Book Recommendations- October 2015

Hello guys! How has your day been? Well I found out that I did pretty well in both my Physics and maths tests and that the book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde might be a little bit more twisted than I thought it would be. Anyway, I am here to start this monthly post open to everyone about book recommendations!

Now, I don’t know about you but (I’m feeling twenty two)- even though I have so many books on my TBR list, I often don’t know what book I should read half the time. I don’t like feeling that I am missing out on some good books, so I was thinking that I could make this post just for people to put books that they have read and loved in the comments so other people can discover that book.

It’s a simple idea I think, just put the book, author and genre down in a comment and tell me why you love it. It won’t just be beneficial for me, but for other fellow bloggers as well.

To kick off the conversation, here is a question: Should I read How Kill A Mockingbird immediately? 

I have been thinking about reading this book for a while, but so many new releases have come out, it just keeps getting pushed back. But should it?

Have your say down below and I’ll write soon!


Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.18

Summary (Goodreads): Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Continue reading

Why I hate (and love) bookstores.

Yesterday I spent two hours in a bookstore trying to find (wait for it)…one book. Yes, I spent two hours in Waterstones trying to buy ONE book. No book in particular, I just had some spare cash (which is a miracle it’s self) and thought hmm let me just get one book and that’s my TBR for October done.

It is like a bookstore is my heaven and hell at the same time. I get sucked into the magical world of endless hardbacks and fiction novels that it takes an extraordinary amount of will power to pick just one book and leave my paradise.

It doesn’t help having a big TBR in my lifetime list because I think ah Cinder! I need to start that series or everything everything! I so need to get this book. I’m pretty sure I spent just one hour in the Young Adult section and I didn’t even get a YA book!

The book that I did finally get Miss Peregrine’s Home for Perculiar Children, which I am happy to have finally,  but my mind wanders and thinks if you didn’t get the sausage roll you could of gotten Six Of Crows or other awesome YA or fantasy or  contemporary book.

So yes, I hate bookstores, but I also wish I could stay their into the sun rises the next morning.

– Astra

October TBR!

Hello hello! I know these post is a little late, but better late than never is how the saying goes. In the picture you can see that these are just the physical copies I have at the moment of the books I want to/have read. My TBR number is the same as last month, 6, and September was a great reading month for me, so hopefully I can duplicate my success.

So let’s get on with my TBR!

I’m going to start the books I have read already which are The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I started The Miniaturist at the start of the week and finished it on the 2nd October (2:43 am to be exact!) and I enjoyed reading it so much I did a review on it and you can view it here. Fangirl was next and I LOVED this book. From the plot to the main character, it just oozed great contemporary. I am going to do a review on this book soon because I have so much to say!  Anyway, two great reads for the start of October.

The next book I am going to be reading is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I tend not to read books that fall into Nazi Germany just because I find the books a tad to depressing, but I am giving this book a shot because I have heard amazing things and it is interesting that the narrator is death its self. That was a definite hook for me.

Next I will be reading my dad’s beaten down copy of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This is a book that is a guarantee you have to read and I am slightly embarrassed to say I haven’t read it, but that is to be corrected soon. By just flipping quickly through the pages, I can see that the font is a tad small and the summary isn’t as gripping as other books I have read. However, I have faith in this book (it just might take me a bit longer to read).

Now if my purse is generous, I am going to get some more books to add to my TBR. One of them is definitely Carry On by Rainbow Rowell which, if you have read Fangirl would now, is the novel the main character in Fangirl is writing throughout the book. I am just loving Rainbow Rowell for even considering this idea, and I am just hoping that I can get myself a copy of this book before the month is out.

Another book I am hoping to get is The Rose Society by Marie Lu which is the second book of the Young Elites trilogy. If you read my September wrap up you would know that I loved that the main protagonist was an anti-hero and I can’t wait to see how her story develops and unwraps in the second book.

Lastly, I have to get my hands on a horror book. By either buying or borrowing; it doesn’t matter to me. People have recommended loads of Stephen King books to read, but I would love to know if you have any recommendations for a horror book.

And that is my October TBR! What is yours? Comment below if you want to share!


@astrangersguide (my twitter!)

Astra’s Fortnightly Recommend 

Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

Image result for kazuo ishiguro the remains of the day

Why read it?

After having to analysis this to death for educational purposes, I can confidently say this book is beautiful. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Who knew the ramblings of an English butler could be so insightful?

Previous recommendations

Continue reading

September Wrap Up!

September has been a very successful reading month, surprisingly! Even though school had started three weeks ago, I read through 6 and a half books (I was halfway through The Miniaturist when the clock stroke 12 on the 1st October). So on with the wrap up! Also, I’ll be leaving the Goodreads links for all of the books at the end of the post.

Firstly, I read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. IT WAS AMAZING! I know a lot of people are conflicted about whether or not this book is an original piece of work or a mash up of successful YA novels. I am planning to do a review about this book soon so I won’t say much, but yeah, brilliant book!

The next two books I read in September was the Queen of the Tearling and the Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Although I can see why people might of gotten confused with the world building in TQOTT I found it immensely enjoyable. I loved how everything was so complicated to understand and how so many different factors come in to just ruling the bloody Tearling. The same with TIOFT, the whole world looked very vivid in my mind. The only problem I had with the books was that it did change POVs A LOT. But then again I can’t complain because I loved some of the different POVs as well. 5 stars for both!

Throne of Glass was next by Sarah. J. Mass and again it was a very smooth read, I finished it in two days I think. Anyway, I sort of get the hype for the series because I did love Sarah’s writing; so quick and clean. And (I don’t really want to admit this) I loved the love triangle!  I’m not going to say anything else just in case spoilers, but I definitely recommend this book.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu was a solid read. The main character was an anti hero which was something that was really new to me, I was kind of confused with my feelings towards her. The second book, The Rose Society is going to be out later this month, so hopefully I get a copy and read it before October is over. 4 out of 5 stars.

The last and final read for September was the Night Circus…..WOW. That is the only word I can find to describe this novel (which was written by Erin Morgenstern). It was a phenomenal read. My fortnight recommend is The Night Circus because I just believe anyone can read it. If you like fantasy, read this. If you like mystery, read this. If you like circus’, read this. I am going to have to post a review about this book as well but 5 stars out of 5 definitely for now.

And that is my September wrap up! I hope you enjoyed reading this and take heed on some of my recommendations! What books have you read? Comment down below!

Red Queen

The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling

Throne Of Glass

The Young Elites

The Night Circus



Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Title: The Miniaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 3.75-4 stars
Goodreads rating: 3.57 stars

My Summary: The Miniaturist is a pure historical fiction novel that takes place in Amsterdam 1686. The story follows eighteen-year old Petronella Oortman as she starts to live her life as a wife to the rich and handsome Johannes Brandt. Though keen to start her life a fresh, Nella is intimidated by her new surroundings and sister in law, Marin, who seems to keep the Brandt household in tip top condition.

Many secrets linger in the house and Nella soon realises that being the wife to one of the wealthiest merchants in Amsterdam comes with as many downfalls as there are ups. With the her mysterious wedding gift, a miniature of the Brandt House and the strangely intriguing Miniaturist making eerily lifelike furnishings, Nella goes on a private mission to find the Miniaturist, who seems to hold Nella’s  life in her hands.

Cover: 4/5


My Review: I liked this book. I mean just liked this book. It was a nice and cosy historical fiction to read, but that’s all it was. Nice. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I found that the whole book just stayed on a straight line. Not saying that there wasn’t any spikes throughout the book, because there definatley was some points, but not enough to keep a tight grip on my interest.

Lets talk about the main character, Petronella Brandt nee Oortman. First of all, I loved the name a lot, it is just a fun name to say, but my friends did get a  bit annoyed when I kept on saying it during random spaces of silence. Though Nella acted like she knew what was going to happen when  she became a wife, she reeked of naivety which made me want to guide her, almost like the Miniaturist did. She had these many rigid images of what it means to be a proper woman, but by the end of the novel those images came crumbling down, and it made her into a stronger woman I feel.

It is now around twenty-four hours after I have finished the book and I can confidently say I had no issues whatsoever with the characters. The main characters were developed enough for me to enjoy and I could picture most of them very clearly in my mind, which is helped by the lovely description that flowed through the book. The plot on the other hand…I had some problems.

The mystery of the Miniaturist was never really solved. I wanted Nella to have a proper conversation with her, I want to know how she talked, how she sat, if her teeth were sparkling white. What I’m trying to say is that the Miniaturist seemed like a hollow character to me. My second point kind of links on the first but the ending was like cold cup of tea you expected to be hot. After building a relationship with the characters (the novel seems more character than plot driven) I was left feeling Cornelia slammed a door in my face. I wanted to know what happened, so many questions were left unanswered for me and knowing that this is a stand alone novel,I am a little bit disappointing that many of my questions will not be answered through another greatly written book.

Verdict: Though I enjoyed the characters, the writing and pace there was just too little suspense and sharp, unpredictable plot twists that kept me fully intrigued.


twitter- @astrangersguide


Hi!!!! (You’re a bit too hyper, tone it down)

Hello, I’m astrangersguidetonovels, but that’s a mouthful so you  can call me Astra for short. I’m a teenage- no please don’t go running for the hills! I promise I’m not an annoying, bratty or any other negative connotations you might have attached to teenagers! I am actually a pretty quiet English girl, who has a passion for for reading!

I’m not sure how this whole blogging thing works, but basically I am here to spread my knowledge (and general quirkiness) about the books I read, the authors I love and stories I like to share.

I hope my posts are fun and entertaining, but also informative, so yeah….(what am I suppose to say now?) oh yeah, bye and Happy reading!


P.S Follow me on twitter! It’s all new and shiny!- @astrangersguide