1920s Quaranteens: ‘In The Shadow Of Blackbirds’ Review

This is one of those books you find in the back of a Charity Shop… that’s surprisingly good.

Name: In The Shadow Of Blackbirds

Author: Cat Winters

Published: 2013

See the source image

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love―a boy who died in battle―returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her? Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

The blurb is very misleading. At first, I thought it was just your average cHiLliNg rOmAnCe between a teen and her dead boyfriend. However, I failed to spot the reviews on the back (albeit from quite suspicious -sounding small newspapers) that hailed it as ‘a psychotic masterpiece’ that expressed the ‘thin line between sanity and madness’. Oops. Although, now that I’ve read it, I wouldn’t go that far.

See the source image

The book began almost like the diary of an angsty teenager who’d been sent away to live with her aunt in the city – super original. But, In The Shadow Of Blackbirds was set near the end of World War 1… in the middle of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. It taught me a lot about the outbreak, which isn’t that well known (and also taught me that I’m thankful bathing in onions isn’t classed as a cure for Corona). It was interesting comparing it to what’s happening now, especially as the author obviously had no idea what 2020 would bring. Add seances, the 20’s obsession with spirit photography and a well meaning, if not badly named, heroine, and you’ve got a ‘psychotic masterpiece!’ Sort of.

See the source image

I’ve never understood the reason to put ‘a novel’. Like here: ‘A Novel by Cat Winters’. It’s not like I’m going to be staring at the book for hours, confused about what it is, and then I see the ‘novel’ and everything clicks into place. ‘So, it’s not just a lump of pages!’. But trust me: In ‘The Shadow Of Blackbirds’ wasn’t just a lump of pages.

I guess you have to read the… less good books to fully appreciate the amazing ones. Now, don’t get me wrong, I thought that the setting was very interesting; the plot was surprisingly engaging, especially as it turned into a sort of creepy murder mystery. At the start of every chapter, there were black and white photos – like this one. It was was cool, but you shouldn’t need fancy illustrations and fonts to make a book good. I also thought it might have worked better in the third person because the narration was pretty unlikely for a 16 year old. Still, In the Shadow of Blackbirds was a creepy mystery with a twist, and pretty good for a find in the back of a Charity Shop.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

One Time the Film Was Better than the Book (Yes I said It)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (film) - Wikipedia

The book is always better than the film, right? That’s a rule I almost always live by. But there are some exceptions (I binged the Netflix version of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events during lockdown, and I hate to admit I preferred it to the books. At least in this, Snicket’s lengthy explanations of words are read by Patrick Warburton in weird costumes.). Last week, I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the first time; I didn’t really have high expectations after reading the book. For me, the tone of the book was good, but I didn’t connect with the characters. It had a good plot, but I was left feeling down – and a bit confused. But the film?

The film was amazing.

*Cue dramatic intro music*

Perks Of Being A Wallflower Patrick Quotes. QuotesGram

I’m struggling to pinpoint my favourite part. Everything was just clearer, without spelling out the obvious, in a way that the book lacked significantly. Often contemporary books leave you to read between the lines, but when I’m googling ‘what the hell Aunt Helen did’, I think it’s gone a bit far. Some sections of the book felt corny; often monologues about life and love feel much better put to music and a montage of friends laughing silently. Although, I’m still not sure about the whole ‘we are infinite thing’, from my experience (and trust me) it’s not really the sort of thing that a 15 year old would say.

Which brings me to my next problem: how old is Charlie? I’m english, and I get a bit confused sometimes about the whole grade system – although I’m sure it’s vice versa. I’m pretty sure Charlie is only 14/15… and he doesn’t act it. The handsome, older teen Hollywood had cast didn’t fit the Charlie in my head, although Logan Lerman was a good enough actor. However, Ezra Miller was totally the Patrick i’d envisioned; this was the first film Emma Watson had starred in since Harry Potter (we love Emma Watson). It’s certainly not about a magical school, but I really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower – I’d be interested to read the book again and see how it compares. If you know any other great coming-of-age type films, or just good book adaptations, please like and let me know in the comments!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 5 Photos


Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?

Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy, steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!

Clary Fray Is Not My Bae (City of Bones Review)

I finally started ‘The Mortal Instruments’… and I hate it.

Name: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published: 2007

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments): 1: Amazon.co.uk: Clare ...

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Maybe hate is a bit harsh, but at the best I’m bordering on strong dislike.

Story time. After a few month of being ganged up on by booktok, book tube and my friends, I finally decided to read ‘The Mortal Instruments’. Because, you know what to do when you have an overwhelming amount of books in your TBR pile? Buy a six book series! So, when I was next in The Entertainer to stock up on overpriced fluffy pencils, I found the whole series half price (you have to love that shop). They sat on my shelf for a few weeks while I admired how the spines created a pretty picture, and struggled to identify the supposed hottie of the series, one Mr Jace McDemonslayer. Then, I realised that it might be easier to figure out who the characters are if I read the book… so I did.

SPOILER ALERT: I still can’t figure out which drawing is Jace.

Personally, characters make or break a book. No matter how effective your world building is, or how beautiful your descriptions are, if the people are 2D then the whole book is going to fall flat. I’ve been struggling to find a specific reason why this book didn’t work for me. The whole Shadow Hunters idea isn’t the most amazing I’ve ever read, but I thought it was interesting and demons are so rarely done. However, the majority of creatures we meet are just extras in Twilight. It just didn’t feel original – people have told me that it’s because this is the original; I’m not sure though. Werewolves and vampires have certainly appeared in literature before 2007, but maybe Bram Stoker copied Dracula from the City of Bones? Cassandra Clare’s take on them just felt very un-special (I’m running out of words for original). But world building aside, let me introduce you to my other major problem… drumroll please….

Miss Clary Fray

  • First of all, the girl’s name almost rhymes. While this might not be the most pressing concern; you have to pick a good name for your main character! No? Just me? Never mind…
  • Second, Clary understands this world more easily than me… and I’m reading a book about it. She accepts that there’s this magical world underneath NY so quickly, that she’s using all of their terminology by the time I’ve managed to figure out what the hell a ‘stele’ is.
  • SHE GOES AROUND SLAPPING PEOPLE FOR NO REASON. One of the first things she does when she meets Jace (not as fit as tumblr had made me believe. Sensitivity and swishy hair don’t make up for personality) is hit him across the face. Now, there are of course scenarios that might call for violence, but he wasn’t doing anything wrong! Little actions like that could be so controversial if their roles were reversed, it made me really uncomfortable.
  • She’s a little useless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I would be too if I was dumped in the middle of a fight against demons, its just that she doesn’t try. So many sentences begin with ‘Clary had never done this before’; I feel as if Clare wrote her pretty weak compared to the other characters and I really hope it’s not just because of her pronoun.
  • Homosexuality isn’t dealt with particularly positively. In fact, after Clary (quite viciously) outs one of the characters, her only thoughts are if they’ll hate her and how it will make her look. I thought a lot of the romances were cliched, more on that in a moment, this one especially. The age difference was a little weird if you think about it (I’m trying so hard not to spoil anything!) although Magnus Bane is the bookish embodiment of Klaus from the Umbrella Academy. That’s the only reason I might try The Bane Chronicles.

A Moment Has Passed

I have a lot of thoughts on this book (don’t know if you can tell) but I’m nearly finished!

There wasn’t a set plot. Often, it felt more like a series of (unfortunate 😉 ) events than a cohesive book and Clare’s writing didn’t really flow. The main love triangle was blatantly obvious (Yes , I’m talking to you Clary) and personally, Simon deserved better. More importantly, PLEASE DON’T MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF A PLOT TWIST. I’m not sure how their relationship will/can progress. It was very strange. I’ll just hope you know what I’m on about.

Finally, I know that lots of people adore The Mortal Instruments. This is just my opinion, so please don’t hate me. City of Bones lacked the humour, wit and and amazing characters I’ve heard Clare writes, but hopefully they’ll be in the next books. I am going to continue with the series… but only because I stupidly bought them all. Plus, the spines look cool and I want them on my bookshelf (priorities, you know?).

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?

Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy, steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved but Never Reviewed

Hey everyone! Top Ten Tuesdays is one of my favourite book tags (AKA the only one I really follow), and I thought that the prompt for this week was a great idea. If you’ve tried it, feel free to link your post in the comments and I’ll try and check them out. Have you read any of mine?

Isla and the Happily Ever After: Amazon.co.uk: Perkins, Stephanie ...

1. Isla and the Happily Ever After

If you’ve followed my site for a while, you might have learned of my love for this series. I was hoping Stephanie Perkins would write more books in this style, but she seems to have moved on to horror? Isla and the Happy Ever After was the last book in the series; all of the characters came together and it was just so flipping HAPPY. We love that.

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Twilight: Twilight, Book 1: 1/4 (Twilight Saga): Amazon.co.uk ...

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyers

I could never bring myself to review this series. Now, if you take away the emotional abuse, the racism against indigenous people, the misogyny, the creepy stalking and most of the plot, this isn’t a bad series. But, that’s quite difficult. After the release of Midnight Sun, I lost the little respect I had for Stephenie Meyers’ letting the series die (unlike, I dont know, J.K Rowling!). Not only is her strange obsession with fruit back on the menu… but she doesn’t seem to have realised that I read most of this book online when I was 13??

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(I know I didn’t love it but I wanted to mention it).

Martyn Pig: Amazon.co.uk: Brooks, Kevin: Books

3. Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks

This was a clever, creepy mystery that I read on holiday a few years ago. When I bought it, it was more underground, but I’ve seen some reviews that say it’s generated a cult following since then…

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Toffee: Amazon.co.uk: Crossan, Sarah: Books

4. Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan is my favourite prose author ( AKA the only one I’ve ever read. Although I recently bought a book by Elizabeth Acevedo that I can’t wait to try). I’ve reviewed my favourite, We Come Apart, but I also loved that Toffee had a sense of mystery about it as well as a great message.

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Perfect eBook by Cecelia Ahern - 9780008125141 | Rakuten Kobo ...

5. Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

I’ve mentioned the Flawed series a few times before, but never reviewed them. It’s just become one of those books I was always going to review… and then when I finally have time, I find I read them too long ago to remember anything. However, I am left with a sense of a great book; everyone I’ve lent them to has loved it.

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Dorothy Must Die: 1: Amazon.co.uk: Paige, Danielle: Books

6. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

In my local bookshop, I took one look at the cover of this book and went straight to the counter. I instantly loved the characters and how the author had made the world of Oz so dark. But, I was put off by the fact that it was a longer series and haven’t read further than the first.

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After The Fire by Will Hill | Waterstones

7. After the Fire by Will Hill

You’re right, random author on the cover. After the Fire is a must read-novel for both young adults and adults alike. In a really fresh and engaging way, it covered topics that are rarely tackled well.

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STAGS: Nine students. Three blood sports. One deadly weekend ...

8. S.T.A.G.S by M.A Bennet

This is one of my favourite YA thrillers, and I’m very excited to discover that the third book is coming out this month. Also, I’ve always been impressed how this author has managed to design all of her other books, whether they’re in the series or not. A bit like Karen McManus of One of Us is Lying

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Murder Most Unladylike: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery: Amazon ...

9. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

I love these books so much. I don’t know how, but it’s been one of those series that I’ve never gotten around to reviewing. Murder Most Unladylike was devoured by a much younger me and I’ve been following the series ever since. I can’t believe that the finale, Death on the Nile, is out already! It feels like the end of an era.

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The Fever Code Maze Runner Book Five Prequel Pdf Download | E ...

10. The Maze Runner (just all of them) by James Dashner

I NEED TO REREAD THESE BOOKS. I adored them on my first run through, but like a few series, I think I tried them too young to properly understand how great they are… especially as there’s now five books?

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(check out this photo, my nerdy side got extremely excited.)


Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?

Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy, steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!

King of Scars

Name: King Of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Published: 2019

King of Scars | The Grishaverse | Fandom

Face your demons . . . or feed them.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war – and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

The entire Grisha trilogy has been building up to this addition (the last couple of weeks have also been building up for this addition as I waited impatiently for it to arrive).

But, hear me out. King of Scars combines the original characters we were introduced to in the ‘Shadow and Bone’ trilogy; and the world building developed in the ‘Six of Crows’ duology. Nikolai has been one of the only consistent characters throughout; it’s great he’s finally got his own book after we’ve watched his personality develop over the years. I love all of the subtle references to the other books – they made me smile so much. It would be a perfect way to tie them all together if more characters from Six of Crows appeared in the next King of Scars (*cough* Kanej *cough*).

King of Scars Review

This took me forever to read – and not for the normal reasons! At first, I was going about 10 pages an hour… mainly because I was overanalysing how amazing every sentence was. It took a while. However, (story time) I recently discovered the precarious art of reading in the car. Last week, I took a 4 hour journey to Hay-On-Wye – click here for how weird it was without the book festival – and I read the rest of the book in one sitting. For me, that’s a lot. I’d never normally be engrossed in a book enough to do that, but I did with King of Scars because it’s Just. So. Good.

The book flicks between different POV, which kept it interesting, although Zoya and Nikolai’s often showed quite similar events. All of their interactions were brilliant – Leigh Bardugo is the Queen of beautiful romance, world building… and banter. She writes the best dialogue I’ve ever read.

It was an interesting decision to also write from Nina’s as well; she wasn’t really linked to the other two. But, I loved her narrative. Nina was one of my favourite characters in Six of Crows, although she seemed to have passed the duty of funny/witty banter on to Nikolai in this book. Some of her Nina-ness (that’s a word now) was slightly lost in the translation between books, although that does make sense with you-know-who dying. I thought Bardugo had exhausted my tears over that character, but nooo! And, Nina did at least get some waffle jokes in, so it’s all good. Her relationship with Hanne was brilliant, and I need more in the next book.

Near the end, everything got a little strange. I didn’t mind the turn it took (let me know if you get what I’m on about) but it was very different to the heist themes of ‘Six of Crows’. The plot twists were clever, although does slightly seem just like a long-winded way of not having to create another villain! However, the ending was thrilling and I cannot wait for book 2.


Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?

Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy, steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!

Every Book Lover Needs To Visit Hay-On-Wye

Have you ever heard of the Hay-On-Wye book festival? If so, congratulations. If not… read on!

Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye | Festivals around the world, Book ...

The festival takes place every year around May in an adorable little village in Wales. I’ve gone 5 times and it’s honesty one of the highlights of my year. You’ve got hundreds of authors doing signings and talks; massive tents stinking of new books; cosy pubs and restaurants all set in the idyllic Welsh countryside. Although of course, it’s mainly about the books.

Ever been to Glastonbury in the off season? This week, I’ve been on holiday in Wales and thought I’d visit the village seeing as I was nearby – it was pretty surreal. I’m sure Hay 2020 would have been amazing, but sadly it was one of the many things COVID 19 halted. The shops were mostly shut up, front lawns that often offered (the most gorgeous) ice cream boasted only wheelbarrows and the streets were mostly deserted. I even went to the site where the festival is normally held and it was just a field – very strange!!

However, I still had a great time and got to look around a few second hand book shops… of which Hay has almost an abundance. My favourite is this old cinema that’s been converted into the underground lair of a heck of a lot of books. The village was still beautiful… and a great backdrop to take some aesthetic (ish) photos of my new Converse.

The Hay On Wye Book Festival should be on every book lover’s bucket list – I would highly reccommend it.


Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?

Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy, steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!

Leah On The Offbeat vs What If Its Us

Hey everyone! So, I read both of these books recently (although not that recently. My to – review pile is massive) and as they’re of a similar genre, I thought I’d pit them against each other:

Leah On the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat: Amazon.co.uk: Albertalli, Becky: Books

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat- but real life isn’t always so rhythmic.

The only child of a single mum, and her life is less privileged than her friends. Her mum knows she’s bisexual, but Leah hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends, not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high.

Can Leah still strike the right note, when the people she loves are fighting?And how can she cope knowing that she might love one of her friends more than she ever intended?

I really wanted to love this book… and I mostly did. Expectations were high as I’d been looking forward to reading this for literally years. Whilst I LOVE Leah and all her snarkiness, I didn’t adore all of her actions. Part of what made her so great was how feisty she was, but a few times this meant she made extremely annoying decisions.

However, I loved all the subtle reference to the other books in this world, and the whole gangs back together (woo). Leah On the Offbeat tackles some real problems but with humour and Becky Albertalli’s (amazing) style. It was readable without being cringeworthy / unrealistic – and I devoured it in literally a day.

The pace was a bit strange, jumping days past important events; Leah didn’t really develop much as a character. I don’t know if the romance had all of Becky Albertalli’s usual magic, although it was very cute and I can’t wait for Love, Creekwood.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What If It’s Us?

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

THIS BOOK KILLED ME. In the best possible way. Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera are some of my favourite authors and I was so excited for their a collab. I knew it would be amazing but nothing couldn’t prepare me for the cuteness this book delivered. I would willingly die multiple times for this book.

At first, it started slow. The boys meet near the beginning but took a while to find each other again which I thought was a pretty confident move by the authors. However, once I got into it, I couldn’t stop (No one really saw me for a few days). The ending was just perfect – although I’m not sure what to think of the epilogue? I need a Book 2.

My favourite parts of What If It’s Us are either the characters (Dylan was just perfect) or the PHENOMINAL amount of musicals references in it. The whole thing just made me smile. And laugh (and cry a little bit).

This was a happy (mostly) without being too cringey (mostly) book. It’s less realistic/ gritty than Leah On the Offbeat, but I loved the whimsical-ness in that sense. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone – and believe me, I’m trying to 🙂

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Are you not sure what books to read for summer? Would you like to take part in a really simple and fun Reading Challenge?

Find the prompts here, and then borrow, buy, steal or ebook books to fit them. I’d love for as many people as possible to take part in my first original book tag. Happy Reading!

Summer Reading Challenge 2020 (original)

Hey everyone! For a few weeks I have been looking for a summer reading challenge, but all the ones I found had started a while ago or had too many categories (I’m very aware that it’s nearly August). So I thought: why not do one myself?

This is my first original book tag, and I’d love for as many people to do it as possible!

The Rules

  • Link to the original tag’s creator: Hundreds and Thousands of Books. Please don’t let all the squinting at my laptop screen to make the graphics flop!
  • Thank whoever tagged you and link back to their post (or the original one if you just want to give it a go).
  • Tag as many people as you want to participate, with links to their Then get to reading…
  • Borrow, buy, ebook, steal books that fit the descriptions. Don’t worry if you can’t read all 9 before the summer is over – although you have until the 22nd September 🙂
  • Post at the end of the challenge how you got on!

The Challenge

I Nominate…

You! If you’ve got this far you might as well give it a go…

One Book More

Notes From A Paper Plane

An Itzey Bitzey Book Blog

Rubbish Talks

Hooks Books and Wunderlust

Book Worms Annonymous

Hammock of Books

Pjink Skies

Anna’s Book Nook

Books and Such

The Booklife of Audrey Smith

When Life Mett

I‘m All About Books

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Name: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris

Published: 2018

 I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

I haven’t read a lot of books set in Auschwitz, but this was not my favourite. The Tattooist of Auschwitz follows the real story of Lale Sokolov as he volunteers to go to Auschwitz in his brother’s place and meets Gita at the camp. Now whilst it’s pretty amazing that this is a true story, I think I would be calling the author out for writing an unrealistic romance if it wasn’t.

Heather Morris originally intended for this story to be a screen adaptation and in some points it’s as if she took her script and just put it in a cover. There was next to no description anywhere; whilst just stating that there is some trees, or that Gita was ‘pretty’ works for a script, this isn’t a script. It’s a book. In films, you show personality through actions – that’s why casting is so important – but if I’m reading these characters, then I need personality and thoughts and opinions. I don’t think I could name a single trait of Lale’s, or why he was even attracted to Gita in the first place (their relationship was so badly written it made me want to cry).

I was prepared to cry over this book. I had been lining up some mindless romances for after reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz so I could get over what I was sure would be a heartbreaking but powerful read. Personally, it was neither. The main reason for this was just that I wasn’t that attached to the characters. The things that happened to them were awful, but it felt more like reading about them in a textbook compared to a personal rendition of the events. Lale being the tattooist was a major factor in him surviving at the camp but I don’t know if it was worthy of being the title of the book.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz had so much potential, but I think that the author fell flat. The dialogue was very bland and there was little sense of terror or urgency. Personally, I didn’t enjoy this book, but let me know your opinion on it 🙂

The Birthday Book Tag

It’s my birthday today! I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, and all the shops are starting to open up again, which is pretty great timing. I’ve got my fingers crossed that next year will run a bit smoother than this one…

I first saw this tag at The Perks Of Being A Nerd and I thought it looked really fun. So here goes!

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Birthday Cake

A Book With A Plot Twist That Seems Cliche But You Love it Anyway

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

You can probably guess what happens in this book just by the cover – but I love it anyway! This whole series always makes me smile.

Click HERE for my review of this book

Party Guests

Your Most Anticipated Book Release Of This Year

Harrow The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The sequel to Gideon the Ninth is released on the 4th August and is probably one of the birthday presents I’m most looking forward to! I only recently read the first book, but I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see how Gideon and Harrow’s relationship progresses… now that Gideon is… inside Harrow’s brain?

Click HERE for my review of the original

Happy Music

A Book With Some Beautiful And Truly Memorable Quotes

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo’s characters always have the best lines. Hands down, she writes the best dialogue I’ve ever read. And whilst this book wasn’t really filled with moving, coming of age quotes, there’s a serious amount of sassy bad-assery in it. Which works for me!

Click HERE for my review of this book

The Happy Birthday Song

A Book That Deserved All The Hype It Got

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Originally, I only bought Good Omens to watch the show (I couldn’t bear the thought of reading a book after watching it). However, it was hilarious – and I thought the adaptation was one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Click HERE for my review of this book

Birthday Presents

A Book That Surprised You With How Much You Loved It

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I randomly picked up The Starless Sea. It was my first read by this author, and I definitely want to try more of her books! I loved her style and the whole world she created was just amazing. And of course, who can argue with that cover?

Click HERE for my review of this book

Getting Older

A book that you read a long time ago, but you think you’d appreciate more if you read it as a more mature reader

Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Part1 of Noughts & Crosses Trilogy ...

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I read this book 4 years ago and wasn’t the biggest fan of it. But looking back, I’m not sure I totally understood all of the themes and I want to reread it soon, especially as it contains a lot of really relevant issues.

Click HERE for my review of this book

Sweet Birthday Memories

A book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life

Simon vs The Homo Sapien’s Agenda

This book deserves to be reread and reread and reread. IT’S SO AMAZING (That’s it, that’s all I need to say.).

Click HERE for my review of this flipping awesome book

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That was the birthday tag! I really enjoyed doing it – when’s your birthday?