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

WWW Wednesday and Top 5 Wednesday-Graphic Novels

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having an epic. Wednesday! Being new to blogging I was thinking I should just throw myself in the deep end and do these two weekly posts!

Firstly WWW!

What are you currently reading?


-The Book Thief by Mark Zusak

It feels like I haven’t even made a dent in this book! It seems big, but I know I can easily finish this book if I focus all of my attention on it! The writing style still seems very new to me, but I can feel myself easing into slightly.

What have you read previously?

-Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Well you can check my September wrap up if you want my full run down of the previous books I have read.  But I did finish Faingirl on Sunday and I just fell in love with it! My review is to come soon!

What books you are planning to read?

Well this is a nice transition onto T5W. But I am planning to read a load of graphic novels but also…

-Carry on by Rainbow Rowell. This is my priority read for the next couple of days. I loved the bits of Carry On that were in Fangirl and I can’t wait to read the long length novel of the story!

Now onto T5w!

This weeks T5W was top 5 graphic novels, but I have a little confession to make….I don’t read graphic novels. It’s funny because I don’t think I dislike graphic novels I simply don’t read them. So to twist the T5W to my favour and turned it to top 5 graphic novels I want to read soon.

I went straight to the library today and picked five of the most interesting graphic novels from the dismal collection and borrowed them. Seriously, most of the novels were not in order at all and I was pretty sure I couldn’t carry on reading the novel from book 4. I also made a point about not going on Goodreads to look up on any ratings or reviews, I wanted to see if I could pick a good graphic novel for myself without subconsciously thinking about ratings.

I will keep my summaries to a minimum on each pick because I really don’t know anything new about them.

1. Town of the Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms by Fumiyo Kounio


This manga follow the story of a average women living in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb is dropped. I found the summary really intriguing and I loved how deceiving the cover was because when I picked it up I thought it was going to be a romance!

2. Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I haven’t heard of this Jane Austen novel, but I saw the summary on the back and thought, why not?

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


This is one of the two classic book that I would like to read in normal novel form. It’s a classic so I have to read it, but Dickens in a bit intimidating, so I’m starting with a graphic novel.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


And the second graphic novel which is a classic in normal novel form. I did try (last summer I think?) reading the normal copy but the start is just so boring! Just saying what I feel guys, just so many pages until I got to the actual story and by the time I didn’t feel like reading it anymore. Hopefully after reading the graphic novel of the story, it will help me with the actual novel.

5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Illustrated by Fabio Celoni and Mirka Andolfo)


If you guys have read my October TBR, you would know that The Kite Runner in novel form is in there. I borrowed this just if I wanted to read the book but in a lighter form after The Book Thief.

And there is my WWW and T5W for the week! I hope you enjoyed this post and please comment down your WWW and T5W. Write soon.


Twitter- @astrangersguide

P.S WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam from Taking On A World Of Words. Just a quick shoutout!

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag!


I swear this blog is going to be more than tags, but tags are so fun. A review for Fangirl should come soon- soon meaning tomorrow if I’m lucky-, so I think I can have a little fun today! I was tagged by the amazing  impossiblegirl123 and brilliant  , and I felt really giddy after because I haven’t gotten tagged before, but anyway please check out their blogs because their awesome.

Lets got on with the tag before a blab you all to death.

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like

This is so hard because I hardly dislike books because I always choose books that I know I will like, but a series does come to mind…

Yes, the Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. Before you start hurling rocks at me, I absolutely love the the concept of these books…..the execution…..less slow. The thing is Dashner’s writing wasn’t really gripping for me and he told a lot to the reader instead of showing it. I simply couldn’t finish the first book. I am going to try again in the near future, but yeah, I didn’t really like it.

2. A popular book that everyone hates but you love

Gosh these questions are hard…umm…the first books that come to mind is the Fury trilogy.    

Now I don’t think everyone hates this book, but I don’t really hear anything good about this trilogy either. I loved this trilogy a few years ago and even reread the second book earlier this year. The plot was really unique to me at the time and I loved the fact that the beautiful girls were the ones that will rip your heart out in the end.

3. A love triangle where your ship did not sail OR an OTP that you don’t like.

I am going for the second part of the question and say the (I don’t know if this is a spoiler, but HP SPOILER just in case 🙂 ) the Harry/Ginny ship in Harry Potter.

Please don’t kill me! Just because I don’t support the ship doesn’t mean I hate all canon and all canon relationship and wish Ginny ended up with a Squirrel instead. I don’t like the ship because I felt it was really rushed in Half Blood Prince and we didn’t really get those nice moments with them in the book. I just can’t ship this pairing, but I tolerate it all the same.

4. A popular genre that you hardly reach for.

Science Fiction! I just can’t get into it, which I don’t understand because I absolutely love Doctor Who! I could of easily said Paranormal, but I loved the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand. You guys help! If you have any good Sci-Fi recommendations please comment below because I hate feeling like I’m missing out.

5. A beloved character you didn’t like

Beatrice, Tris, or whatever she wants to call herself from the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

I did read the first book and I found it okay but I wasn’t into Tris at all. I found that she didn’t really have any depth. I felt nothing for her, and I think the main protagonist of the series should create some sort of attachment to the reader, but I felt zilch.

6. A popular author you can’t get into

Dan Brown is the author I have to name here. My dad LOVES his books, but I just have no interest in reading them. I know, sooner or later, I will end up reading at least  one of his books, but at the moment I will have to turn my back on the author for now.

7. A popular books series you have no interest in reading

(Smiles evilly) The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer.

I have read some bit of pieces from Twilight and I just did not feel it. I know you shouldn’t let other people’s opinions affect you, but I feel like I have soaked up all of the negativity like a sponge and even if I did read it, I wouldn’t be with a clear mind or heart.

8. An adaptation you like better than the book

Yes! An easy question. The Hobbit trilogy! I am like the biggest fan of the Hobbit trilogy (after my dad of course) and I just can’t get enough of the movies. I did read the book after the last movie came out. I don’t know if that did alter my reading experience, but I found the Hobbit a tricky and dense book to read- I think it must of took me a month or something. That doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good, I really enjoyed reading it, but the movies were much more gripping and interesting for me.


ALL DONE! Now if you want to do the tag, just do it! It was loads of fun and I’m pretty sure you would enjoy it too. Now I think I am off to hide away from all of the fans I must of upset from this post.

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating: 4-4.5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.12

My Summary: The world is divided by the colour of a person’s blood. Red meaning you are a simple commoner expected by go to war by the age of eighteen, if they are not in work and if you do return from war you are still oppressed by the Silvers. The Silvers are the nobles, the ladies, the lords and many even hold strong magical powers which they demonstrate on a frequent. The country is, if not unfair, stable…until Mare Barrow comes.

She is an anomaly- a Red, but with Silver like powers. After showing off her extraordinary powers in front of the Silver royal family and their company they decide to take her in and doll her up as a lost Silver Princess.

Mare takes this opportunity to assist a Red Revolution within the castle wars, but what she doesn’t know is that she has stumbled into a game of power and betrayal- one that might end in death.

Cover- 5/5 

Absolutely stunning!

Review: I loved this book so much, I still gush about it even though it has been a month since I read the book. After a slow paced 60 pages at the start of the book, the rest of the novel sparks up and you are thrown headfirst into this messy, futuristic, but dystopian world.

When people say that this is a mash up of best selling YA novels, they weren’t kidding. I have draw a lot of comparison from the Hunger Games trilogy.

Firstly, and the most obvious, is the rebellion.

Secondly, the protagonist becoming a provider for the family.

Thirdly, the capital (or the Royal Family in this case) trying to control the protagonist.

Fourthly, a love triangle and so many more. But the thing is that these comparisons don’t bother me, but I didn’t like the book because it was a walking talking Hunger Games, but because I still found the plot unique.

The main character, Mare, is a spunky, stubborn seventeen year old, who thinks she knows everything, but in reality is rather naive. I had no problems with Mare, she she wasn’t a star shinning protagonist, but she wasn’t annoying either. But I loved one character in particular more. Maven, one of the Princes of Norta. Where do I begin with Maven? I just adore his character so much and as Mare says ‘he is good with words’. I am keeping this a spoiler free review, but damn I just love him more towards the end. Cal (the CROWN prince of Norta) on the other hand….lets just say that his character went kind of down hill three quarters in the book. Though there wasn’t tons of character development for the characters in the Red Queen (which consequently knocked this book down slightly), I ‘knew’ them well enough I feel towards the end of the book.

Another little niggle I had with this book is that the magic seemed endless. There were no limits on the Silvers powers it seemed and it didn’t really make sense for why there seemed to be so many problems within the kingdom. I also had a problem with Kilorn, I didn’t know why he was there to be honest. Just a Gale 2.0 in my opinion. Hopefully he gets some character development in the next book.

Verdict: I feel in love with this book as soon as the action started to kick in! Victoria’s writing and story just sent me on a thrilling adventure I did not want to end.


twitter- @astrangersguide