When The Fear Is Gone Only I Will Remain.

Guessed the book yet?

That wasn’t a quote that particularly stood out to me whilst reading, but read by Timothee Chalamet it sounds so poignant…

Name: Dune

Author: Frank Herbert

Published: 1965 (!)

Dune by Frank Herbert | Waterstones

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them. And his journey will change the universe.

That cover is burned into my head. Have you ever had that? I’ve seen it so much late at night that my eyes begin to hurt (this also happens for the GCSE Edition of Macbeth) and my hands feel like they’re holding its 500 pages. However, I wouldn’t have survived so many pages if it wasn’t so good.

Photo by Ian Beckley on Pexels.com

The worst thing about Adult Fantasy is having to get your head around a whole new set of rules and politics (and there was a lot of politics). SO MANY made up words. I thought it was quite funny how Frank Herbert had put so much effort into thinking up names for everything… but then called his legendary warrior ‘Paul’?

As you’d expect from a book with 20 times the amount of pages than characters, they were all well fleshed out. A good amount of teen angst from Paul to keep him teen. The book spanned about 15 years, and he had an interesting character development where he became sort of power-hungry by the end that made me dislike him. But to be honest, I didn’t have an emotional connection to any characters. There was hints towards the Baron liking men – which was good for a book published in the 60’s – but he did it in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. He was the villain. And really creepy. So maybe not too progressive after all; what do you think?

Dune had an interesting way of showing everyone’s ulterior motives in a world of politics and espionage (ie. nobody means what they say!). Instead of having hundreds of different perspective switches, Frank Herbert gave Paul and his mother the ability to see through lies – it was quite satisfying to discover what they were actually thinking. When they weren’t around, the narration flew between different perspectives which layered this rich world of social injustice and (you’ve guessed it) spacey politics.

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

Quotations from this textbook about Paul split up the chapters and sort of foreshadowed what would happen. Scenes were often discontinued at the pivotal moment, so the quotations gave the book a good pace… but the were from a textbook. So. I thought they would become important but nothing really came of them. Although I don’t know for sure as I didn’t exactly finish Dune…

The main reason I’m going with 4 stars is because of the flipping 40 pages of nonfiction -esque writing about Arrakis at the back. I was surprised I’d finished Dune because I thought I still had 40 pages to go (plus it was an unsatisfying ending). I took one look at the scientific analysis of the waterways of Arrakis and thought… I think I’ve finished it!

To finish, the cover boasted that it was the best sci fi epic ever written (bigheaded much). Which I wouldn’t agree with, but it was an enjoyable read. No set plot, just documenting this struggle for power on Arrakis which I’m excited to see how it can be adapted for the 2021 film. As that’s the reason I read the book in the first place (couldn’t see an adaptation without reading the book! 🙄). There was echoes in it of other science-ficiton books, but it’s more likely that this was what they echo. This is the original. The 1965 original science fiction that I’d highly recommend for fans of Star Wars, J.R Tolkien and spacey politics. Or if you go into lockdown and have enough time on your hands!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis and image of Dune from Waterstones (a great alternative for book buying from Amazon!)

Have you read this book? Got a recommendation or any opinions on Dune? Let me know in the comments!

#WWW Wednesday – 18/11/20

I’VE BEEN READING THE SAME BOOK FOR 4 WEEKS

Hi guys! So, this is a tag I’ve wanted to do for a while now, even though I can’t for the life of me think what it stands for? I know I’m being stupid but I’m so confused 😂 What I’m Reading Wednesdays? What Worth Wreading Wednesday?

I’m very sorry.

Anyway, this is a weekly tag hosted over at Taking On A World Of Words, I’d recommend you check out their site 🙂 If you’ve had a go at this tag, feel free to link in your post in the comments. And without further adieu, here’s what I’ve been to this week!

A Book I’m Currently Reading

I haven’t done a book review for a few because I’ve been reading Dune forever. But, I’m enjoying it and that’s what counts… even if it is nearly 600 pages!

I’m hoping to have finished it by Friday so keep an eye out for the review 🙂

A Book I Finished Recently

‘Love Frankie’ was the last book I read. I had such high expectations from my favourite childhood author that it didn’t quite live up to.

Check out my review of ‘Love Frankie’

A Book I Want To Read Next

As I’m sure you can tell from the cover, this book is an absolute opposite from the heavy sci fi political drama that is ‘Dune’. I’m looking forward to reading it as a bit of an break…

What are you reading at the moment? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

To Peel Or Not To Peel?

Are you supposed to peel the stickers off your books? I’m so confused.

So, I don’t normally get books that would qualify for a waterstones special edition sticker but last week, I bought the got the limited edition version of How The King Of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories 😎. Let me just say…. this might be something I need to do more often!

Anyway, I was showing off to my friend about the cover and he was disgusted that I’d peeled the ‘special edition’ sticker off.Which left me VERY CONFUSED.

So, are you supposed to peel stickers like that off? My life is a lie. I don’t want to keep price tag stickers or ones saying buy one get one half price but what about fancy edition stickers? One of my pet hates is when it looks like a deal sticker can be peeled off but then it’s ACTUALLY PRINTED ONTO THE BOOK. Very annoying 😦

This isn’t normally a problem I have to worry about haha but what do you think? Do you peel the stickers off your books? Or do I have to try and glue the limited edition edition sticker back on!

Reviewing ‘Love, Frankie’ (she doesn’t go to Hollywood)

Do you know the feeling when you’ve outgrown one of your favourite childhood authors? No? Good – it’s not nice.

Name: Love Frankie

Author: Jacqueline Wilson

Published: 2020

Frankie is nearly fourteen and teenage life certainly comes with its ups and downs. Her mum is seriously ill with MS and Frankie can feel herself growing up quickly, no thanks to Sally and her gang of bullies at school. When Sally turns out to be not-so-mean after all, they strike up a friendship and are suddenly spending all of their time together. But Frankie starts to wonder whether these feelings she has for Sally are stronger than her other friendships. Might she really be in love?

Frankie doesn’t want Sally to just be her friend. She wants her to be her girlfriend. But does Sally feel the same?

This was probably my most anticipated release of 2020. Like so many other Gen Z kids, Jaqueline Wilson was my favourite author growing up – I used to have the magazine and everything – and I can now boast an almost complete collection of her books that I have no use for anymore. So, when I saw that she was writing a book for teens about a girl falling in love with her best friend, I was so excited. Despite the fact that I may be a little too old for Jaqueline Wilson, this was a topic that’s so infrequently covered in children’s books and I really wanted to read it. Because, after all, how bad could it really be?

Well.

The book opens on Frankie hanging out with her boy best friend Sam, who seems a little too interested in whether she’d be up for dating anyone (any ideas where this might be going?)… but, anyone, not just him. Obviously. In a true Jaqueline Wilson fashion, we then learn that Frankie’s dad left them when she was younger and her mum has just been diagnosed with MS. Obviously.

IF YOU CAN NAME A JAQUELINE WILSON BOOK WHERE a) the parents are together AND b) one of them isn’t dying THEN YOU CAN WIN AN ALMOST COMPLETE SELECTION OF HER BOOKS
courtesy of 9 year old me 🙂

Love Frankie shouldn’t have been set in 2020. All the characters talked as if they were extras in a film promoting how Eloquent The Youth Of Today Are. It was sort of comforting – heart-warming to see how a 74 year old woman thought teens addressed each other. Some parts were heart warming and cosy, but in others it seemed too rose-tinted and Frankie often came across as just a bit cringe-inducing. Plus, it meant we were treated to the fabulous insult ‘at least I’m not a Billy no friends like you!‘. Which isn’t quite what the kids are calling each other these days Jaqueline, but 10/10 for imagination.

The pace was slow and for the most part of the book Sally and Frankie weren’t together which honestly waiting was boring. It was a thick book, and when things eventually went down, I couldn’t see the attraction between them. No matter how good your character developments, or fancy descriptions of fields are, if the love interest and the main character don’t work well together then I’m not going to like it. My favourite romance books are the ones where the characters get to know each other for a bit; you can see the connection between them and you’re rooting for them to get together so much it’s much more powerful when they do. That didn’t come across as much in Love Frankie, which was a shame. 

Stop! Can we stop for a moment to appreciate how freaking cute this image is. Pretty much all my images are taken from the Pixels Free Library which comes with WordPress (would recommend to add a little *spice* to your page) and I’m thinking of doing a post where I share some of my favourites?

The ending is the most important part of the book. It’s what gives you your lasting impression; like how a decent plot twist might save a terrible mystery. So you need to take time giving the characters a nice, rounded conclusion (yes I’m talking to you Rainbow Rowell) and I felt like the ending of ‘Love Frankie’ was too rushed. I’m so glad that books about lesbians are coming out into children’s fiction, but I think it would have worked better written by an author who had a better understanding of how modern teens view sexuality – and how they talk! Jaqueline Wilson will always have a special place in my heart but this wasn’t her best book.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

34 LGBTQ+ Books On My Radar 🏳️‍🌈

Hey everyone! This post was inspired by this one from Sarah Lillian Books – her site is brilliant, I’d really recommend you check her out.

There are so many LGBTQ+ books I’d love to read, so I thought I’d share some of them. One of the best things about reading in 2020 is that LGBTQ+ representation is phenomenal… compared to the past. There’s still a long way to go: we need more inclusivity in all books and not have books labelled as only for LGBTQ+ people just because that’s what the characters identify as. But books are a brilliant way to educate yourself and to look for relatable content or help.

How many have of these have you read? Do you have any more that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments 😊

Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)
The Winter Duke
We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire, #1)
All the Invisible Things
Bleeding Earth
Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)
Pet
The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1)
Like a Love Story
The Ghosts We Keep
Loveless
These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1)
Her Royal Highness (Royals, #2)
The Falling in Love Montage
You Should See Me in a Crown
Everything Leads to You
The Space Between
The Song of Achilles
Cemetery Boys
Two Boys Kissing
Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)
The Gravity of Us
We Are Okay

YA Books Christmas Present Ideas (That Aren’t Hunger Games)

Merry Christmas GIFs | Tenor

Hey everyone! As it’s basically Christmas, I thought I’d share some Young Adult books that would make great Christmas presents for young people. I’m a teen, and I have to admit I’d prefer not to have an old copy of your favourite book when you were ten. Because, whilst I’m sure you enjoyed it… I might not. Times change and if you’re looking for a book for a teen this Christmas, I’d recommend not buying books that are too young for them, ie the characters are younger than the person you’re buying it for. Obviously, it isn’t always the case that younger MC means a younger age category (THE EXORCIST) but it can sometimes feel like you and the fact you read older books aren’t not being taken seriously (but stay in an appropriate age category!).

I also tried out some book photography for the first time. let me know if you have any tips on how to photograph books… because I spent about half an hour trying to find some decent lighting that didn’t show all the creases in the spines. Because I’ve read these books a lot. Because I really enjoyed them! And anyone you’re buying YA books for this Christmas will as well 🙂

Have you read amy of these? Got any other YA books that would make great presents, or want to let me know what books you want for Christmas? let me know in the comments!


YA Fantasy

More YA Fantasy (I just really liked this photo)

YA Romance

Classics

For more info on these books, check out my reviews of them 🙂

#TTT: Top Ten Musicals I Want To Watch

Hey everyone! Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly tag originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl, and today’s prompt was all about hobbies. Over lockdown, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I set myself a challenge to listen to at least one musical. Let’s just say I listened to a few more than that… All the ones below are on Spotify and I would highly recommend them all (especially the top five! It was so hard to order them ha). So here are the top ten musical I want to go and watch live! What are your favourite musicals?


The Book of Mormon Tickets | Prince of Wales Theatre London - lastminute.com

10. The Book Of Mormon

Starting off strong with a musical where you need Wikipedia open whilst listening just to understand the plot. I’d love to see it live so I could… you know… actually understand the plot…

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Dear Evan Hansen GIFs | Tenor

9. Dear Evan Hansen

The songs in Dear Evan Hansen are just *chef’s kiss whilst crying* (that pretty much sums up the plot of the musical)

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Beetlejuice, London - Latest news and rumours

8. Beetlejuice The Musical

I’ve seen a few ‘slime tutorials’ and clips from the show and the set and costumers look amazing so I’d love to go. It would be amazing to see the original cast perform it (you gotta love Sophia Anne Carruso).

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Be more chill! - Album on Imgur

7. Be More Chill

LISTEN TO THIS MUSICAL. If you do one thing this week, listen to this. I promise you you won’t regret it.

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Mean Girls Musical Logo (2018).png

6. Mean Girls The Musical

Did you know that Mean Girls is a musical? It’s possibly (dare I say it…) even better than the film – it’s got Barrett Wilbert Weed, Taylor Louderman and Grey Henderson…

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Heathers The Musical Gifs Tumblr – cute766

5. Heathers The Musical

I’m just realising how many of these are films adapted to musicals. It works – I saw Shrek the Musical once and there was no going back haha. This is a quirky, gory, darkly funny musical that I want to see live to rid the Riverdale cover that is scarred into my brain 😬

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How Rent Live Proves How Important Rent Musical Was for American Culture

4. RENT

I will have lived a full life if I ever see RENT live.

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Reeve Carney Song GIF by Hadestown - Find & Share on GIPHY

3. Hadestown

Hadestown isn’t even a musical, it’s a piece of art (it’s worth the cringe sorry). The songs are beautiful and haunting and I can’t think how much better they’d be performed live.

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Spring Awakening' Tackles Issues of Youth Public Health | St. Lawrence  University

2. Spring Awakening

Ever wanted to see a musical about angsty German teenagers in the 19th century? Yeah. Yeah.

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drum roll please…

Phillipa Soo Work GIF by Disney+ - Find & Share on GIPHY

1. Hamilton

Number one is Hamilton! I was fortune enough to watch the recorded version on Disney plus for my birthday (Disney truly has bought everything) It was brilliant and fuelled my desire to go and see it live… if I ever have £500 spare. I’m telling myself I’m waiting for a revival of the originals cats (I’d be the dancer in the back of this gif haha).

For a chance to find out what Hercules whispers to Peggy, can you name the song the gif is from? Let me know in the comments!

P.S Sorry, I don’t actually know. It is one of life’s great mysteries 🙂

It Only Happens In The Movies

This was not what I expected at all.

Name: It Only Happens In The Movies

Author: Holly Bourne

Published: 2017

It Only Happens in the Movies

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… 

‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ was brilliant – I’m worried I won’t be able to do it justice. It follows Audrey, a feminist teenager whose family life is falling apart. She recently broke up with/was dumped by her first proper boyfriend, so surely it’s fate when she meets Harry at the local cinema – a budding director who just happens to needs a lead actress in his new zombie movie…

I promise you it’s better than it sounds! I bought this expecting some chic-lit rubbish I could roast on here, but I was surprised by how great ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ was. It’s so refreshing to have a female MC in a romance novel who has genuinely decent opinions, and acts in a way that doesn’t have you throwing the book at a wall or cringing out of your skin. And maybe there was a bit of cringing, but I loved Audrey’s narration. She had some brilliant social commentary which is, from what I’ve heard, something Holly Bourne is good at. The pacing was excellent; between every chapter or so would be a short section from Audrey’s media studies essay on romance films. Let me tell you, I wanted to print out some of those sections and stick them around my school.

“Common dates in romance movies:

Seats in a box at the opera or ballet

Walking around a beautiful foreign city

Night-time picnics in empty parks

Finding some gorgeous abandoned house that the boy fills with candles

Common dates in real life:
Nando’s…” 

It Only Happens In The Movies

There were so many quotes I could have included and I wanted to watch every movie that was mentioned. If you have any underrated romance movies that would make Audrey proud, let me know in the comments (I need more film recommendation for this new lockdown…)! I read ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ with my friend over at Wacky Words, and one of the things we both agreed on was that we were just waiting for the romance to sour. Previously, I’d predicted that the story would be the true-love-turned-abusive type and whilst I was wrong, there is a *special word* often used to describe boys like Harry. A word I am not repeating on a blog followed by my grandparents but I think you get the idea.

Audrey did seem a little hypocritical of her anti-romance mindset around Harry… but that was the main idea of ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ (this is just me trying to poke holes in one of the best books I’ve read this year). Bourne sugar coated nothing, which was a great perspective on love and sex without the usual rose-tinted glass. However, it did lead to quite a dark scene so don’t be fooled by the bright cover and funky font. This is a book for older readers.

‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ was my second Holly Bourne book – find my review of All the Places I’ve Cried in Public here – and I’m excited to try another one. Which ones would you recommend?

Audrey was a refreshing take on the modern feminist and I thoroughly enjoyed her viewpoint. Also she had a great relationship with her friends which we always like to see. Bella Swan needs to take notes. I wanted to live through the funny, slightly heartbreaking series of events that she did.

But, sadly, it only happens in books.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Good Omens Cross Stitch

Hey! Today is a different sort of post. Over my isolation, I got into cross-stitch and thought I’d share one of my first creations.

(No one told me how time consuming it would be… or fiddly ugh).

Let me know if you have any ideas for quotes/ patterns to try next! Any tips would also be excitedly accepted haha.

Are You A Book Snob?

Hey guys! Yesterday I was tod I have to isolate for two weeks… so you should be seeing a bit more of me! I also tried false nails for the first time… and how come no one told me how hard it is to type in these things?! So, if you see any spelling mudtkes, dont blame me, blame the nails 🙂

I was tagged in this by Riddhi from Whispering Stories and thought it looked really fun so I gave it a go! What do you think?


THE BOOK SNOB TAG

FORMAT SNOB You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

16 Reasons Books Are Our Best Friends | Reading gif, Book addict, Book  lovers

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of eBooks. Where’s the cover? Where’s the satisfaction of turing pages? I’d pick physival books any day. Although if they can somehow make kindles that smell like books…

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ADAPTATION SNOB: Do you always read the book before watching the film/ TV show?

I try to. I stand by the adaptation always being worse than the book (have you seen ‘All The Bright Places?’). I just have such a specific idea of the charatcers in my head that its never going to be right for me. Plus, one of the best things about books is that authors don’t have to worry about CGI or making world look real… but films/tv shows do. And watching directors try and, I don’t know, make Edward Cullen run fast has scarred me for life.

10 Times College Was Just Like a Disney Movie | Literature quiz, Book gif,  Reading habits

SHIP SNOB Would you date or marry a non-reader?

I’d like to think there are more important things than if they read… but its a pretty big one! They’d have to put up all my book rants whether or not they liked reading haha.

GENRE SNOB You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

I’m not a big fan of biographies, mainly becuase they arent written by authors. You’re a cricket star for a reason!

Snob GIFs | Tenor

COMMUNITY SNOB Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

This is a tricky one. Maybe not ‘snobbery’, but people certainly judge you for reading MG/YA fiction

SNOBERY RECIPITENT Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

There’s always a *look* you get as a teenager buying soppy YA romances… but they’re part of the stereotype becuase so many teens enjoy them! I’m lucky that most of my friends are big readers too but certain people definitly judge you for being a reader. But do you know what? It’s their loss.

I Nominate

Check out all of these brilliant sites!