Desert Island Book Tag!

I guess Sunday is just becoming my tag day!

Hey guys and happy Sunday! Today I am tackling the Desert Book Tag which I was tagged to do by the brilliant Grace @ Quirky and Perculiar. I think books are life anyway, so catergorising them into water, food and ect will be fun!

Onto the tag!
Water: A book that you found refreshingly different.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This book was so refreshingly awesome! I think Ari was such a great protagonist because he felt saw raw and intense. Also Ari and Dante’s families were so warm and supportive of their friendship.

Food: An essential book you can’t live without.

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The Harry Potter Series

I think I should get another favourite book/series because this must be getting so repeitive for you lot. But I love HP and I can certainly say that my life would be different without it.

Weapons: A book that is massive and could be used a weapon.

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The Complete First Edition: The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm by  Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm,

Andrea Dezsö (Illustrator), Jack Zipes (Translator)

I got this book for Christmas because I thought it would be cool to have the original folk tales and fairy tales on my shelf. This book is a heavy one! But I would be reluctant to use it because of the illustrations.

Companion: A Book Characters That You Would Want To Be Stuck On A Desert Island With

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Six of Crows- Kaz Brekker

Kaz would be able to hold himself good in this situation and he seems like he has trouble with killing so food wouldn’t be a problem. I bet he could be a laugh when he’s not being so intense.

Map: A book with an amazing map inside.

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An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This book has not one but two maps! And they are both beautiful! You can tell a lot of effort has been made to make them great.

Threat: A book you were afraid to read but ended up conquering.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I wasn’t really afraid of reading this book, just cautious about crying but I was right about being cautious because this book is so tragic and sad!

Compass: A book that you would give a new reader to get them interested in reading.

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This book is so lighthearted and fun, I think a new reader would enjoy this contemporary, fantasy clash! Not to mention it’s hilarious!

SOS: A book that is under hyped but you want everyone to read.

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Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian

I love this middle grade historical fiction! I think most people have read this book, but I think it should get lots more hype to make sure over people read this book as well.

Rescued: A book you are anticipating to be released.

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Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

I know there are loads of great YA book being released but I think this book should be hyped up a bit as well. I think this book is going to be magical realism but I’m not sure. But the summary sounds great so I’m sold.

Tagging Time!

I tag…

Gabby @ Gabby The Dauntless Warlock

Cinderzena @ Cinderzenablogs

Chelsie @ Chelsie’s Book Addiction

Jonas @ Other Things

Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek

This tag was so fun to do and if you want to do it and your not tagged you can do it too!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

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Title: Room

Author: Emma Donoghue

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

My rating: 2.75/5

Goodreads rating: 3.98/5

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Summary (Goodreads):

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.


Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

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Where are the families in YA?

Hey guys! Discussion time! So as you can tell by the title, I’m going to be talking about families in YA books-or really the lack off families in YA.

I got the inspiration to do this post after reading two fantastic posts. One of them being by Joan @ Fiddle Blue titled I Want These Love Stories In My Books which focuses on different relationships that books seem to lack nowadays. And the other post being by Analee @ Book Snacks titled  Not all books hate families, I assure you..! | A list of books with pro-family themes which finally pushed me to make this topic.

The main question is- where are the families in YA?

I kind of get where this stemmed off from- YA books wanting to offer something different from the nuclear family. Nuclear families clearly aren’t the norm anymore with there being more remarried couples, single parent families and so on and so forth. I think this is one aspect of YA that reflects real life realistically. Not necessarily that they are full of single parent families but that they are not full of the perfect two parents, two children types of families.

However, I think people, including myself are starting to realise that there is an awful lack of loving families. I hardly read books where the protagonist have a nice, healthy relationship with their parents. In some instances, especially with the fantasy genre, it can come off a bit lazy when the main protagonist is an orphan, almost like the writer couldn’t be bothered to build and write a parent-child relationship. This isn’t the only genre I see this problem in, I also see this problem in contemporary. Normally the families are single parent (which I have no problem with) and the protagonist normally claims to have a strong relationship with that parent but we never see it demonstrated!

In Analee’s post she does post many books with Pro-Family themes which is greatly appreciated because I think I am unconsciously trying to scout them out.And In Joan’s post she puts the magnifying glass on other relationships in novels. Family relationships really do need to be written about more, especially in contemporary novels were relationships are primary. I’m not just wanting parent-child relationships but sibling relationships. Sibling relationships are one of my favourite relationships as I have a brother and sister myself and I love to see how characters interact with their siblings.

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The lack of families also bring the practical problem of what they are letting their kids do. Like I know that each child has a degree of independence that the parent lays out for them, but sometimes it can be a tad unrealistic. I want parents who ask what the main protagonist has done at school, or scold them about having a messy room. I think these little interactions help build up a realistic relationship between the main protagonist and the parent. Not all parent-child relationships have to be all rainbows and sunshine. A great example of family love is the Weasley family from Harry Potter. Though Rowling gets across the warmth of the family unit she also shows realistic tribulations inside it. Having these dynamics can make the characters even more interesting

We all love the boyfriend/girlfriend  relationship, I know. But sometimes I think I want a different type of love while reading.

What are your thoughts? Comment below and I’ll be sure to get back!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Publisher: Del Rey (Random H0use)

My rating: 4.25/5

Goodreads rating: 4.23/5

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Summary (Goodreads):

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.


Review:

I am so happy I read this book! Though it wasn’t perfect, it was a great start to a trilogy. It was rather grittier than I thought it was going to be but it was refreashing actually. Though it was a YA I can tell it wasn’t sugar coated and that rawness was appreciated. There wasn’t loads of plot twists but there were some curve balls that keeps the plot entertaining.

Plot:

After Darrow loses his wife under the unjust system system of oppression of his people, he finds himself with a new ember inside of him. He wants justice and he will risk anything to make his wife’s dream a reality- even his own identity.

Now this plot was very slow at the start and at times it plot was sometimes confusing- maybe that was just me, but I think that information was told once and after that time it was never mentioned again which led to the confusion of what was happening- which made me put down the book quite often at the start. But when I get to the meat of the story-and you will know when you got there- I completely loved the story! It was really amazing and so captivating! It had some essence of the Hunger Games definietly but it never felt like it was coppying it. As I said before, there are some curve balls thrown in here and there and that was good. There didn’t have to be big OMG plot twist moments. I think the ending was a tiny bit anti-climatic to be honest and might of felt a tiny bit rushed…I don’t know but it didn’t sit very comfortably with me a bit. I am still pumped up about the next book though as this book did end with a cliffhanger.

Writing:

The writing was really great in this book! I think the vocabulary is not necessarily technical but, as I said before, the technical words are only really explained once, so sometimes I just forgot what a word meant. Or even the sci-fi jargon words were lost on me. Maybe I’m just little slow on things like this, but even the colours and what they do are only mentioned once. I think some secondary clarification wouldn’t of hurt anyone. The wold-building was pretty great as well! Along with all of the lovely, lengthy descriptions, I got very vivid pictures in my mind while reading. Nothing was very jarring and it was only the start which wasn’t very interesting compared to the rest of the novel. Also, I love how there was humor embedded into the writing as well! I giggled authentically a lot through reading Red Rising.

“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”

Characters:

The characters in this book were so good! I loved how they were all flawed and raw. I sometimes completely forgot that these teens were suppose to be the perfect golds in all of their grandeur. They just felt and read like normal people. Darrow was such a brilliant protagonist, I couldn’t of asked for more. I don’t have any doubts, qualms or cons towards his character. He was literally perfect. This doesn’t mean that he was a ‘Mary Sue’ but he was perfect because he wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes, he didn’t always win and he was very manipulative in some instances. But he was so logical and he kept his wits about him.

I loved other side characters as well like Sevro and Mustang and I hope we see more of them in the next book. They were both really interesting characters and I would love to know more of their backstory. I am a sucker for teen boys with a cold heart so Jackal is on my radar.

What I liked:

  • The writing was absolutely superb!
  • Darrow was the most awesome protagonist ever.
  • The book had some nice bits of humor in it

What I disliked:

  • The start was slow
  • Some secondary clarification would of been appreciated
  • The ending was anti-climatic

Verdict: Red Rising was such an excellent book and I loved it. I fell in love with the world because of the great world-building and the main protagonist was one of the best I’ve ever read. There were a few drawbacks which sadly affected my reading experience negatively, but I’m hoping that I was all out adore the next book. I totally recommend this one!

-Astra

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Top Ten Tuesday- Songs That Inspire Me To Write

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday (or whatever day you are watching this) I hope you are all well! It’s Tuesday so it’s Top Ten Tuesday time! This week’s theme are songs that you want turned into books, but I wanted to do a little twist on the theme and want to do songs that inspire me to write. I think music is the thing that inspires me the most when writing. I get so many ideas from songs and this post is just dedication to the songs that inspire me the most.

I know this is a book blog but I love writing too and I don’t talk about writing enough! Anyway in no particular order here is my top ten! Underneath each song I will be adding some of my favourite lyrics as well!


1) Selene by Imagine Dragons

Resolutions and lovers in the kitchen
Love is clueless and destiny is wishing
This is my heart, it’s on the line, Selene

2) Goodbye Mr A by The Hoosiers

There’s a hole in your logic,
You who know all the answers
You claim science ain’t magic
And expect me to buy it

3) R U Mine? by Arctic Monkeys

I go crazy ’cause here isn’t where I wanna be
And satisfaction feels like a distant memory
And I can’t help myself,
All I wanna hear her say is “Are you mine?”

4) Mercenary by Panic! At The Disco

In love, I’ve always been a mercenary, but I never leave my post when the cash runs out
I want to make you quiver
Make your backbone shiver
Hey kid, take the stage and deliver

5) Still Into You by Paramore

Can’t count the years on one hand
That we’ve been together
I need the other one to hold you
Make you feel, make you feel better

 

6) Gusty Gardens Galaxy OST- Super Mario Galaxy

*I know this one is a bit weird, but I love this OST! It gets me in the inspired mood!

7) Ghost by Mayday Parade

There’s a ghost in my bedroom, and he’s dying to meet you,
God knows he’s heard all about you.
I guess he’s friendly enough though.
I’ll see him more,
Always sneaking roses in your bed,

8) She’s My Winona by Fall Out Boy

We didn’t come to compete
This is a demonstration
Even the young ones become irrelevant
They always bring up how you’ve changed
Never the same person when I go to sleep

9) Christmas Lights by Coldplay

Oh Christmas lights light up the street
Light up the fireworks in me
May all your troubles soon be gone
Those Christmas lights keep shining on
10) Cinderblock Garden by All Time Low

That we could make forever after all,
Finding the gold in our darkest moments,
Watching the roads turning into white roses, roses,
And we don’t ever have to leave these walls,
I’ll be the boy with the silver lining,
You’ll be the girl with the cinderblock garden


So there are my top ten songs that inspire me to write! Hopefully this will kick off a series of posts that focus on my writing more than my reading. Anyway, what songs inspire you in general? I think anything nightcore inspires me to exercise! Comment below and I’ll be sure to comment back!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Lovely Tags #3: The Book Love Tag

Hey guys! Here is the last post from the Lovely Tags series! My first two tags were the Rip it or Ship It tag and The Love Tag and now it’s time for the Book Love Tag! I wasn’t tagged by anyone but Kelly @ Stellar Scrutiny said anyone who wanted to do the tag could so I did! By the way, check out Kelly’s blog because it’s amazing!

On to the tag!


1. Your Favourite Book Couple?

Romione! They are so adorable and their relationship is DEVELOPED! I will switch up the fan art a bit.

2. Your Top 3 Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends

 Harry Potter

“There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.”

Marco Alistair

“I made a wish on this tree years ago,” Marco says.

“What did you wish for?” Bailey asks.


Marco leans forward and whispers in Bailey’s ear. “I wished for her.”

Theodore Finch

“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

3. Imagine your favorite book couple. Who would propose, and how? (If there’s already been a proposal: who would be more into organizing the wedding?)

Well Ron and Hermione are already married (with kids!) but their proosal has never been discloused. I would think that Ron would of tried doing something really fancy for example book a wildly expensive restaurant, but then something went  wrong like Hermione being ill and then he just proposed to her at her bedside. -sigh- So romantic!

4. Unpopular opinions time! Name a pairing you can’t stand.

Ummm I really dislike the Jacob/ Emma pairing in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I have only read the first book of the series but the pairing was just of bad taste and it reads as creepy.

5. What’s your favourite and least favourite romance troupe?

Best friends who fall in love! Or basically a developed relationship which progresses realistically, but I don’t think that’s a troupe. I cannot stand insta-love! Just no! It’s a complete turn no and my respect for the book and the author decreases slightly whenever I see it.

6. Do you ship non-canon  couples often? Name some if you do.

I actually don’t. It’s pretty rare when I do, but I do ship Mare and Maven from the Red Queen series very strongly!

7.Your opinion on love triangles. Go!

It can be done good, but most of the time it is done extremely poorly and it probably turns me against the main protagonist.

8. Favourite and least favourite love triangles.

My favourite is the Gale/Katniss/Peeta triangle which I know might be a bit strange, but I really loved it! My least favourite…I can’t really think of any at the-aha got one! The Helene/Elias/Laia love triangle. Ugh, the romance in An Ember in the Ashes was so bad!

9. Sometimes romance just isn’t the way forward. Favourite friendship?

Harry and Hermione! Our basically the Golden Trio, but mainly Harry and Hermione because it shows that the leading male and leading female in a book do not need to get together every time! Their friendship is so beautiful and authentic, I wish there were more moments of it in the books.

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10. What’s your favourite scene with you bookish OTP?

Obviously the Romione kiss in Deathly Hallows! That kiss was so awesome my face was hurting from me smiling so much!

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All of the lovely tags are all done now! I hope everyone had a lovely Valentines day!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Lovely Tags #2: The Love Tag

Hey, I’m back for post two of this mini tag series! I just did the Rip it or Ship it tag, which you can see here and it was extremely fun to do!

I was tagged to do The Love Tag by Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote. I love their blog so you guys should seriously check them out! Also they created this tag which is so awesome!

Now on to the tag!

Books other people love but you haven’t gotten around to yet

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Me Before You! I know I know it’s a crime, but I didn’t really have any interest in this book before the movie trailer was released, well I was going to get to it, but now I NEED TO GET TO THIS BOOK!

A book that you love but no one else talks about

Hmm this one is hard  as I generally like books that people like to talk about so yeah…

Stand alone books that you love

 

These are the three that just jumped in my head. If you haven’t read any of these, you really should because they are all awesome and deserve a re-read soon.

Favourite book couple

There are too many, but I love Romione,

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Simon and Baz,

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and Celia and Marco!

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A series that I love…

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No explanation needed.

The perfect song

Well I’ve been loving Goodbye Mr A at the moment by The Hoosiers especially the nightcore version. Seriously, nightcore is life!

A cute DIY

I found this great video the other day actually! It’s Harry Potter themed as well!

Well that’s the end of the tag! Thanks for reading and I tag everyday to do this tag!

Lovely Tags #1: Rip it or Ship it

Hello lovelies! Happy Valentines Day and to celebrate this day of love I am coming at you with three tags! I won’t be tagging anybody because I fear it might be too late to post on the day, but if you want to do these tags because you just love love then go ahead. I picked three tags to do and they will all have their own individual posts.

First up is the Rip it or Ship it tag! I was tagged by the wonderful Michelle over at Book Adventures. Be sure to follow that blog as it’s one of my favourites!

Rules:

Write down the names of characters from different books 

You can use as many characters as you’d like –I’m choosing ten characters!

Place these names in a container of your choosing 

 Take out two names at a time and decide whether you would ship the couple, or if you wish for them to die I peaceful/slow death!


1. Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice) and Cal (Red Queen)

OMG I can imagine these too being really cute together! This is really hard because in one aspect they can be really cute, but in another I don’t think their personalities will click so I’m going to say…

RIP IT!

2. Kelsea (The Queen of The Tearling) and The Darkling (Shadow and Bone)

Oooooh, these two would be a power couple! Though Kelsea might be a little skeptical she would be seduced by The Darkling.

SHIP IT!

3. Penelope (Carry On) and Fred (Harry Potter)

I’m giggling! These two would basically be Fred and Hermione but maybe more laughs! I’m not sure about this still…

RIP IT!

4. Inej (Six of Crows) and Dorian (Throne of Glass)

My mind is made up about this! Inej seems to be the romantic type, Dorian too. I bet they can have some intelligent conversations as well, so…

SHIP IT!

5. Cinder (Cinder) and Levi (Fangirl)

Interesting! Though I think they may be compatible on some levels, I’m in doubt whether they will be able to fall in love as such so…

RIP IT!

So I only shipped two of the five couples but oh well! This tag was really fun and again if you just want to do this tag for fun, then consider yourself tagged!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Fem(+me) Friday!- N.C. Sousa

Hey guys, I am hear to start off a new blog weekly blog meme. Well all like some female empowerment from time to time and what better than to celebrate females that are in the bookish industry and world. This fantastic meme was created by Vicky @ Books and Strips and it’s still pretty new. I am grateful for Vicky to have tagged me in her Femme Friday introduction post and though I don’t identify myself as a feminist (that’s why I changed the name slightly) , I am still up for female empowerment and spotlighting.

So you can really identify any female in the book world(authors, illustrators and publishers to characters and cover designers) and today I will be spotlighting…

N.C. Sousa!

aka the person who created this fabulous cover-

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and this one,

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and this one!

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I don’t know about you, but all of these covers are brilliant and you can see more of her work here on her website. Sometimes I feel like we don’t give enough attention to the cover designers of the book world. I know we all know the saying don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we all do and cover designers design the covers that will either make a sale or lose one. With covers that I really like I do check out the name of the illustrator and try to give them a minute of my tiny, worthless appreciation.

Anyway, N.C. Sousa is our spotlight female for this week!

What do you think about the covers below and cover designers in general? Comment below and I’ll be sure to comment back!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Discussion: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

This random space of the week is usually filled with a bookish topic to debate about in the comments, but never really about a singular book. Maybe I should make this a more regular thing as I love talking about a specific book and reading people’s view about it.

Anyway so today’s book of discussion is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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 Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 

Author: J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany

Released Date: 31st July 2016

Summary: 

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.


While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

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