The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

The Narnia Book Tag

Hi lovely people! Today, I thought I’d do The Narnia Book Tag, which Diana over at Diana Prince Reviews kindly tagged me to do back in October. I know, I know, I’m very behind on my tags (and this isn’t even the oldest on my list… the shame!)

Please make sure you go and check out Diana’s fabulous blog here.

The Narnia books make me feel Christmassy (well, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe does, at any rate) so I thought this would be the perfect book tag to get me in the festive mood.

NARNIA – A magical world you would like to visit


Is it cheating if I choose Narnia itself? All that lives at the back of my mundane wardrobe are some squished old clothes I never wear… it would be far more exciting if said wardrobe were carpeted with snowflakes, and enabled passage to a magical frozen forest filled with talking animals and enchanted Turkish Delight.

THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW – A book you think is underrated


All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

I don’t know anyone else who’s read this quirky, strange, and lovely little book. It’s about a man named Tom whose wife, a superhero known as “The Perfectionist”, has been hypnotised by her ex boyfriend “Hypno” into believing Tom is invisible. As she can no longer see or hear him, The Perfectionist assumes Tom has abandoned her, and this story follows Tom’s final attempt to convince his wife he’s still there before she gives up on him forever. I read this at least ten years ago, but I can still remember how much I adored this small, but satisfying love story.

THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE – A classic that you love


I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

This classic could probably also be classed as a YA novel. It’s a coming-of-age story about a girl named Cassandra who writes a diary about her experiences when her family go to live in a falling-to-pieces castle in the middle of nowhere. I remember loving the descriptions of the family and their everyday lives in the castle (which were a lot less grand than you might expect). The castle was given so much personality in the story it could almost have been a character itself. I must re-read this book soon!

THE HORSE AND HIS BOY – A book you picked up without knowing what it was about


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This is what was written on the back cover of my edition:

 “Not everyone has to be the chosen one.

What if you were Mikey? And just want to graduate and go to prom before someone blows up the high school again?

Patrick Ness’s bold and original novel shows how ordinary lives can be extraordinary and that there are many different types of remarkable.”

How vague and intriguing is that blurb though? If you’d like to know more, you can read my review here.

PRINCE CASPIAN – A sequel that you loved


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I feel like I mention this book at every opportunity I get, and I’m sure you’re all sick of my unintelligable blathering about it by now, but how could I have chosen anything else for this question? This book enthralled and obsessed me (well, more specifically, Rhysand enthralled and obsessed me.) I’ve never read a 600-page book so speedily, and I’ve never shipped two heterosexual characters so hard before. I need A Court of Wings and Ruin like air, and the wait is going to be torturous.

THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER – A quest you’d like to be a part of


From what I can remember of A.A. Milne’s wonderful books, Winnie the Pooh spends a not insignificant amount of time on quests to find food. That’s definitely something I can see myself getting involved in; I’m only really valiant when a mission involves breakfast.

THE SILVER CHAIR – A book you didn’t expect to love


A book I was pleasantly surprised by was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I’m not a big reader of YA contemporary romance, and I couldn’t get into this book the first time I picked it up, but I revisited it when I was in the mood for fluffy feelings and I ended up adoring it. Minimal angst, and full of warm fuzzies, this is the perfect book to read when you’re in need of a literary hug.

THE LAST BATTLE – A perfect ending to a series you love


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Will I ever have a different answer to this question?


THE PEVENSIES – A siblinghood of friendship you’d love to be a part of

The Weasleys, obvs.


I so desperately want to live in The Burrow, y’know.

EUSTACE SCRUBB – A character who grew on you

before i fall

Sam Kingston, the protagonist of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, was something of a ‘mean girl’ stereotype to begin with, and I found her shallow and difficult to like. But, as the story progressed, she went through an incredible character arc and by the end I had connected with her so strongly that this book found a permanent place in my (shattered) heart.

MR. TUMNUS – Your favourite mystical creature


I really love the idea of the daemons from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. In the world of these stories, your daemon is a talking animal which remains by your side throughout your life, and is supposed to be representative of your spirit/soul. Lyra, our heroine, has a daemon called Pantalaimon who is constantly shifting into different forms (moth, wildcat, mouse, etc.), and I adored the bond between them.

I love the idea of having a constant creature companion like Pantalaimon by my side, but if I had my own daemon, I’m pretty sure he’d look something like this:

(Yes, yes, those ARE pictures of my stuffed pig in various locations around the city of Edinburgh. I’m a real adult, I swear.)

CASPIAN – A character with regal qualities


Fan art found here.

Princess Nehemia from the Throne of Glass books by Sarah J. Maas embodies every quality needed to be a strong leader of her people; loyalty, integrity, and courage being the most important, and the reasons why she is one of my favourite characters in the entire series.

THE WARDROBE – Your favourite hideout/place to read


I really wish I had an actual hideout because I’m anti-social af, but my warm, snuggly bed is a pretty good alternative, especially when accompanied with hot chocolate and Christmassy scented candles.

All GIFs sourced from: Giphy

I am tagging the following lovely ladies who have all been there for me in some way this year, even if they don’t realise it. No worries if you don’t fancy doing the tag – I just wanted the opportunity to let you all know that I appreciate you muchly and think you are wonderful human beings! ❤

Anne @ The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange

Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

CW @ Read Think Ponder

Amanda @ Cover 2 Cover Mom

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books


The (Belated) Halloween Book Tag

I’m unfashionably late to the Halloween Book Tag party, but if Christmas can last for approx. three months of every year, I think I can just about get away with doing a Halloween tag on November 1st.

I was tagged for this one by the fabulous Eve over at Eve Messenger’s OtherWORDly Endeavors. Go check out her awesome blog, around about now.


Image credit: Giphy

I was planning to do this tag yesterday, but I was rather late getting back from the creepy Halloween tour of Oxford Castle I went on last night. (I’m ever-so-slightly disturbed-for-life by the experience of our tour guide wrapping up the evening by saying ‘this is where I leave you’ and then abandoning us all to find our own way out of the pitch-black castle, with creepy figures in ominous hoods lurking all around and jumping out at us as we stumbled around in the dark… definitely not for the fainthearted!!)

I didn’t dress up last night, nor did I have any kind of pumpkin placed outside my abode, but this morning, in continuation of the festivities, I dressed my stuffed pig (“Piggly Puff”) up as a gothic fairy, and he’s kinda pumpkin shaped, so at least I *tried*.


Anyhoo, here are my answers to this belated holiday tag…

Carving Pumpkins: What book would you carve up and light on fire?


I think that would have to be the frightfully bad Fifty Shades of Grey. My *Inner Goddess* would get out her maracas and do a samba dance as she watched those pages burn.

Trick or Treat? Which character is a treat and which character is a trick?


I’m going to choose two characters from The Lunar Chronicles for this question. Queen Levana is undoubtedly the trick, because her hypnotizingly beautiful face is an illusion she has chillingly manipulated an entire populace into perceiving as reality. Carswell Thorne is certainly the treat – loveable rogue and frighteningly handsome captain of the Rampion (the only fictional spaceship I have ever given a damn about), he is all kinds of swoon and was my first book-crush of 2016.

Candy Corn: What book is always sweet?


I haven’t fangirled about this book in a while, but Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson fits the bill so well; it’s the cutest, fluffiest, funniest, and shippiest M/M romance I’ve ever read. I adore this book, and in keeping with the festive spirit, there is also a sequel Halloween novella – Toil and Trouble – which is just as witty and warm-fuzzies-inducing as the first book.

Ghost: What character would you like to visit you as a ghost?


I’d love to have a visit from Dumbledore’s ghost. I can just imagine him offering sage advice and spirit-lifting sentiments from beyond the grave in a whimsical, twinkly-eyed manner.


Image credit: Giphy

Dressing Up in Costume: What character would you want to be for a day?

I would love to be Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments for a day. I’d have a fabulous wardrobe full of flamboyant clothes, and a head fully of sassy, witty, quips at my disposal. I’d open portals and travel the world, and at the end of the day, after all my magical adventures, I’d get to snuggle up with Alec Lightwood, aka the fairest Shadowhunter of them all.


Image credit: Giphy

Wizards and Witches: What’s your favorite Harry Potter moment?

Basically every single time Neville Longbottom was a total badass and Gryffindor-to-the-core.


Image credit: Giphy

Blood and Gore: What was a book that was so creepy that you had to take a break from it?

So, this probably isn’t what you were expecting, but…


When I was 9, I read the beginning of The Goblet of Fire and got so frightened by the callous murderyness of a certain Mr He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named that I stopped reading the book. I actually didn’t pick it up again until Deathly Hallows came out, when I binge-read all 7 books in one week of sleepless, magical awesomeness.

As Halloween has been and gone, I won’t be tagging anyone, but if you would like to carry on the pumpkin party, you are unofficially tagged to do so.


Image credit: Giphy


The New York Times ‘By the Book’ tag

Hi guys! How are we all doing today? Hang in there, it’s almost Friday…

giphy (41)


Today I thought I’d do the NY Times book tag, which the wonderful Sammie at Bookshelves and Biros, and the wonderful Charley at Books and Bakes tagged me to participate in! Please do go check out the blogs of these lovely ladies, pronto.

(The NY Times By the Book Tag was originally created by Marie Berg and you can watch her original video here.)

1. What book is on your night stand now?


I have three books on my bedside table right now – my current read is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (I’m re-reading the entire ToG series in preparation for Empire of Storms, which arrived earlier this week and looks GLORIOUS.)

On top of this, I’m also re-reading The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (because it’s such an awesome comfort read ‘bedtime’ book) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (because Harry Potter, duh).

2. What was the last truly great book you read?


That would have to be Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas. I picked this book up at YALC on a whim because of a three for £10 deal, and I’m so glad I did. This book was outstandingly brilliant. The characters were authentic (and adorable), the story was touching, the sci-fi elements (which I wasn’t really expecting, thinking this was pure contemporary) were intriguing, and the friendship between Olly and Moritz was flawlessly developed (and again, adorable!)

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

If I could meet any living author, obvs that would be J.K. Rowling a.k.a. the Queen of Everything ❤️ but if I could meet a deceased author, I would want to meet Thomas Hardy.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles is one of my favourite books of all time, and I would love to talk to Hardy about feminism, because I believe he was an early feminist. The non-judgemental way he writes (and defends) Tess’s character, and the way he challenges the double standards within 19th century society regarding male and female sexuality makes him streets ahead of his time. This novel had a huge impact on me, and is a book which I believe helped shape me into a feminist.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?


I don’t think there are many surprises on my shelves, as I’ll read pretty much any genre, but perhaps the recipe books I own may be unexpected considering I’m not exactly Star Baker. This autumn I’m planning on doing some cooking and baking to improve my (non-existent) skillz, and this book will be the first port of call on my cakey adventure.

5. How do you organize your personal library?


At the moment, I have my books loosely arranged by genre. I have a horror/thriller shelf, a fantasy shelf, a contemporary shelf, a nostalgic childhood books shelf, etc.

BTW, my Snape and Captain Hook Funkos are standing guard there on my horror/thriller shelf, in case any creepy monsters, psychopaths, ghosts or demons escape from between the pages and eat and/or possess me in my sleep.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around yet?


I bought Let The Right One In about 8 years ago when I was at the height of my Twilight obsession, because I wanted more vampire stories in my life. For some reason, I never got around to reading this one, but I’m planning on picking it up this October.

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I’m not saying this book is bad, but looking back, I think I gave it a more generous review than I would now, because I was so swayed by all the hype. The beginning of this book was incredibly slow, and there was too much exposition. Although there were a lot of things I enjoyed about it as a whole (mainly the romance, tbh), I think this book was way overhyped. In my review, I said I planned to read the next book, but now I’ve kind of lost interest. We’ll see…

8. What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I am drawn to dark and creepy stories. I love books which have the ability to give me the shivers and/or heebie-jeebies. My favourite kind of books are ones with an ‘odd’ atmosphere – where something feels off-kilter, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

I wouldn’t say there are any genres I steer clear of completely, but I’m not the biggest reader of historical fiction. I guess that explains why The Book Thief has sat on my shelf for about 10 years whilst everyone else in the world has read it but me.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

I would require the leaders of every country to read a novel from the perspective of a refugee. It breaks my heart that people who are fleeing from their homes for their lives are currently being treated like an unwanted problem, instead of human beings in need of compassion from their fellow human beings, by those in positions of power.

10. What do you plan to read next?

The next book I plan to read is Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (in my epic re-read of the ToG series), but after that, I’m hoping to get started on Holly Bourne’s new book, What’s a Girl Gotta Do? This is the final book in her Spinster Club trilogy, which has an awesome focus on friendship and feminism. Can’t wait to read this one!

I am tagging the following lovely people:

Emily @ RoseRead
Imogen @ Foureyedfangirl
Anne @ Inked Brownies

No worries if you’ve already done the tag/tags aren’t your thing! 🙂

Have a lovely weekend everyone! xxx


Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2016

So, I’m aware I’m a bit late to the Mid Year Freak Out party, as it’s almost September, but today I’m doing the Mid Year Book Freak Out tag. I was tagged for this one by the lovely Amanda at Cover 2 Cover Mom and the lovely Codie at Readers Anonymous. Make sure you check out both of their fantastic blogs, and follow these wonderful people!

Without further ado, here are the books I’ve been freaking out over this year…

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2016

More Happy Final Cover

This is a really tough question, because I’ve read so many fantastic books this year, but the one that stands out for me so far is More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. This was a beautifully written, heartbreaking story, which explored so many different issues without becoming an ‘issue book’. It was achingly honest, had me in tears more than once, and made me fall completely in love with its characters. You can read my review here.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2016


I am IN LOVE with A Court of Mist and Fury and already want to re-read it. This may or may not have something to do with my Rhysand obsession. I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, but this sequel outshone it by 1000%. I’ve never whizzed through a 600 page book so quickly. You can read my review here. Disclaimer: may contain fangirling.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To


So, I haven’t read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet, you guys. And, controversially, I’m not going to… I want to, believe me, but I have tickets to see the play in December, and I want to go to the show and be completely surprised. Avoiding spoilers, and trying not to let the ‘I was so disappointed with this book’ comments worry me too much, has been somewhat torturous. But I am SO excited to see this on the stage!

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year


No surprises here; Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas! There has been some drama on Twitter over the past few days, as some spoilers were released, and some people were sending abuse to Sarah because they didn’t like what they read. Just want to throw this out there: authors can write their novels in whatever way they choose, and they don’t owe us anything. It’s their story. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but the nastiness I have seen is thoroughly uncalled for. Personally, I’m still very excited to read this book!

Biggest Disappointment


Sadly, that would be the The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow. I was really excited to read this book – the concept of another world, only accessible by dreaming, was an awesome one – but the romance and ‘chosen one’ clichés killed this one for me. You can read my review here.

Biggest Surprise


I don’t know why, but I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin so much. I tried starting it a couple of years ago, and got confused by the numerous characters, put off by the beheading in the first chapter (because overly-violent stuff freaks me out), and then of course there was the incest… But… I gave this another go recently, and I was completely gripped by it. The story was genius-ly constructed, and all of the characters memorable; I either fiercely loved them, or completely detested them. And I can tell you right now I have never hated a character as much as I hate Prince Joffrey. That kid is the ULTIMATE douchecanoe, and the epitome of evil. Can’t wait to read A Clash of Kings.

Favourite New Author


Definitely Patrick Ness! I read The Rest of Us Just Live Here last year, and enjoyed it, but wasn’t overly impressed. This year I read his Chaos Walking Trilogy and fell head over heels in love with it. I adore Todd so much, his voice is so distinctive, and this book has so much action, so much tension, and left me with SO MANY FEELINGS. I rated every book five stars, and bumped Ness up into the favourite author category!

Newest Fictional Crush

download (4)acourtof

I’ve mentioned him already, but that would have to be Rhysand (SWOON). I wasn’t sure what to make of him in the first book, however he completely won me over in the second. He’s a complex character who has sacrificed and suffered so much to protect the people he cares about. He’s also charming, funny, flirtatious, and (I imagine) somewhat stunningly gorgeous.

Newest Favourite Character

 giphy (59).gif

Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones. I looked forward to all of his chapters the most, because his wit never failed to make me laugh. He also seems to be the only character with a shred of morality in his (to put it lightly) completely evil family.

Book That Made You Cry


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Oh dear God, I cried a river during a certain scene in this book. I still get a bit teary eyed just thinking about it. If you’ve read it, I’m sure you understand what I mean.

Book That Made You Happy


Smut by Karina Halle. This book is about two creative writing students who hate each other (and by hate I mean they are obv. secretly attracted to one another), and end up getting paired up together for a project. To their surprise, they want to continue writing together (and maybe more… ;)), so they decide to write a collaborative erotic novel and self publish it to make some moneyz. This book cheered me up on a crappy day – it was steamy, funny, romantic, and just so much fun. One of my favourite New Adult reads, ever!

Favourite Book to Film Adaptation


I haven’t actually seen any! I’m pretty excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them though.

Favourite Post You Have Done This Year

I really enjoyed writing my first ever discussion post on Why Adults Need YA. I was also so happy and overwhelmed that people took the time to write such thoughtful and engaging responses to the post. I want to write more discussion posts in future, so watch this space.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year


This glorious edition of Lady Midnight. I still take this out of my bookcase and stare at it with googly eyes from time to time.

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year

I bought some really beautiful editions of some classics earlier this year, and I definitely want to get stuck into those before the end of the year. I’ve just finished Frankenstein (which was a FANTASTIC book), and I can’t wait to pick up Jane Eyre and Dracula soon.

As we’re basically ¾ through the year, I imagine most people will have done this tag by now. However, if you haven’t, and would like to, be my guest, be my guest, be my guest… 🙂 xxx


The ‘Slumps are for Chumps’ Book Tag

Hi guys! Hope you’re all having a lovely Friday! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much recently – I’m going through some stuff, and unfortunately it has put me in a big slump. Seeing as this is the Slumps are for Chumps book tag, I guess that makes me a chump. 😛

Thanks to Emma over at The Book Crunch for tagging me! You should definitely go and check out her awesome blog, right now, and you can read her answers to the tag here.

Which book, most recently, did you not finish?


I started reading All The Bright Places earlier in the week, and after the first chapter, realised I couldn’t carry on with it. I want to come back to it someday, but I’m not in a healthy place myself right now, and I realised that now is not the right time for me to read a book with depressed characters. I need all the happy and fluffy I can get right now, so if you have any suggestions, please share them with me in the comments. I will love you forever. ❤

Which book is your guilty pleasure?


I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures (we should NOT feel bad about loving the things we love!), but if I had to pick one, it would be the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I know a lot of people feel that vampire books are so 2000-and-LATE but I have a real soft spot for these books. I love how sassy and snarky Rose is, and these books are simply a lot of fun. I read the first four a couple of years ago, and I’m hoping to finish the series this year.

Which book do you love to hate?


I LOVE mocking Fifty Shades of Grey. I almost enjoyed this book, purely because it’s so hilariously bad. I sometimes wonder if the whole thing is meant to be an elaborate joke, and the author is rolling in her millions because her trolling paid off. I mean, Ana describes her face as blushing ‘the colour of the Communist manifesto’, and Christian’s peen as a ‘Christian Grey flavoured popsicle’. I CAN’T EVEN.

Which book would you throw into the sea?


Apologies to fans of Shatter Me, but myself and this book did NOT get along. I just couldn’t stomach the flowery, metaphor-in-every-sentence writing style, and don’t get me started on the insta-love. It’s a shame because I really thought I was going to love this one, but I couldn’t bring myself finish it. I appreciate that some people LOVE the Shatter Me series, but it really wasn’t my cup of chai.

Which book have you read the most?


I have read this book (also known as Confessions of a Shopaholic in some countries) countless times. I’ve had my copy for about 13 years, and it’s falling apart because it’s so well loved. Sophie Kinsella is one of the few authors who has managed to make me genuinely LOL. I’m so excited she’s going to be at YALC this year. If I get to meet her, I will probably bow down before her in some variety of worship.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?


I feel like reading War and Peace would make me extremely miserable. I struggled through Anna Karenina last year (it took me an entire month) and I was determined to finish it, even though I wasn’t enjoying it. I have learnt my lesson. Tolstoy is not for me.

Which book could you not live without?


I couldn’t live without the Harry Potter books because they were the first books I ever loved, but I also couldn’t bear it if I didn’t have The Mortal Instruments series in my life. Those books mean the world to me, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so obsessed by a series. TMI made me the fangirl I am today!

Oh, and I don’t think I’ve ever shared this fact about myself, so for the record, MALEC = my OTP. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


Which book made you the angriest?


Asking For It made me angry, not because it was a bad book, but because of the subject matter. It’s about an 18-year-old girl who is raped at a party, and the story follows the aftermath of her attack. The reactions of her judgemental classmates, the victim-shaming press, and basically everything she endured within these pages filled me with rage. Because everything that happens in this book could and does happen in real life. You can read my review of the book here.

Which book made you cry the most?

brightsidewe were liars

A lot of books have made me cry, but I think the two which made me blub the most were Bright Side by Kim Holden, and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. The reason these books devastated me so much is because I didn’t know what was coming  – they both involve the reveal of a secret/twist, and both completely blew me away with emotions I wasn’t at all prepared to handle. DON’T wear mascara whilst reading either of these books. You WILL end up looking like The Joker.

Which book cover do you hate the most?


Anyone else remember when Harper Collins released a ‘Twilight’ edition of Wuthering Heights? Look, it’s ‘Bella and Edward’s favourite book’, guys!

giphy (21)

And that is all I have to say on the subject.

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, because my brain is tired, so I’m leaving this open… if you haven’t done this one yet and would like to, consider yourself tagged!

Hope you all have a glorious weekend xxx


The Harry Potter Book Tag

Happy Friday everyone! It’s time for a tag.

giphy (36)

Source: Giphy

I was tagged by Astra @ A Stranger’s Guide to Novels, Fatima @ Noteable Pad, and Lauren @ Just Lauren to complete The Harry Potter Book Tag. Please go and check out all of their blogs – you won’t regret it 🙂

This awesome tag was created by Trang and Lashaan over at Bookitode, as were the amazing graphics below, which they have very kindly said anyone who completes this tag may use!

giphy (35)

Source: Giphy

The only rule of this tag is that YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE HARRY POTTER AS AN ANSWER. Given that Harry Potter is my go-to answer for most book tag questions, I am going to find this challenging 😛


A book in which you found the theme interesting, but you’d like to rewrite it:

This may be an unpopular opinion, but…


As much as I’ve loved other books by Patrick Ness, and as much as I did enjoy this one, I’m choosing The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I LOVED the concept of this book – the idea that living an ordinary life can be just as thrilling and meaningful as living the life of the ‘chosen one’ and going on some magical, paranormal, crazy adventure. However…

I felt that in order for this book to work, the ‘ordinary life’ plot needed to pack a bigger punch. I found the story a little bit average… I wanted more to happen, and I wanted to feel more. Instead, I was left with the impression that the magical, paranormal, crazy adventure would have been more exciting to read.


The first book in a series that got you hooked:


Pines by Blake Crouch is one of the most original, addictive, creepy, intriguing books I’ve ever read, and I binge-read the rest of the series within a couple of days of finishing it. I don’t know anyone else who has read these books – if you have, let me know, as I’m dying to talk about them with somebody!

If you like books with…

a) Creepy small towns in the middle of nowhere where it’s obvious something extremely shady is going down

b) Weird townspeople who give you the heebie-jeebies with their odd and decidedly sinister behaviour

c) Crazy twists that leave your mouth hanging open

… then you will enjoy this series as much as I did!

Read the Goodreads synopsis here. That’s an order. 🙂


A book you wish you could have right now:


ACCIO EMPIRE OF STORMS!!!! *waves plastic wand from fancy dress shop* …. Damn, it’s not working! 😥 Being a muggle is the worst, you guys.


A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like:


I don’t tend to read many books which involve lots of killing haha. But as it involves an investigation into a ‘suspicious suicide’, let me take this opportunity to gush about how much I love Night Film by Marish Pessl again! (Like I needed an excuse?!)

This book is killer. It’s just perfection. The writing is dark and compelling and quite probably some kind of addictive substance because it gets right into your veins and possesses you for the entire reading experience.

If you like books with…

a) Surreal, creepy happenings which mess with your mind so much you have no idea what is and isn’t real

b) Elusive, enigmatic characters with sinister reputations

c) Ambiguous endings (I know those aren’t everyone’s cuppa…)

… then you simply must read this book IMMEDIATELY.

Read the Goodreads synopsis here. That’s another order. 🙂


A book that you found really confusing:


I had to study the Endgame, a play by Samuel Beckett, at uni. I’m still confused about what it’s really supposed to mean. But maybe that’s the whole point…

It’s about these people who have no legs and live in dustbins. It’s the end of the world, and they’re living out the rest of their numbered days in said dustbins, talking about random nonsense such as the fact that there are no more bicycles left in the world, and that nothing means anything any more.

It’s super weird, but I actually kind of liked it, because I like super weird stuff 🙂


Your spirit animal book:


Cath from Fangirl is my soul sister. I’m a bookworm, an introvert, fandom is a huge part of my life, and like Cath, I need fictional worlds to help me cope with the real one! Also, after reading Carry On, I’m just as obsessed with Simon and Baz as she is! ❤


A dark, twisted book:


This is a difficult question to answer, because there are so many! Most recently, I’d choose Lies Like Love by Louisa Reid, which gets off to a vaguely sinister start (girl with severe depression moves into lonely house with creepily overbearing mother), but becomes steadily darker and twistier.


A book that surprised you in a great way:


Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, about hiking the Pacific Crest trail on her own, with no hiking experience whatsoever, and a backpack she could barely lift off the ground, isn’t the type of book I normally pick up. I was expecting to find Wild interesting, but I wasn’t expecting to be so blown away emotionally. I honestly felt that this book changed my life – it helped me to put some things in perspective, and showed me that there are always ways to heal yourself, no matter how far you’ve wandered from your path.

I tag the following lovely people:

Anne @ The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange
Charley @ Books and Bakes
Amanda @ Cover 2 Cover Mom
Beth @ Reading Every Night
Ali @ I Wuv Books
Matt @ Ravenclaw Pride
Emma @ The Book Crunch
Magda @ Magini Books

As always, no pressure if you’ve already done the tag/have a million tags on your to-do list/can’t be bothered 🙂

Much love and hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 


My Intimidating TBR tag

Good news, guys! I finally kicked my reading-slump’s sorry butt into last week! Some book reviews will be coming your way shortly, the first of which will be my review of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, which was so good I finished it in a SINGLE DAY. In the meantime, it’s Friday, so I’m kicking back with a book tag, because I’m kinda rock ‘n’ roll if you must know…

giphy (32).gif

Source: Giphy

I was tagged to do the ‘My Intimidating TBR’ tag by the lovely Lauren over at Wonderless Reviews. If you don’t already follow her, go check out her blog right now, because it’s awesome! 🙂

What book have you been unable to finish?


The Villa by Rosanna Ley

I picked this book up a few years ago thinking it would make a nice, light, summer read, but I found it really bland, and in the end I just couldn’t be bothered to finish it. I also found myself getting really irritated by the sections of the book told from the POV of the main character’s teenage daughter. The voice was all wrong for a seventeen-year-old, and she kept coming out with really weird exclamations of astonishment at least twice per paragraph, such as “Lolloping Lemurs!”, and “Jumping Jellyfish!” Who speaks like that?! I just found the whole thing a bit cringe.

 What book have you yet to read because you just haven’t had the time?


House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

I borrowed this book from my friend Kat, and today I actually asked her if she wanted it back because I fear it may sit on my bookshelf until we’re both grey and old and the world has come to an end. I’ve wanted to read this book for so long (because the premise is so creepy and intriguing), but the problem is that this book is SO LONG.

It took me virtually an entire day to read 40 pages (it’s about 700 pages in total with fairly small print), because the writing style is so dense (it’s written in the style of an academic text) and it’s one of those books where you have to really concentrate to appreciate.

What book have you yet to read because it’s a sequel?


The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

I’m possibly one of the only people left on Planet Bookblog who hasn’t read The Wrath and the Dawn, so naturally I haven’t even bought myself a copy of The Rose and The Dagger yet. I’ll be reading the first book soon, but I am so nervous I won’t love it as much as everyone else does; these books are more hyped up than a kid who ate ALL THE M&MS.

What book have you yet to read because it’s a new release?


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Unfashionably late to the party, I didn’t start reading A Court of Thorns and Roses until the day this book was released. DON’T JUDGE ME. About 100 pages in I knew I was going to love the book (because Sarah J. Maas is a goddess of some variety who simply must be worshipped) so I ordered ACOMAF immediately. It took me two weeks to read ACOTAR because I was in the middle of my weird reading funk, so I had to wait two weeks to actually open my Amazon package for fear of accidental book-cover spoilers! THE STRUGGLE NOT TO OPEN BOOK-POST WAS REAL.

What book have you yet to read because you read a book by the same author and didn’t like it?


Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

A lot of people seem to love this book, and I’ve read a lot of great reviews which really make me want to pick it up, but I wasn’t a fan of Finding Eden by the same author. Finding Eden is a love story about a boy and a girl who’ve grown up in a cult. I wanted to like it, but I found the romance too sickly sweet, the dialogue too cheesy, and there wasn’t enough exploration of the cult itself (aka the reason behind my initial interest in the book). Probably my own fault for expecting it to be something it wasn’t!

What book have you yet to read because you aren’t in the mood?

the book thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is my perennial answer to any question about books I’m never in the mood to read/books that have been on my TBR shelf 5eva. I have such a block about this book, I somehow don’t think I’ll ever read it, even though I know it’s supposed to be amazing. It’s weird because I’ve read the opening chapter so many times, and I like what I’ve read, but somehow I can never get past that chapter, like there’s some kind of Hunger Games style force-field barring me from going any further.

What book have you yet to read because it’s humungous?


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones has been sitting on my Kindle shelf for a very long time. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever have the energy or time to commit to reading such a mammoth book. I started it once, but several chapters in I was already confused by the ridiculous number of characters and just knew I was going to struggle with it. Maybe when I’m old and retired and have all the time in the world to sit and read, I’ll finally commit… But right now, the thought of picking it up exhausts me!

What book have you yet to read because it was a cover buy with bad reviews?

I genuinely can’t think of an answer to this question – I NEVER buy books without looking at reviews first. Even when I’m wandering around a bookshop, I’ll have my phone out, just to make sure the gorgeous specimen I’m eyeing up on the shelf hasn’t been totally slated by EVERYONE on Goodreads.

Which book on your TBR is the most intimidating to you?

I think I might have to be boring here and re-use one of my earlier answers. House of Leaves is one of the most intimidating books I’ve ever held in my hands. Mainly because it’s actually TOO HEAVY to hold in my hands!!!

A lot of people seem to have done this tag already, so I’m going to leave this one open… if you haven’t done this tag and would like to, you are most welcome. Feel free to link back here so I can be nosy and read your answers 🙂


The Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you’re all having…

giphy (25)

Source: Giphy

I’ve been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by the following lovely people:

Anne @ The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange

Amanda @ Cover2CoverMom

Jesalin @ JBelkBooks

If you aren’t already doing so, GO FOLLOW ALL OF THESE WONDERFUL HUMANS. You won’t regret it ❤

The rules of this tag are:

Thank the person who nominated you. (THANKS LOVELY PEOPLE!)

Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you.

Nominate some more bloggers and write questions for them to answer.



1. What is your favorite music genre?

I was going to say ‘boybands’ but I think that’s a bit too specific, so I’m going with pop… I love boyband pop, 90s pop, 80s pop, KPOP, and of course Eurovision. Happy, catchy music is my jam.

giphy (26)

Source: Giphy

2. Team Britney or Team Avril? (2000’s question, I know lol)

Ooh tough question. I love a bit of Britney (who doesn’t?), but when I was going through my angsty teen wannabe phase I was all about Avril. ❤

giphy (27)

Source: Tumblr

3. Do you read comic books? Why/why not?

I don’t… the main reason being that I know virtually nothing about them and have no idea where to start! If you have any recommendations for a newbie, let me know 🙂

4. What’s your favourite(s) movie(s)?

THE SOUND OF MUSIC. It has yodelling, matching outfits made of curtain drapes, and badass nuns outwitting Nazis. What’s not to love?! ❤

giphy (28)

Source: Giphy

5. What is your Hogwarts house?


giphy (29)

Source: Giphy


1. How many books do you own?

I have… 266 e-books and 233 physical books, making a grand total of…

499 books!

All the cool kids count their books on a Friday night, dontcha know.

giphy (30)

Source: Giphy

Being 1 book away from 500, I naturally have to go out and buy another book to smooth this whole thing out, right?! Right! So glad you agree.

2. What is your reading goal this year?  Are you on track to reach it?

I set myself a goal of 100 books in the Goodreads Reading Challenge, and I’m currently 2 books ahead of schedule, but I kinda regret setting myself a goal in the first place. I feel like I’m competing in some kind of race only I care about and it’s stressing me out. Is anyone else experiencing this?!

3. If you could sit down and have a chat with any author (living or dead), who would it be?

That would be a certain Ms. J.K. Rowling, and I would (after bowing down and professing worship and adoration) spend hours basking in her glorious writerly wisdom. In case it isn’t obvious, I WANT TO BE HER.


Source: Tumblr

4. What is the last book that made you laugh out loud?


I re-read Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson recently and it was just as laugh-out-loud funny the second time around. If I haven’t gushed about this book to you already, just take my word for it now and READ THIS BOOK. It will make you so HAPPY. Add it to your to-read shelf, you know you want to.

5. If you could erase one book from existence, which book would it be?

I don’t think I’d erase any of the books I’ve read from existence. I guess I could’ve mentioned 50 Shades of Grey here, but it doesn’t offend me as deeply as it does others… Sure, I’m of the opinion that it’s kinda grim and a lot ridiculous. But it’s also fun to mock. I believe all books have a place in the world, even bad ones. Also, just because I think a book’s bad, doesn’t mean someone else won’t adore it.


1. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

The most difficult thing I’ve had to do was throw myself off the side of a mountain when I went paragliding in Austria… I was all bravado beforehand like ‘yeah whatever, I’m a casual daredevil. Scared? NAH!’ But then when I finally got all strapped into my parachute (which FYI, kinda makes you look like a ninja turtle), I was all but throwing up with the sheer TERROR that suddenly came upon me.


But then I jumped and it was AWESOME. (I *ahem* definitely did not trip over whilst running into the takeoff… #smooth)

2. What is your Zodiac sign? 

I’m a Libra. And whilst I don’t believe in horoscopes, my star sign is an uncannily accurate description of my personality.

3. If you had a brainwashing machine, who would you use it on?

WHAT A GREAT QUESTION! I think I’d actually use it on people who have been legitimately brainwashed to un-brainwash them.

4. Have you ever gotten a tattoo? If not, do you plan on getting one?

No and no! I’m not cool enough to pull off a tattoo.

5. Winter or Summer?

I love Christmas, but I generally hate winter because it makes me really miserable. I love summer, but I get hayfever so I’m a gross, sniffly, itchy, red-eyed person throughout the entire season. Nevertheless, it has to be summer because blue skies and sunshine make for a happy Jess.

giphy (31)

Source: Giphy

I nominate the following awesome bloggers:

Sammie @ booksandbiros
Emma @ thebookishunderdog
Michelle @ bookadventures
Emma @ thebookcrunch
Raven and Beez @ ravenandbees
Astra @ astrangersguidetonovels
Charley @ booksandbakes

If you’ve already done this award tag, tags aren’t your bag, or you simply don’t want to do this one, feel free to ignore, but if you’d like to have a go… here are your questions:

  1. What is your most detested food?
  2. What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?
  3. What do you like most about yourself?
  4. If you could marry a book, which book would you marry?
  5. What’s the last book you DNF’d?
  6. If you owned your own bookshop, what would you call it?
  7. If you could live in the world of any book, which one would you pick? (and for the sake of variety, the one rule is you are not allowed to choose Harry Potter :P)
  8. If you could meet one fictional character and ask them any question, who would you pick and what would you ask?
  9. What is your favourite smell?
  10. If you wrote a book, which genre would you write in and why?



The Classics Book Tag

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all having a splendiferous Wednesday!

The lovely Charley over at Books and Bakes tagged me to do The Classics Book Tag back in February. You can check out her wonderful blog here. As you may have guessed, I’m a teensy bit behind with my tags (there’s a backlog of approx. 22). I hope to get to them all eventually, and if I haven’t done yours yet, I still love and appreciate your taggery. ❤

I’m excited to do this tag, because I studied English Lit at university, so once upon a time I was all about the classics. Since leaving uni, I haven’t read many, because I’m mainly about the YA these days, but there are still plenty of classic books on my TBR that I’m hoping to read this year! Here are my answers to the tag…

An overhyped classic you didn’t really like:


I had to study Proust at university, and this book just bored me to tears. It has very little plot, and is basically about a guy who eats a biscuit which reminds him of another biscuit he ate when he was younger. All this biscuity-nostalgia gets him thinking about his childhood, and he begins waxing lyrical about said childhood, and all of the exciting things that happened to him. And by exciting things, I mean, the time he saw some stained glass windows and pontificated about them for 15 pages, and the time he stopped outside a house to look at some flowers for 15 more. The book also opens with what is essentially a 3 page description of somebody rolling over in bed. SNOOZEFEST.

Favourite time period to read about:


I love 19th century classics – my favourites include Wuthering Heights, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Persuasion, and The Woman in White.

Favourite fairytale:

I don’t really have a favourite fairytale now, but when I was little it was all about Sleeping Beauty. I was OBSESSED with the Disney movie and used to watch it over and over again. It was bordering on creepy. I used to think that Malificent was real and that she was coming after me. I also once had a dream that she chopped my legs off. #creepy


These days, however, I’m all about the retellings, and as we’re talking classics, I’d definitely recommend The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, which is a stunningly-written collection of literary fairytale retellings. The title story is a retelling of Bluebeard (which is probably one of the most sinister fairytales I’ve ever read) with a feminist twist. Which is awesome, because let’s face it, that fairytale is all kinds of misogynistic.

What is the most embarrassing classic you haven’t read? 


I’m a big fantasy fan, so I really should have read these books by now. But they’re so mahoosively, intimidatingly long I just can’t bring myself to start them. Even more shameful… I haven’t watched the movies. DON’T HURT ME!

Top 5 classics you’d like to read soon:

I could have listed any of these for the last question, because I really should have read them already. #worstEnglishgraduateEVAR

Favourite modern series based on a classic:

Hmm, let me think about that…

giphy (23)

Nope, definitely can’t beat a bit of Sherlock! ❤

Source: Giphy

Favourite movie version / TV series based on a classic:


I have so much love for the BBC adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles (starring Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne). This series introduced me to what turned out to be one of my favourite books of all time.

Worst classic to movie adaptation:


Hands down it has to be the 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights (starring Kaya Scodelario, aka Theresa from The Maze Runner). The dialogue was so stilted, and I felt like they focused too much on being artsy, and not enough on the actual story. Also there was a super-weird scene where Theresa Cathy licked the blood from Heathcliff’s wounds after he got whipped. UMM, CREEPY.

Favourite edition(s) you would like to collect more classics from:

I can’t now remember which blogger drew my attention to Mr Boddington’s Penguin Classics, but ever since I have been lusting over them because they are STUNNING:


Source: Anthropologie

Sadly they’re also extortionately expensive, because they’re sold out EVERYWHERE, and are only available through resellers.

An under-hyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:


You all know I love my books creepy, and this novel I studied in my 19th century lit class at university is one of the most chilling books I’ve ever read. It’s the story of a man who is lured into committing multiple murders, believing his actions are justifiable because he is one of God’s ‘elect’ and is therefore exempt from damnation. I think this is the first classic to ever give me nightmares!

I’m aware that classics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m not going to tag anyone specifically for this. However, if classics ARE your cuppa then please do give this one a go! 😀 I’d love to see your answers.

giphy (24)

Source: Giphy

Have you read any of these books? What’s your favourite or least favourite classic?



The ‘I Messed Up’ book tag

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you’re having a glorious one.

I’ve been tagged to do the ‘I Messed Up’ book tag by Ashley over at Fictional Living. You can go check out here wonderful blog here.

giphy (18)

Source: Tumblr

A character appearance that you misread or imagined differently:

Character descriptions always seem to go right over my head. When I first started The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, I initially pictured Magnus Bane as an old Merlin type guy with a long white beard (I guess because that’s the stock image for a warlock I have stored in my brain). Only when I re-read the first book did I realise he’s actually described as looking around 21, half Indonesian, with magical eyes which glow yellowy-green like a cat’s, and no facial hair whatsoever. WHOOPS.


Source: Tumblr (This Magnus is considerably prettier than the one I imagined! ❤️)

A character name that you’ve been pronouncing wrong:

Surely I can’t be the only person who read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone aged 7 and aspired to be just like HER-ME-OWN Granger?! My very own LevioSAR moment.

giphy (14)

Source: Giphy

An overused trope that is your guilty pleasure:

Ooh, gotta be… best friends suddenly realising they’re made for each other and that they’ve secretly loved each other their whole lives! Sometimes you just need a good old predictable happily-ever-after, y’know?

A cliché character type that you like better on screen than reading about:

100% the brooding-bad-boy on the dark side of the love triangle. I’m so bored of reading about that guy [insert eye roll and heavy sigh here], yet I hypocritically adore the whole angsty Stefan/Elena/Damon thang (Team Damon, obvs) in The Vampire Diaries TV show. It does things to my heart.

giphy (15)

Source: Giphy

A word/phrase you learned because of its use in a book:

I remember Googling the word ‘quixotic’ whilst I was reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles for the first time. It means ‘extremely idealistic, unrealistic, and impractical’. It’s my favourite word beginning with Q.

Have you ever not read or completed a required reading book for school?

Oh yes. I definitely sat through at least one English Lit seminar at uni nodding and smiling knowledgeably whilst having absolutely no idea what was happening…

giphy (16)

Source: Giphy

Have you ever (or wanted to) skipped a chapter from the point of view of a character you weren’t interested in?

I’ve never actually skipped a chapter of a book (it would feel all kinds of wrong), but I found myself wanting to skip all of the chapters from Glass’s point of view in The 100 by Kass Morgan. I watched the TV adaptation before reading the book, and her character wasn’t included in the show, so I just didn’t really care what she was up to. On the whole, I definitely prefer the TV show to the book in this rare case (although I gave up in the middle of Season 2 because it got really brutally violent and I couldn’t deal.)

Have you ever cancelled social plans to read a book? 

I’m an introvert, so the question you should really be asking is ‘did I make any social plans in the first place’?! 😉

giphy (17)

Source: Giphy

I don’t think I’ve ever cancelled plans specifically to read, but I do cancel plans when I’m really tired (because I can’t cope with conversations when I have no energy), and it’s not unlikely that I’ll spend that freed up time somewhere fictional. I like it when characters do all the talking so I don’t have to. 😊

I tag the following people (no pressure if you’ve already done this one or don’t want to!):

Deanna @ anovelglimpse
Charley @ booksandbakes
Michelle @ ahalfbloodfangirl
Beth @ readingeverynight

… and anybody else who wants to do this tag! 😘