Posted in discussion

Books I Want To Reread

The biggest piece of advice I give anyone who finds themselves stuck in a bit of a reading slump is read your favourite books again or reread books you once loved deeply. Dear reader, I am finally taking some of my own advice.

I wrote a list of fifteen books in total that I would like to revisit; for obvious reasons this list did not include works such as Harry Potter. I write the names down onto individual slips of paper, folded them up and commandeered my TBR jar for the purposes of this experiment. After I’d given the jar a good shake, I decided to pick out four books to start off with.

I plan on making my thoughts on rereads into a series here on my blog. But this will not be a fixed segment which means that I will post an update as and when I read them; though it will be made clear in the title if it’s part of this new series or not.

So let’s get into the books:

Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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The story follows a boy called Simon has been emailing another boy at his school. But when the emails get leaked and Simon’s sexuality is at risk of being made public, Simon quickly finds himself in an uncomfortable positon.

I know what you’re thinking: will Charlotte ever stop talking about Becky Albertalli? The answer is no. This made my list of favourite books in 2015 and admittedly I haven’t picked it up again since then. But this a rather promising-looking adaptation due to hit the big screen this year, it seems like the perfect time to give this another read.

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

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The story follows a man called Nick who moved next door to a big mansion in Long Island during the Jazz Age. After receiving an invitation to one of the many lavish parties held by his neighbour – Jay Gatsby- Nick soon learns that no one has seen or met the man. He is quite simply a mystery to everyone.

I know you’re all probably sick of hearing me talk about this book but it’s one of my all-time favourites for a reason. This is such a beautifully written, poetic tale with so many complex characters. This Penguin’s Modern Classics cover is also my favourite of the many redesigns The Great Gatsby has received. I won’t be doing another review on here for it in terms of reread thoughts because I’ve actually already done one which can be found here.
Eleanor And Park by Rainbow Rowell

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If you’re looking for a cute, all-consuming YA Contemporary love story, then Eleanor and Park is the book for you. I find it so hard to talk about YA romance without giving anyway any important details. But just know it’s beautiful.

The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly 

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This is another book that’s difficult to describe without giving away the main points of the plot. But at its core, The Book Of Lost Things is about a boy coming to terms with the death of his mother and his reality and imagination sort of merge together with a  fairytale twist.

And that’s what I’m planning on rereading! Do you have any plans to revisit some old favourites?

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Posted in fantasy, review, young adult

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

“I walk up to the tall iron gate – THE WATFORD SCHOOL – is spelled out on the top – and rest my hand on the bars to let them feel my magic. That used to be all it took. The gates would swing open for anyone who was a magician.”

 

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Blurb: “Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time Simon can’t even makes his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke-up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at the Watford school of Magiks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t bother to show up.”

Carry On is a companion novel to Rainbow’s full length book Fangirl. This book is the fanfiction referred to in Fangirl that Cath write throughout the book. Having said that, there is no need to read that book before reading this one. This is Rainbow’s first fantasy novel and is told through multiple perspectives.

It’s hard to give a synopsis for this book since the blurb has pretty much done the job for me and giving anything outside of that would be spoilers. But I digress. The story is centred around Simon Snow who is in his last year of magic school, battling with being the chosen one, having a villain running around looking like an exact copy of him and having to deal with all the typical teenage drama.

The best description I’ve seen of Carry On is that it’s “fantasy that reads like contemporary” and I completely agree with this statement. Rainbow gives you this amazing world with a whole host of fantasy elements but it doesn’t have that heavyweight feeling that fantasies normally do. You can just tell by reading it that the writing style is the product of Rainbow Rowell. However, when reading it I experienced something unexpected: a connection to Cath. While absorbing the words it felt like I was reading what Cath had written – this fantastic story she works tirelessly on in Fangirl. I just felt so close to her while reading it which was an unusual but incredible feeling.

Penelope was by far by favourite character as she was just that kind of person you’d want to have on your side. She was a pleasure to share this adventure with.

There’s a lot of expectation in place when a writer decides to produce something in a different genre and I will admit that I was anxious about how good this would be. Rainbow did not let me down and proves just how much of an outstanding writer she is. Rowell is just an auto buy writer for me now.

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Posted in contemporary, review, young adult

Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell

“However Elena changed or grew, Star Wars seemed to be there for her in a new way.”

 

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“If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be the last in a line of only three people, to have to pee into a collectable Star Wars cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.”

World Book Day was on 3rd March this year and saw Rainbow Rowell as one of the contributors to the teen category. When I was a child, World Book Day was like Christmas to me and now that I am in my twenties, I still make at least one purchase from the choices each year. Also, Rainbow Rowell’s writing just makes me all warm and happy inside, even if it is short.

Kindred Spirits follows Elena who is a Star Wars fan and decides to join a long line of people camping on the street in the final days leading up to the Midnight screening. She has her tickets, she has her sleeping bag, and she is prepared. What she isn’t prepared for is that only two people are in line: a bearded man named Troy who has been to nearly every Star Wats opening, and Gabe who is closer to her age and doesn’t talk much. It certainly challenges Elena’s expectations as it’s her firs time camping out for something she loves.

Troy tells stories about his adventures at various Star Wars events while Elena tries to keep hidden the fact that she has only seen the original trilogy, not the prequels.

The great thing about this short story is that you don’t have to like or have even seen Star Wars to enjoy this creation because it’s about so much more than Star Wars. It’s about loving something so much you’re willing to queue for hours for it; whether it’s camping out to be at the barrier at the show of your favourite band, or queuing outside a bookstore, to be at the front for the signing of your favourite author. It’s about the feeling of anticipation.

It’s about the memories you make – no matter how disgusting and unmentionable they may be – and the friendships you gain in the process. It’s an idea that I think everyone can relate to which is what makes this so wonderful to read.
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