NaNo? I am kind of ashamed to say I was thinking so negatively even though I just missed the word count by 200 words, but I was. I wasn’t going to give up though, I just need to have a break. And I did, for the whole  day until I sat myself in front of my google docs page and forced myself to write my 1667 words and an extra 200.

I did it to cut a long story short and I think that little stumble has made me realise something; I can’t expect to only give myself an hour at the end of the day and come out with something brilliant because I won’t. I do need to give myself more time and take off some pressure I have on myself. NaNoWriMo should be fun!

Next week is a new week anyway and there are only three weeks to go! I feel like I am having a bigger realisation now about writing in general, but I won’t disclose that yet.

Good luck to all of my fellow writers out there and keep the faith! WE CAN DO THIS!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

NaNoWriMo

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Inside Out Book Tag!

Yes, another book tag! I need to catch up with them and they are really fun anyway so no complaining from me.

I was tagged by Kelsey @ Don’t You Shush me, so thank you Kelsey and everyone should check out her blog! I was so thankful that I got tagged because I LOVED this movie so much!

On with the tag!

Joy

 A book that brings you joy

It will have to be a book that makes my smile and fangirl hysterically when I think about it and that is Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and I know I always mention this book but it is AMAZING!

 
Fear  A book that has truly scared you.

Professional scaredy-cat over here. You won’t see me reading a truly horrorific book so I’m passing this one.

Disgust
 A book that disgusts you

Hmm I depends on what disgust you are on about. I’m guess that it is the yuck! What did I read disgust so I will be going with Fifty Shades Of Grey. I nominate this book half heartedly because I haven’t read this book, but I have read extracts which are very…not my taste.

 
Sadness
 A book that makes you sad.

I don’t become sad with a lot of books but I did become sad with is the Young Elites by Marie Lu. Straight after I finished this, I wasn’t really sad but thinking back on the book makes me realise how crappy Adelina’s life is and that in turn makes me sad.

 
Anger
 A book that makes you angry

Hmm this is hard because I usually don’t get angry when I read- just disappointed. A book that did leave my frustrated towards the end will have to be Splinterd by A.G Howard. It was just messily tied up at the end and one of the characters was passed off as being protective when he was just being annoyingly bossy.


And now it’s tagging time!

Kat @ Life and Other Disasters

Emma @ Emma the Book Lover

Becca @ Ghostystories

Michelle @ Book Adventures

and anyone who wants to do the tag!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Your Future Book Tag!


 Hey guys! I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday! I almost doozed off an hour ago because I’m so tired, but I got myself up and I am determined to post this tag today! So I was unofficially tagged to do this fun looking tag by the brilliant Kat at Life and Other Disasters. Remember to check out her blog because it’s great! Now onto the tag, I can’t wait to see how weird this is going to end up being.

Pick 5 books of your own choosing and then use 1 book to answer 2 of the given questions!

Five books…okay I chose these lovely ones from my disgustingly messy table…

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

Throne Of Glass by Sarah. J. Mass

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


*Does a little prayer*

1. Open book 1 to a random page. Look at the first word on the page. If it’s less than 5 letters, you will go to college. If it’s more than 5 letters, you won’t go to college (The Young Elites)

Okay, lets see if I go college or not…..illusion, so I guess I’m not going college!

2. Open book 1 to a random page. The first name you see. Think of that persons job, that will be your job. Note: Is that person still in school? You will be a teacher. You don’t know that persons job? You will be unemployed 

Teren. I have the job of rounding up malfettos and killing them at the stake…nice.

3. Open book 2 to a random page. The first name you see will be the person you will marry (The Night Circus)

There are many interesting people in this book, so lets hope, I get one of them! 1,2,3 go!…….Bailey! Not a Marco I guess, but Bailey is really sweet and he basically owns the circus now so I will be able to see the Circus everyday!

4. Open book 2 to a random page. The first name you see will be your best friend

Poppet! Yes! So I get to be married to Bailey and be best friends with one of the coolest girls in the circus. Though I could cause some tension, Bailey and Poppet kind of had a thing going on, I’m sure Poppet will be happy for me and then we could tour the Circus together as a trio (or quartet if you want to include Widget.

5. Open book 3 to a random page. Look at the second word on the page. Count how many letters that word has, remove 2 letters. That’s how many children you will have (HPatDH)

So,  *rubs hands* this should be awesome…four children! To be honest I always thought of having just two, but double the fun right?

6. How many children did you have? Open the book as many times to see who your children will be. If you have no children, open the book once. The first name you will see, will be something of your choice. A couple of examples: neighbor, father in law etc

So four children, four names.

Lily!  So I have a badass witch as a daughter! Yes and I could braid her gorgeous red hair and tell her to practice her spells everyday and take her to Diagon Alley to get her Hogwarts stuff for the first time!

Harry…inevitable I suppose, but still I have the chosen one as my second oldest son *sobs ugly*. Bailey and Harry are going to love each other.

Lunar Lovegood. Oh my gosh yes! I can finally be a weird with someone else who is weird. I can’t wait to bring up Lunar in the circus, imagine if she got into gymnastics and becomes a circus performer! I can imagine her living the muggle life! Bailey isn’t going into really understand her I can guess, but he will love her all the same.

Ron great another red head , so Lily won’t be alone! Sadly I’m going to Mrs Weasley him to death. He is going to be my baby son always and ever.

7. Book 4: Where does this book take place? This will be the place you will live! (Throne Of Glass)

The wonderful world of Throne Of Glass I see…this is so weird *sigh*. I will just have to keep my head down, wait maybe I can live in that magic forest that Celaena talks about at the start.

8. Open book 4 to a random place, the first name you see, does this person have a car, bike etc.? That will be your transportation in life. Note: teleporting, broom etc. is allowed. If your character had no means of transportation that you know of, you will be using public transportation. 

Dorian yes! So that means royal carriages and lovely horses! Thank god, I thought I would have to be walking everywhere if I got Celaena.

9. Does this book have any animals in it? Pick your favorite animal, that will be your pet. No animals in the book? You will have no pet. (Little Women)

I don’t remember any of the women having animals, so no pets for me! I will have my beautiful horses to keep me company anyway.

10. Open book 5 to a random page. The first name you see will be your enemy! 

Looks like Jo, the tomboy of the sister quartet, will be my enemy. I think we all know who is going to win if there was a battle between us though *cough* Official Royal Malfetto hunter over here *cough*.


THE SYNOPSIS OF MY BOOKISH LIFE TO COME:

I will not go to college, but I will still train to become a solider and then become the leader of the Inquisition Axis which means I will be hunting down malfettos before they destroy us all. But one lone farm boy will catch my eye. His name will be Bailey and he is obsessed with a circus and I slowly start to fall for his quirky ambitions and adventurous ways. He realises that he loves me after I kill a Malfetto who was trying to murder him. We marry (it’s a spectacular affair) and settle down with the Circus and it’s ever changing locations.

We both decide no pets (Bailey will say it’s because has had enough of animals after living on a farm), but we do want loads of children. Our first daughter will be named Lilly and she would of inherited magical abilities by me being with Bailey (who is now the heart of the circus) and spending many nights while I was pregnant by the magical fire. The next three children come in quick succession after Harry, Lunar and Ron and Bailey realises that there is a magical school that they could go to and all but Lunar go as she wants to surround herself with the peculiar people of the circus instead.

Poppet, Bailey’s childhood sweetheart, will soon get over her feelings over my husband and we will bond over our love for toffee popcorn and mutual hatred for Jo whose dangerous, tomboyish ways always tends to include one of her children. The Kingdom of Adarlan will throw many perils in my way (like a runaway assassin trying to rob me probably) , but with the Circus also moving I will not end up in any deep trouble. While the Circus normally moves by my technologically advanced ways, I will prefer riding my own beautiful horse, besides my son Harry who will seem to like Horses too. I will still try to kill any malfetto I come across.


I think I had too much fun on that last section! But it’s so cool writing your own fictional story with just five random books on your shelf.

I tag…

EVERYONE! Please do this tag if you are able to because it is SO much fun!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

Hardback or Paperback?

The great book dilemma. To buy a book in paperback or in hardback.


For some people this is a really easy decision but for others it’s not. For me, I can categorically say that most of the books I own are paperbacks. I’m going to do another post about this to show the good and bad in both but today I want to know what books all of you go for.

As I said, I own more paperbacks because a)they are cheaper and b) they are easier to read with. Of course I would love to have the hardback covers for all of my Harry Potter books and the Throne Of Glass series, but for now I am content with my paperback collection.

My beautiful paperback of Queen Of The Tearling and my beautiful hardback of The Invasion Of The Tearling!

What’s your view? Or you are paperback junkie or hardback collector? Comment below!

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

My Rating: 3.5- 4.0

Goodreads Rating: 3.81

Summary (Goodreads): 

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


Cover: 4/5

The cover really has some big quirky factor and what initially drew me to this book at the book store.


Review:

This book was totally different from what I expected it to be. I guess that’s what the book should do- surprise you, but I don’t really know if I was feeling the surprise really.

I think I am recognising this feeling as disappointment again, but I don’t think this was a bad book at all, but I did certainly have some issues with this book. The start was so fantastic and then it turned into a muddy mess a a bit.

Plot:

There’s not much I can say without giving away the story, but really this story is about Jacob and discovering his grandfather’s past which turns out to be more dangerous and magical than Jacob could of ever realised. I feel like the summary of this book was a little misguiding in some aspects, so when I started reading this book and kind of got midway I just had to stop and think what the hell is this book about?

Jacob had one real solid goal and then after he reached that goal, it was like he was dilly dallying for a good number of pages. The big reveal about the Home was introduced to early I feel which kind of funked up the pacing which made it weird.

The plot was interesting and intriguing enough for me to be hooked but the later half of the book just seemed like another plot was thrown in there in a rushed way. This book could of easily been one nice book wrapped up with a nice ending, but the second element of the book just really disjointed the story altogether.

Writing:

The writing was very nice and smooth. The words flowed seamlessly most of the time and it was in a very sophisticated fashion (maybe a little too sophisticated for a seventeen year old from time to time). Also Riggs descriptions were very atmospheric as well, I could see all of the locations he described like a had a picture of all of these places.The more adventurous scenes at the end of the book were written with complete clarity, meaning that the scene didn’t read as rushed blur. Everything was in detail though you could sense the urgency and pressure of all things

One thing the writing did lack though was feeling. I felt kind of disconnected to the story, like I could see everything from a bird’s eye view but not right beside Jacob.

Characters:

I’m in two minds about Jacob. On one hand he is a witty, courageous and on the other he is annoying and some sort of naivety about him. In the first half the novel I really like his character and how he was written, but then slowly he got caught up by love (I’ll get to that later) and the excitement of the Perculiar children that his character almost seemed to dull a bit.

Now Emma. I strongly dislike the Jacob and Emma romance. It felt a little insta lovey for me and very predictable. It was not needed for the development of the story and it’s creepy on many levels. Emma on her own was a is rounded character I think and I look forward to reading more of her development in Hollow City.

The rest of the perculiar children in generally are likeable character and I like how they are mature, but have very childish tendencies. Hopefully we get to meet them more in depth in the next installment.

BONUS- Photos:

Now we all know this story is a bit different because it includes black and white pictures. I think I enjoyed this element in the story more than I disliked it. I liked it because we got to see some of the characters as what the authors sees and wants us to see them as and it added a sense of anticipation and creepiness to the book which it boosted from. Why I didn’t like it was because that we as the reader couldn’t really see the characters as WE want to see them. I have a set image of the characters in my head and then you turn the page and go oh that’s what they are suppose to look like. Secondly, sometimes I felt the photos were just written in their to show the picture not because it added any extra value to the plot.

What I liked:

  • The descriptive pieces of writing
  • The first half of the book
  • A handful of photos which helped the story in a unique way
  • Some of the plot twists got me gasping.

What I disliked:

  • The second half of the book was pretty meh
  • The romance definitely!
  • Some random unnecessary photos
  • The sometimes disjointed plot

Verdict: Though this book had a really great idea in it’s hands, the execution went a little askew in the end. The writing was a joy yo read and even though I disliked the romance it wasn’t a big part in the book and when the plot wasn’t disjointed it was a pleasure to read. A recommend if you like plot twisty books and black and white pictures with your book and tea 🙂

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

Fall Time Cozy Time Book Tag!

Hey everyone! i was tagged by the lovely Victoria at Book Ember Reviews. Definitely check her out because her blog is really cute and well put together! (I’m sorry I forgot to mention you before!)

Now, Autumn is my favourite season because:

  1. It’s a season away from Christmas.
  2. I get to walk on crunching fallen leaves
  3. An excuse to wear jumpers everyday.
  4. Did I mention that it’s closer to Christmas?

Sadly the weather in England has been less cheerful. Fog, rain, wind, we got it all in a week! Thankfully I always have my books to escape to. Let’s get on with the tag before I side track too much!

Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color – choose a book that had reds/oranges/yellows on the cover.

I am going with Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix because it has all of the colours of fall and I remember reading this in the middle of November last year.


Cozy Sweater – It’s finally coll enough to don warm cozy clothing: what book gives you the warm fuzzies?

I’m choosing Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Even though this wasn’t the best written book, it was light and heart warming at times.

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Fall Storm: The wind is howling & the rain is pounding – choose your favorite book OR
genre that you like to read on a stormy day

Queen Of The Tearling! Definitely! The world is so complex and interesting, it would be lovely to lose yourself in it during a rainy day.


 Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

I know I shouldn’t really use the same book for these questions but I can’t think of any one cooler than Luna Lovegood.from Harry Potter.


Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest,
hottest thing?

I’m behind on hyped up books so any books I would say are probably hyped up loads…maybe…the Miniaturist by Jessie Burton? It was a really nice book and a good read.

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Coat, Scarves, and Mittens – The weather has turned cold & it’s time to cover up – What’s
the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

Envy by Elizabeth Miles. A random girl with shiny blonde hair isn’t the book to read in public if you want to look more professional.


Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favorite Fall time comforts food/foods?

I love soup in autumn and dumplings! My hot chocolate habit always walks in as soon as November starts as well. Marshmallows! Don’t forget them as well.

Warm, Cozy Bonfire: Spread the cozy warmth – Who do you tag?

I tag…

Michelle @ Book Adventures

The Book Type Gal

Jordyn @ J.Bookish

Kat @ Life and Other Disasters

Amber @ Only True Magic

Rae @ Bookmarkchronicles

and anyone else who wants to do the tag!

Enjoy your Thursday and comment below what your Autumn favourites are!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra