February 2016 Wrap Up!

Hey guys!

So this is the last day of February( and it’s a very special last day of the month as it’s the 29th February! Google has the cutest doodle for the Leap Year.) and I feel strangely alright that I haven’t read as much as I did in January. It felt like February was either really busy or I just took a day or two more to read each book. Anyway, 6 books is still really great, so let’s get to them!

As you can tell this selection is very different than my TBR for the month, but this is what happens when you a mood reader.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen– 4.25/5 (My review here)

So this book was for my Classic Challenge 2016. I liked it a lot which surprised me as I have DNFed this book before. I didn’t feel the big ELIZABETH AND MR DARCY OMGJDNIDI feeling like many but I did like Elizabeth as the narrator of the book.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard– 4.5/5 (My review here)

It seems like unlike my blogger friends, I really liked this book! It was a great sequel and full of action and tension! I did not feel warm feelings for Mare though as she could be quite hard to deal with sometimes but that cliffhanger! I need the third book now!

Room by Emma Donoghue– 2.75 (My review here)

I’m another minority in the bookish world it seems again. I was not enlightened, entertained or captivated by Room. It was rather disappointing and I found the narrator really annoying. I think I may of enjoyed it more if it was from Ma’s perspective.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown-4.25/5 (My review here)

Even though my rating above say 4.25, I think I should increase it to 4.5 because after finishing the series I appreciate all of the set up Brown did in the very first book. Merciless, gory and bloodydamn brilliant, the book was refreshing which is why it was so great!

Golden Sun by Pierce Brown– 4.5/5 (My review here)

I thought that this series couldn’t get better than Red Rising, how wrong I was! This book was everything and more than Red Rising! The betrayal, the tension, the life threatening situations. Golden Sun was just amazing and epic! The plot twist at the end of the book will be one of my favourites ever.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown– 5/5 (My Review here)

This book is so brilliant it’s hard to put into any words. Morning Star was the ending that Red Rising deserved.

Currently Reading- The Opening Bell by J.B. Garner

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That is my short, cute wrap-up! Not a lot but I tried my best! Comment down below what books you read in the month of February! March TBR to come tomorrow!

-Astra

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Review: Morning Star by Pierce Brown

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Title: Morning Star

Author: Pierce Brown

Publisher: Del Rey

My rating: 5/5

Goodreads rating: 4.62/5

Genre: Science Fiction

Summary (Goodreads):

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied – and too glorious to surrender.

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February 2016 Book Haul!

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Hey guys! Here is my second haul post of the year! I bought most of my books right at the start of the year, which is why for me it didn’t feel like I required many books, but I bought 11 books (10 are only pictured up above) and let’s get into them!


So I got the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown and thank god because this trilogy is one of my favourites! More on this trilogy in my wrap-up post. I can’t remember why I got the first two books but I am really glad I did. I got Morning Star  a couple of days a go at the Pierce Brown book signing. I bought it at full price- that’s £17! Expensiveeeee!

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I got Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard pretty early in the month as I preordered it. More on this book in my wrap-up!

The first picture are the books I got from The Works. The Works is a really great high street shop which sells books, stationary and other random stuff at really low prices! I was just browsing their website and I saw that Angelfall by Susan EE was £2, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark was £2 and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon was £2..HOW WAS I NOT SUPPOSE TO GET THOSE! I am so surprised about The Bone Season  as well because it’s hardback!

In the picture on the right we have The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente which I ordered along with Red Rising and Golden Sun. I felt so happy that I actually bought a middle grade book which haven’t done in ages! I got The Great Gatsby by  F. Scott Fitzgerald from The Works as well last week and they sell many classics, but I wanted The Great Gatsby as I read a great review on it the day before. Lastly I bought Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. When saw it in my local supermarket I was really shocked as I thought it was to be released in March but then I checked on the internet after buying it and found out that the UK has a different release date apparently. I’m just happy I got it!


I recieved an ARC this month as well called The Opening Bell by J.B Garner. It’s about wrestling which just makes the book instantly interesting for me.


That’s all of the books I bought/received this month! No library borrows this month, which is okay with as I got so many books that I own that I need to read.

What books did you buy/received? I would like to know what books everyone’s been spending their money on this month. I just realised I bought no romance novels even though it’s the month of love…

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Reader Problems Book Tag!

Hey guys! I have a book tag to give you guys this wonderful Saturday.- well it isn’t that wonderful because I have a cold and can taste and smell NOTHING! It’s so annoying!

Putting aside that woe, I was tagged to do the Reader Problems Book Tag by Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek. She is a great book blogger and I recommend everyone to go check get her out!

Now onto the tag!

1.) You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

Like Heather, I’m a mood reader!  Even though I have a TBR at the start of every month, it’s pretty flexible and I have many different genres in that pile of books so I normally stick with my TBR even if my reading moods go up and down.

2.) You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

Ermmm I will have to say I’m committed. I pick my books wisely and rarely read books that don’t interest me or have low ratings. I would only DNF books if I read then stop reading it for a long time which makes me lose interest.

4.) The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I deal with it! Though it would be a pain, there’s nothing I can really do about it.

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5.) Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?  

Erm no one really hahaha, there isn’t one specific person I can really count on for every book I read because everyone’s experiences are going to be different with each book.

6.) You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

A cover my face really discreetly (and when I say discreetly I mean not really discreetly) and let the tears fall.

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7.) A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!  

Well if I forgotten I huge part of the plot then of course I’m going to go back and read the first novel. That would be really weird if your reading the second novel in the series and you can’t even remember what got you excited for the sequel in the first place.

8.) Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?  

I stop reading. Rather simple really. I just go on Youtube or write, just not read. I give it a few days, pick a book that I know I am really excited for and read it.

9.) There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Probably only one or two as I have a loads of other older books to finish as well.

10.) After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

Probably until the next month where they will be incorporated into my TBR.

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All done!

 

I tag…

Cinderzena @ Cinderzenablogs

Emma @ Em Does Book Reviews

Ally @ Multifandomed Book Blogger

Ali @ Book Lover Thoughts

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Should Fanfiction Get More Credit?

Hey guys and another discussion post here and an interesting one I think.

So, fanfiction. Where do I begin.

So just encase any of you don’t know what fanfiction is, here is a google definition:

Fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, film, etc.

I openly admit that I read fanfiction. Not every story that a fanfiction writer writes is great, but you can have some real gems, people with writing to rival published authors sometimes. I find myself reading fanfiction the most:

a) after reading Harry Potter because I’m just dying to enter that world again. or,

b) when I want to read more stories about a certain ship I like.

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I consider some Fanfiction in the highest regard as I would a normal book, I think Fanfiction gets a lot of bad rep on the internet. I know that there are a lot of oddballs who write about very odd things but I don’t believe that means an entire Fanfiction community should be held at ransom. Fanfiction is a creative outlet for some people, they can play with characters they already know and love which makes them more comfortable when writing them. Fanfiction can help people get into the big bad world of criticism as well. Though harsh critics, flamers (people who write deeply negative comments on a person’s work for no reason at all) just want to be negative for no reason other, critics actually point out aspects that need to be addressed in your writing and will help to make your writing better.

I remember while I was still writing Fanfiction there was one user who, in a HP forum,  I got close too. We talked about regular things and he seemed like a real funny guy. But when it came to my dreadful writings he slayed them in half, no holding back in the cons in the chapter I just published. At the start it felt stinging- didn’t he know I was trying my best?- but over time I got used to the critique and braced it instead. This naturally makes me more tough skinned when people want to criticise my work.

If I state some of the well known ‘facts’ or really the views from inside the community, 85% of fanfics are terrible garbage that just doesn’t make any bit of sense. 10% of fanfics are good but nothing to run home too. The last 5% are the golden nougats, the cherries on top, the icing on the cake. They are the fanfictions that made my fanfiction experience great.

So to answer my title question, should Fanfiction get more credit, yes they should, even the terrible ones. They are mostly pieces of creativity which shouldn’t be stomped on, but allowed to flourish in their ,sometimes, weird way.

Let me know what you think about Fanfiction down below even if you disagree with me as disagreement creates discussion and this is a discussion post!

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

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Fem(+me) Friday!- Cece @ ProblemsofaBookNerd

Hey guys! It’s time for the second post in the Fem(+me) Friday series. Today we will be spotlighting a Booktuber!

Booktube is a great platform for us book nerds as we can physically see fellow book nerds and see how excited they get about books as well. Though the Booktube community has suffered some problems in the past, for the most part Booktube is a purely good and credible place to fester your book addiction.

ProblemsofaBookNerd is a great booktuber which should get a lot my recognition for her input into the community.

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She does the classic TBR, Wrap-Up and haul videos but I think that she brings up titles that I haven’t even heard off which is a surprising as Booktube can be very repetitive sometimes.

She is also going to start a series of of videos called HP Chats when she just discusses some stuff about Harry Potter in more detail and about more of the controversial debates in the fandom. This is the video I am going to recommend to you guys to watch from her to give you are glimpse of her personality and  general character.

That’s all for today and make sure you check out ProblemsofaBookNerd on Youtube!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Previous Post- N.C Sousa

-Femme Friday was created by Vicky @ Books and Strips and means we spotlight a female, real (writers, illustrators, cover designers ect) and not real (characters) to bring some recognition to them.

Review: Golden Sun by Pierce Brown

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Title: Golden Son

Author: Pierce Brown

Publisher: Del Ray

My rating: 5/5

Goodreads rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Science Fiction

Summary (Goodreads):

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

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Notes and Scribbles #2 |200 followers? Thank you!

Hello guys! Notes and Scribbles for you who don’t know is a series of post I started last year where I just update you on things to do with my blog.

So, THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH! JUST YESTERDAY I GOT OVER 200 FOLLOWERS ON THIS BLOG! Just thank you, thank you, thank you! This blog has become like an outlet for me and it’s only been five months and to know I have people reading my posts, commenting, liking means so much to me! This community is so friendly and warm and even though it’s five months I still consider myself a newbie on blogging. To all of my old followers, thank you a tonne for sticking with me so far and to my new followers, HEY and thank you for getting me to this milestone as well! I know this may seem small to some people, but this really means a lot!

So other things happening on this blog.

I think I have made a mental schedule on my blog posts which go like this.

Monday: Review/Tag/ I’m Wittier In Writing or no post.

Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday

Wednesday: Review/Tag or not post.

Thursday: Discussion Post/Review/Tag

Friday: Fem (+me) Friday/ Discussion Post or no post.

Saturday and Sunday: Whatever the hell I want!

I think the last one really applies to any day but this is the normal pattern I’ve been seeing on the blog. I think it helps to write it down like so, so that I don’t feel so scatterbrained when I do get the time to blog.

Pictured above are my two new post series (is that you call them?).  These two are both fortnightly and about two very different topics.

I’m Wittier In Writing is going to be a series of posts that just focuses on my trials and tribulations on writing. I think I always wanted to make posts about my writing and I guess it’s now or never! I don’t think I’m going to post my writings in the posts, just the process I guess. The first ‘Chapter’ was posted yesterday and I’d love for any writers in the blogging world to check out my musings.

Chapter 1: Suffocation, Frustration and Inspiration?

Fem(+me) Friday is a meme created by  Vicky @ Books and Strips, well what was created was Femme Friday, but I decided to twist up the name a bit as I am not a feminist, so now it reads Females(+me) Friday! In these posts I kind of recognition posts for females. From the writers, illustrators and cover designers to the fictional heroines that we all love, they all deserve to be put in the spotlight. This meme is on a weekly basis but i switched it up again to make it fortnightly. My first post was on the fabulous N.C. Sousa, a cover designer!

Fem(+me) Friday! – N.C. Sousa

I think that’s all I want to update you on for now! Again, THANK YOU for two hundred followers!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Top Ten Tuesdays- Books That Are Not In My Comfort Zone That I Need To Read

Hello, hello and welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday post! So again this week I twisted topic because I realised I don’t really read anything out of my comfort zone, which is a shame really because I thought myself a diverse reader. Obviously not! This is another TBR post basically…let’s get to the list! In no particular order…

1) Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

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Satin Island was a Man Booker Prize nominee last year and that is how it peaked my interest. This book is marmite- some people love it, some people hate it, which makes it an even more intriguing! I want to know which team I’m one! Anyway, this book is really complicated to sum up in a sentence so basically the guy U finds the links in everything and gets paid to do it.

2) Running Girl by Simon Mason

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I was introduced to this book by a blogger, I can’t remember the name of the blogger for the life of me, but she basically said this is a great book. I’m not really all for mystery novels (some YA books are enough!) but I’m ready to give this one a go!

3) Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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This is possibly the only shakespeare play that I’m interested in reading, that and maybe another one I can’t remember off the top of my head. This play seems so dramatic and intense and I’m into dramatic and intense nowadays.

4) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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I think we all know the subject matter of this novel and maybe now I don’t know if I’m comfortable with reading the book. Sometimes it’s good to read books that make you uncomfortable. Everyone says this is a great book anyway so that justifies it I think…

5) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

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Another book with a tough subject matter which is rather taboo; incest.  This story is one many say it heart wrenching. I think I am more up for reading it though than Lolita. I guess this book just interested.

6) Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

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This book sounds so wicked! I want to get into SteamPunk and this was the novel that caught me mind. And this has some historical alternations which makes it extra cool.

 7) Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh 

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A funny book! I do not read comedy though I love it in books. I’ve heard great things about this book and I’m a fan of long titles. The illustrations look great and authentic as well. I definitively need to buy more fun books like this one. The summary is sassy as well.

8) The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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This seems like a very interesting novel. I think people have mixed views on it, but overall it seems like an intriguing premise. Here’s a snippet of the summary!

Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat.

9) The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

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I’m an awkward black girl so this book should be perfect for me! I’ve heard of this book before and I think I want it more than ever as it seems like I’m becoming awkwarder by the hour. It’s a non-fiction book which is why it is not in my comfort zone.

10) The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galibraith aka J.K Rowling

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Another mystery/thriller on this list. I started reading this half-halfheartedly ages ago and it didn’t interest me much. I think I missed the cozy Winter period which is perfect to read mystery novels but I still have a copy so I might just read it during the summer.


That is all of my Top Ten Tuesday! Be sure to tell me if any of these are not in your comfort zone as well. As readers we love to stay in our cozy little place, but it’s beneficial for us to cross-genre/topic reader from time to time.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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-Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where they pick a new topic each week for us to create a top ten list to.


 

I’m Wittier In Writing- Chapter 1: Suffocation, Frustration and Inspiration?

Hey guys! I hope you’re great and the Monday blues aren’t getting you down.

I few posts ago I think I said I wanted to start talking about my writing on this blog so here I am. These series of posts are going to be called I’m Wittier In Writing and will be focusing on my trials and tribulations on writing. I hope that these posts will be a outlet for me (and maybe for you down in the comments) because sometimes us writers need somewhere to just express our frustrations from time to time. These posts will be fortnightly on a Monday, but I will add in extra posts if I feel it necessary.

Onto this week’s post!

I’ve been editing and looking over my NaNoWriMo piece and I’ve been feeling very proud of myself! Everything is a mess, as it would be, but it feels like I have something to grasp not matter how rubbish it reads. I feel like I need a dedicated week to focuse on my NaNoWriMo piece as I am finding it hard to concentrate on it and not procrastinate. Maybe in the summer I will try to  do something. Also, I think I wasn’t the only one who received an email for NaNoWriMo trying to rally the editorial troops. Even though I said that I want to edit my half a novel, I’m not sure that I want to do it with NaNoWriMo. I feel like I would get bogged down with expectations and feel suffocated. I would prefer to edit on my own terms with a couple of hot lemon water and a KitKat.

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I think that I have a problem. I have too many plots in my head. And I’m not talking about my NaNoWriMo. I kind of want to write another story. I know, I know, it’s foolish. I think I should state that I am still interested in my NaNoWriMo story fully, but I have another story in my head half formed and I wanted to explore that story as much as I can. I feel free to talk about my half formed idea in these posts, so I will say it now that it’s definitely a fantasy story I’m conjuring up. I think I can confidently say that my love from fantasy came from my love of Magical Girl anime when I was younger. I’m thinking of cooperating MG into my story, but then I get bogged down about the details of it being a Middle Grade or Young Adult which makes my head hurt.

I am having some issues with planning this idea which is weird as I normally thrive at this part. Ir’s bugging me a lot and making me detest my brain. Even though I know my idea is just a seedling, my brain keeps throwing all of these different scenes in my head before I know if it’s going to be a medieval  fantasy or more futuristic, if my protagonist is twelve or seventeen. I’m just going to be blasting out A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing by Set It Off until inspiration hits me.

 

 

That’s all of my writing musings at the moment! I’d love to know if I’m just rambling rubbish to you or if you think this is a good outlet. As always, feel free to comment down below and I’ll be sure to comment back.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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