The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington – Spoiler Free Review

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset The Red Ribbon is a story of survival. This is a story of green, yellow, red, and white. A story of loss, hope and friendship. A beautifully woven and truly unforgettable novel.

This book follows the story of Ella, a fourteen year old girl who is a prisoner in Birkenau-Auschwitz, also known as Birchwood. We follow Ella on her haunting journey of survival in a day to day life surrounded by darkness and death. Now, I have read a lot of books and studied this period of history so I already knew a lot about the holocaust. However, I had never heard of the true story of a sewing workshop that was set up in this particular work camp. It was set up by the commandant’s wife who had a select few prisoners with enough skill, to tailor dresses and garments for herself and other officers within the camp. As our main character Ella, has always dreamed of owning a dress shop with her beloved grandmother, the little workshop of silk and thread is a ray of light in Ella’s dark days. However, we journey with her through the good and bad as she has to face the realisation she is making beauty for the very people keeping her prisoner.

Through the utter degradation of life in the camp, Lucy Adlington sensitively reveals the grief, suffering and complete fight for survival that was faced by the prisoners. We get to see Ella face moral dilemmas of answering the question of fight or flight? We see realistically, how being in a situation like that would reveal or change our moral standings. Do you fight for yourself and yourself only? Being in such a dire situation brings out a natural instinct to survive. But do you give into the instinct or help others and stand together? I loved that this book explored these questions that I think a lot of people would have faced, without sugar coating it in any way.

Through the vast cast of characters we see the different ways this confinement and complete genocide effected people. Ella was a great lead character to take us on this expansive story. She was feisty and spirited, creative and sensitive. I loved seeing her develop through the novel and I became so attached to her. The friendship between Ella and Rose that is one of the most significant features of the book is just utterly beautiful. With Ella’s tough edges and Rose’s imaginative, selfless personality, they made a beautiful pair in a setting of snow and sorrow. With many other vibrant characters stitched through the story you really get a sense of how very human each of them were, though they were treated as little more than animals, their personalities burst off the pages into life and colour.

I could go on for hours about how much I loved this book, so before I make this review far too long I need to wrap this up. The Red Ribbon is perfect for any fans of historical fiction, especially the works of Ruta Sepetys, Anthony Doerr and Markus Zusak. This is a harrowing yet charming story that shines light on the power of hope. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough as I truly believe it is one everyone should read.
Read this book to remember. Read this book to learn. Read this book to hope for a better future.

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Autumn Reading Recommendations


The winds are changing, the leaves are taking on their golden hue and autumn is finally here. Autumn is my favourite season for many reasons, but especially for reading. There is nothing better than sitting in the crisp morning air, or snuggled under a blanket with the rain hitting your window reading an atmospheric book to match the weather. To help you find the perfect books to read this month I thought I would give you guys some recommendations of books that I think are perfect accompaniments to this tumultuous season.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 

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“Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.”

This book doesn’t only have a dark autumnal atmosphere, but also a story that will twist and turn, leaving you quite literally chilled to the bone. The complex cast of characters and murderous plot make this a classic must read.


The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 11408650

“Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. 
She’s wrong.”

Now this is a book that offers much more than the synopsis offers. This book plays on archetypes, blending the ideas of the hero, villain, sidekick and plot twists. With a complex unreliable narrator and extremely creepy story line this book is perfect for autumn. You will find yourself wading through the paranormal happenings held within the pages and second guessing not only the main character, but yourself.


Burial R17333319ites by Hannah Kent   

“A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. 
Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. 
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.” 

This books barren and windswept setting blows right off the pages an immerses you within the Icelandic tundra. I found this novel not only informative but extremely moving is a subtle heart breaking way. This is a perfect read for any history fans out there.


 

An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson  

30969741“Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.”

I haven’t actually read this book yet as it comes out on the 26th of September but it is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Faeires, magic and woodland setting?! This book sounds like the definition of autumn and i think it will be the perfect thing to read this month.

 


Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 28962906

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.”

This re -working of the famous Jack The Ripper murders is a brilliantly fun novel of wit, atmosphere and mystery. With strong female lead, a chilling smoky setting of London  and a Sherlock/Watson style duo, there isn’t anything not to like about this book. This will keep you highly entertained and creeped out from the first page to the last.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte IMG_0240

“Charlotte Brontë tells the story of orphaned Jane Eyre, who grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, enduring loneliness and cruelty. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane’s natural independence and spirit – which prove necessary when she finds employment as a governess to the young ward of Byronic, brooding Mr Rochester. As her feelings for Rochester develop, Jane gradually uncovers Thornfield Hall’s terrible secret, forcing her to make a choice. Should she stay with Rochester and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions – even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzled readers with its passionate depiction of a woman’s search for equality and freedom.”

This epic gothic tale that spans lifetimes is a haunting and beautiful story that is utterly unforgettable. Every time i opened the pages of this novel i was transported to ancient manors and dar corridors, wind swept moors and dust filled window seats. The dark tone of this story is fitting for the season and all the secrets it holds.


 

This is just a small selection of some of my favourite books to read this time of year. I hope you manage to find one or all of these books good accompaniments to your autumn tbr. What books are you reading this month and do you have any good recommendations?

Wonder Woman Warbringer; Review

‘Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you.

While I live, your cause is mine.’

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As the Six Of Crows duology and The Grisha Trilogy  is and forever will be some of my favourite ever book series, anything Leigh Bardugo writes is an instant buy for me. So, despite the fact that I knew next to nothing about Wonder Woman going into this book, I ended up loving every page of it. Wonder Woman Warbringer is an origin story. It follows Diana as a teenager, living in the Amazon’s homeland of Themyscira, trying to find her place on the island as the only one born of it’s shores. After making the fateful choice of saving a  young girl called Alia, who just so happens to be a direct descendent of Helen Of Troy, also known as a Warbringer, Diana and Alia are thrust into an adventure to prevent a war that will stop at nothing to let ruin and bloodshed descend on the world.

Now, I’m not much a fan of action movies and super heroes, so I was very apprehensive going into this book. Although I love Leigh’s other work I was worried this would fall into the predictable, over dramatic action scene fest we normally see in super hero stories, but Leigh wove her magic and found a perfect balance. This book has everything you would expect from a Wonder Woman novel, the strong female lead, badass fight scenes with beautiful Amazons and a good dose of golden lassoes and shield throwing. Through all this know, you could distinctly hear Leigh Bardugo’s voice. Her messages were profound, her writing lyrical and her character interactions both emotional and comedy gold.

‘Diana felt the cold water beyond the boundary engulf her fully. The sea had her now, and it was not friendly. The current seized her legs, dragging her down, a massive, rolling force, the barest shrug of a god.’


‘ Do you know what the Spartans said when the Persians demanded they lay down their arms and surrender?

‘No,’ said Theo. ‘But I bet it was followed by a lot of yelling and a slow-motion fight scene.’

 

I also have to take a moment to appreciate the diversity within this book. There were African America  as well as Indian main characters which was so great to see. Leigh also very sensitively showcased the racial differences and double standards between Diana as white and Alia as black. When Diana enters the mortal world she begins to witness and be explained to by Alia the different ways she is treated for being black. She isn’t first and foremost showcased as Alia to the world, but just a black girl. How she has to be aware of how she is acting because she knows the colour of her skin makes her stand out. I was so thankful to Leigh for highlighting this within the novel. Diversity is needed within all literature but especially in YA. To educate young people and allow them to walk in the shoes of someone dealing with racism is so important.

There were so many other inspiring and educational messages woven into this story. The juxtaposition between the ancient beliefs and gods that used to be worshiped to more modern influences of money, wealth and technology which have become a form of worship in everyday modern life. The empowerment of female friendships and holding each other up instead of dragging each other down. The idea of personal battles that we fight every day. Anxiety, insecurity, and all the issues we face at points in our life. We may not all be Amazons like Diana, wielding swords and shields, but we fight our own kind of battle through life and everything that comes with it.

I could talk more and more about this book and all it’s brilliant details but I will wrap this up now before this review becomes far too long. This book surprised me. It was not just a Wonder Woman novel but also a book about friendship, hope and self-identity. It was epic, inspiring and wonderous.

JORD Wood Watch Giveaway

As you all know about me, I am a lover of nature and the wilderness of the wood. So when Jord Wood Watches contacted me asking if I would like to try out one of their wooden watches, I jumped at the chance. A watch is such a timeless piece and can become a constant companion in everyday life that you really want one that you love. I have been on the hunt for such a watch for a long time now but as soon as I saw JORD watches, that hunt was over!

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JORD focuses on creating timepieces modeled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living. The thing I like most about these JORD wood watches is that they are all made using sustainable woods such as acaia, bamboo and maple. These watches are really designed for you adventurers out there, ready to explore life and take your watch with you for the ride.

My watch is the Hyde series Walnut & Black and it is absolutely beautiful. When I opened the box to find this inside I was stunned by the natural beauty of this watch. The dark walnut colour with the veins of the natural wood showing through is absolutely stunning! With a large watch face and small metal details, this watch is a statement piece.

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Even though these watches are made out of wood they are not heavy or cumbersome at all. My watch is lightweight and sits perfectly on my wrist. With the large range of styles available for both men’s watches and women’s watches you will always be able to find a watch that is perfect for you or a loved one. As these watches are made from 100% hand finished woods, giving them a beautifully natural finish, they are especially perfect for the upcoming autumn season. I’ve already received countless compliments from my friends and family about my new watch, my sister would like to get one for herself as well! There are millions of watches out there but JORD watches really are in a league of their own.

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I’m partnering up with JORD on this blog post to host a giveaway for one of you win a $100 gift card towards your very own JORD wood watch! If that isn’t already good enough, JORD have been kind enough to gift everyone who enters the giveaway a $25 gift card for a wooden watch, so this is an opportunity too good to miss!

This giveaway ends on 01/10/2017 at 11.59pm and the giveaway codes for both the $100 giftcard and the $25 giftcards ends on 31/12/2017 so enter now and share this with your friends so you don’t miss out on the chance to get your very own JORD Wooden Watch!

Click here to enter giveaway!


More Wood Watches Here
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by JORD Wooden Watches. However all opinions expressed are my own.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell Spoiler Free Review

A tale of palatial ballrooms and cobbled streets, jewelled daggers and trap doors. Scarred shoulders and split lips, the thunder of horses hoofs against a smog filled sky. The applause of an audience, a man-made of shadows. City skylines, scarred backs and split lips. A cravat wound tightly around a neck, kisses shared and stolen.

Magic, mystery, betrayal. Welcome, to The Last Magician.

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From the moment I read the synopsis of this book I pre- ordered it because the premise was just so intriguing. I will let you read it for yourself.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Sounds amazing, right? Well I can promise it was and I loved every second of it.

First off, I would life to talk about the setting of this novel. This story takes place in two different time periods of New York City, one in modern-day and one in the early 1920s. This bustling expanse of city with equal parts glam and grit lent itself so well to creating a brilliant atmosphere for this exciting adventure. I was so interesting seeing our main character Esta, who is a strong-willed protagonist, having to remould herself around the standards held against women during the later period. Also, who can’t love the 1920s with its roaring club scene and amazing fashion? Mix in some time travel and fantasy and it’s an instant hit.

The best thing about this book was its cast of characters. Each one was so well-developed they really commanded your attention. Esta was a brilliant lead. She was feisty, intelligent and sympathetic. With such a clear voice she was easy to rally behind and lead you through the novel. I really appreciated the diversity within the characters too. There was also a lesbian character included which was really great. Their romantic interests were not a large part of the story as they weren’t a main character, but it is so important to be inclusive in books, especially YA so I loved to see this put within the novel.

I really felt the magical aspect of The Last Magician was done so well. You can tell Maxwell put a lot of thought into the abilities and Esta’s use of time travel. It’s not just your typical magic you see in a lot of superhero or YA fantasy novels, it was more like the movie Inception, with the idea of levels of time that you can only move through in certain ways and with a lot of risks. It was refreshing to some complex fantasy elements as I was worried it would be a lot of abilities I had seen before.

I don’t want to say too much as this is a book you should go into knowing as little as possible, but all in all this was a fabulous first instalment to what I’m sure will be a winning series. For any fantasy lover this plot is just ripe for picking. With beautiful writing, a time bending setting and an explosive ending this was a 5 star book for me. After turning the last page all I wanted was more. If you like fantasy, are a fan of Six Of Crows or just want an exciting new book to read than i highly, highly recommend you pick this one up.

 

Exploring Literary Genres

As book lovers, we all read a lot of novels and they are all different. But we all have those certain genres that we always reach for, an attraction to a specific type of book that gravitates towards are unique tastes. Some like those epic fantasies containing huge worlds within their pages, others enjoy romances that while they make you cry also leave you feeling warm inside. We all make a connection to a genre and feel so comfortable wading along its shores, but what happens if you move to the deep end and let the current take you?

I have one of those genres. Well, two actually. For me, fantasy and historical fiction have always been the genres that I go to first. Whenever I’m on the hunt for new books I immediately look into those two genres and most of the books I read within a year fit into those categories. I love fantasy so much because it’s just so exciting. There is nothing impossible in fantasy. A book about shape shifting woodland elves, people wielding the alchemical powers of metal, dragon riders and a ring that can destroy the world? It can all happen in fantasy books. They are escapism in it’s finest and being able to fall into so many different worlds is addicting.

Historical fiction is my other favourite genre because it is just fascinating. I have always loved history. I studied it all through school including my A level final year studies, I watch countless documentaries about different eras of history and I love a good period drama. Reading a historical fiction novel is a way to step into the very shoes of someone from a different time. You get to live a life inside someones head from WW2, 1920s New York, the old west and more, experiencing the past world through their eyes and experiences. It makes some of the painful moments of history so vivid and heart breaking, allowing us to learn so much more about the feelings and experiences people went through.

Although i love these genres dearly and will continue to read them, this year I really wanted to break out of my reading boundaries and try some genres I never really reach for. As a kind of new years resolution I decided I wanted to try to read more classics and adult fiction. The only classics i had read before this year were for school. The only one I tried for myself was the famous Pride & Prejudice. Now this will be an unpopular opinion, but I hated Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t even finish it. After having such trouble with that novel I felt very worried about picking up another classic in fear I would not find one I liked. However, after having had my eye on Jane Eyre for a while, which has a much more mysterious and interesting plot compared to Pride and Prejudice, I decided to pick it up. I fell in love with the it. From beginning to end it was an atmospheric, lyrical story that exuded emotion and meaning. Enjoying it so much it made me realise to not be so scared or intimated by something without trying it out. If i never picked up classics because of my one bad experience of Pride and Prejudice I would be excluding myself from incredible stories.

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It really felt like a lesson learned to me and I wanted to write this post in the hopes that others don’t make the same mistake. If you have a genre that you never read just take a minute to think about why? If there aren’t any major reasons then why not give it a go? I found it really refreshing to read something so different to what I normally do. We are about half way through this year already and I’m so glad I have spent that time reading some books I would have been too apprehensive to pick up last year. I definitely want to dedicate more time of 2017 to picking up those classics and contemporaries, exploring the genres I don’t normally wander through.

 

Mystery & Crime Book Recommendations

On those gloomy days when the clouds turn grey and rain is tapping against your window pane, there is nothing better that settling down with a mystery or crime novel. It’s something about those dark twisted stories that when accompanied with the ambience of stormy weather you can’t stop those hairs from raising on the back of your neck.

I have always loved these kind of novels so i thought i would share just a few of my favourites. I hope you guys find these interesting and might pick some of them up as I can’t recommend them highly enough. Happy Reading!

 

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

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Synopsis: When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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Synopsis: On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis: She used to work for the U.S.THE-CHEMIST-jacket government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough26842622

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

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We are in Prague, in 1942. Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent by London plan to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich—head of the Nazi secret services, ‘the hangman of Prague’, ‘the blond beast’, ‘the most dangerous man in the Third Reich’.

Heydrich works for Hitler’s most powerful henchman, Heinrich Himmler, but in the SS they say ‘HHhH’: ‘Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich’—Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich.

All the characters in HHhH existed then or still exist now. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding story of the preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up?

HHhH is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern. It is a moving, tense, and shattering work of fiction

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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Truly deserving of the accolade Modern Classic, Donna Tartt’s cult be

stseller The Secret History is a remarkable achievement – both compelling and elegant, dram

atic and playful.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group

of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and

living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.

Night Film by Marish Pessl: Review

“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”

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Grey clouds rolling across the sky, lightning forking into view. Rain drops hitting your window pane in a steady beat, a cold draft running under you door. On days like this when all you want to do is grab a book, get und

er a blanket and read, this is the book you want with you.

The story will get darker along with the sky outside. The plot twists will crack off the page like the lightning overhead and the characters will keep tugging at you like the rain pelting your window.

Night Film is a sweeping mystery that twists and turns you down dark storylines and gripping characters, taking us on a cinematic journey of investigation, heart break and a dissection of human nature.

The opening chapters of this book grip onto you with a hard grasp on the hand, leading you through the story and its twists and turns. Marisha Pessl’s presence as a story teller can be seen distinctly in her writing within this novel. Her prose is suspenseful and at times poetic, not only making this an engrossing read but also a beautiful one.
Combining the use of a well crafted mystery with the added use of screen captures, photographs, police reports, photos and files, this book was an immersive experience to lose yourself in the investigation along with the main character.
I have never read another crime or thriller novel that I have felt more connected to. Being able to see the web pages or photos the characters are talking about, it’s easy to fall into the story and I found myself having to remember this was a work of fiction.
Pessl lets the story bleed into real life right off the pages, purposely making this a bone chilling, unforgettable read.

This is a book you should go into blind and just let the story consume you. So all I can say is that Night Film is a deliciously dark and richly crafted thriller. With a dynamic cast of characters and a sweeping story that never relents in its intoxicating mystery, this is a must read for any fans of the crime, thriller or mystery genre.

My Photography: Inspiration & tips

Photography has always been a passion of mine. Since a young age I always loved taking pictures. Being able to find a view, a beam of light running through some trees, a sunset, and being able to snap a picture and keep that moment forever. That has always seemed kind of magical to me.

So after finding the book community on Instagram where I was able to blend my love of books and photography, it was the best of both worlds. I have been on bookstagram for about a year and a half now and have loved every moment of it. To see such a wide community of book lovers showcasing their passion for reading and novels through the outlet of photography is just amazing. Within the community there are so many different styles of photography so it’s always exciting to see so many people with beautiful photos of books!

My personal photography style for my account is definitely quite creative. I often get a lot of questions about how i take my photos and where i get my inspiration, so i thought I would make this blog post to answer some of those questions and give you guys a little insight into how I take my photos.

So first off is inspiration. This is probably one of the most important things about my photos because i always like to have some kind of narrative behind each photo i take. I personally get a lot of inspiration from the books themselves. When I made my instagram account, I always knew i wanted my photos to stand out. I didn’t want them to be like everyone elses or become basic, flat lay book pictures. So, whether it is the setting of the book, a certain character or a scene, I always try to replicate some part of the book in my photo. I want the book to feel alive, so I think me recreating a character or setting in a photo is a really exciting way to do that.

Here is just one example of a photo that i took with huge inspiration from the book itself. As probably most of you have either read of watched Game Of Thrones like me, you will probably be able to see the meaning behind this photo. I wanted to represent my favourite family from the books, House Stark, so i wore their signature fur cloak. I also did my hair in the style of the show because i wanted the image to look like i had just walked out of Westeros. I have so much fun creating these images and going through that process of creating an idea, dressing up and really bringing a book to life in a single photograph.

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My other main outlet of inspiration is definitely Pinterest. I am a Pinterest addict so i always find myself on there looking through photos and making inspiration boards. It’s a really great tool to just get yourself thinking by seeing other peoples photos, and the great thing about Pinterest is that it has everything, from very modern aesthetic photography, to badass female warriors in armour. It can really get those creative juices flowing when you run out of ideas.

As for how I take my photos, i almost always take my photos outside. I’m lucky enough to have grown up and live in the English countryside, on a little lane, so i’m surrounded by fields and have my own piece of land and woodland that is owned by my family. Having my own private woodland is a blessing for me. I love being out there and it’s the perfect little space to take pictures. I love taking photos outside because natural lighting is always the most vital feature of a good picture. Natural light is so beautiful because not only can it make your photos nice and bright, but it adds atmosphere. You can find those warm patches of light, those grey storm clouds and that hazy afternoon light. You just can’t recreate that.

As for a “theme” i wouldn’t say i stick that close to one. I don’t like to contain myself in a theme that means i can only take photos in a certain way or in one single place. The only thing i do stick to is a filter. As i take all my photos on my iphone as i just don’t have the money to buy a camera, i use VSCOcam to edit all my pictures. I use the filter C8 and have been using that one for a really long time now. As you can see from the instagram feed, i like my photos to all have warm and rich tones of colour. I also like darker, moody lighting compared to very bright and white photos. I think it creates more of an atmosphere and fantasy feel to my photos when i use a darker filter and lighting.

The best thing that i can advise about your own bookstagram account and your photography is to always do things the way you like them. Don’t try to copy other people or stick to a theme that seems popular. Find your own style and stick to it. Always take you photos with natural lighting and try to be as creative as you can. But most importantly, just have fun with it. There are times when i pressure myself too much or i start to compare myself to others work and all it does is disappoint me. So just do you and spread your love of books through photography. It’s something i love doing and i’m sure you all love it too!

I hope this blog post has been helpful to some of you and answered your questions. Please feel free to leave a comment is there is anything else you would like to ask me.

City Of Saints & Thieves | Review

 

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City Of Saints & Thieves.
A story of loss, love, faith and justice.
A setting of jungles, bustling city streets and fruit trees.
A girl, a daughter, a sister and a thief.

This tale follows a girl called Tina. A girl who arrived in Kenya as a refugee along with her beloved mother who found work as a maid for Mr Greyhill, one of the most respected businessmen in Sangui City. With a business built on corruption and crime, after Tina’s mother is found dead in Greyhill’s office, she knows who to blame.
Set on a path of revenge for her mother, Tina bides her time.
But with uncovered truths, a twisted knot of lies and betrayals, Tina soon learns the truth is not always what you expect and to find it she must put her life on the line.

This story was a fast paced and action packed thriller. Once i got lost within the pages I found it almost impossible to put this book down. With the settings of Congo and Kenya so vividly depicted this book was a completely immersive experience. You can tell that a lot of research and effort went in to accurately depicting both the beautiful exterior and gritty underworlds of these locations.

The characters were just as richly written. As a lead Tina was brilliant.
We follow her through the book as she educates us on the rules of being a “thief” and as she unravels the mystery of her past and her mothers murder. Her character was so real and alive as we got to see not just her fierce and confident moments, but the moments when she it utterly broken and completely vulnerable. I absolutely loved reading from her pov and she was a perfect voice to tell this story.

If this book is any example of what is to come in the YA thriller genre then i can’t wait for more. This story was not just a well written, tension filled and satisfying thriller. It was a story of character. It was a story of the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. The pain we feel when facing loss and the hope you need to see a better future. This is a story i won’t forget, and one i would recommend to everyone.