Review: City of Ashes (#2) by Cassandra Clare

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Goodreads | Amazon

Love and power are the deadliest temptations. Haunted by her past, Clary is dragged deeper into New York City’s terrifying underworld of demons and Shadowhunters – but can she control her feelings for a boy who can never be hers?

This book actually pleasantly surprised me! I liked it just a touch more than City of Bones and it felt like a perfect sequel to explore the Shadowhunting world further.

I just really feel like this book had everything, and it’s even more diverse than the first book. Firstly, we have this great mix of characters. Complicated families, complicated romance, complicated friendships. They’re all so real and relatable and I love that. Only certain authors can create such a big and diverse cast of characters and still have each and every one mean something in the story.

” “I’ve been thinking about you, too.”
“I really was sick. I swear. I almost died back there on the ship, you know.””

The thing I really felt was missing in City of Bones was here in City of Ashes. BIG action scenes with tons of Shadowhunters working together and blowing things up. These end up being some of my most memorable scenes and I just love them. The pages fly by!

Something else Clare is amazing at: making me not feel weird about the relationship two of these characters have. (I’m not going to say who because of spoilers for City of Bones, but think of the Lannisters and you’ll know who I mean). But honestly, hats off to her. I didn’t think anyone could make me read these private thoughts and not be sick all over the pages.

“”I know. Everytime you almost die, I almost die myself.””

I have one, tiny problem with this book though, that stopped it reaching 5 stars for me. I want to know more about the characters inner-workings. I feel like Clare is focusing so much on the bigger picture, that she’s missing so many gems that I think came with time and experience for her (as I didn’t feel like it was missing in The Infernal Devices). I wanted to see more of the thoughts/characteristics of side characters like Alec, that would just make me sympathise with everyone a little more!

Talking of Clare’s writing, it has definitely improved in this book! I have to say, this was also a pleasant surprise as I wasn’t expecting it to improve so rapidly, and it’s made me even more excited to see what’s to come in City of Glass.

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Book Review #47

Hi everyone!

Finally I can say I have read the Harry Potter series! – This is an achievement that after having achieved it feels much more like a loss.

I think I am not alone when I say that reading Harry Potter is a commitment. We all love Hogwarts and Dumbledore but we also, as bookworms, also love to read a variety of books and whilst I was reading HP I did sometimes wish I could just throw it aside and pick up something standalone, a world I could read and then say goodbye to. But now, after having said goodbye to Harry, I do feel a bit of book shame – how could I have ever wanted this to not last forever?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was something entirely different and yet at the same time the familiar story we had all been reading for six books already. The wizarding world, in a way in which it had not previously, seemed to swell and grow so that Rowling left us with a fuller picture of what it meant to be a wizard who had left Hogwarts in England. I think in order to fully understand the merit of Deathly Hallows its important to think about loose ends and happy endings. The authoress comfortably stitches together past characters like Dobby with more unfamiliar ones like Bellatrix and in doing so creates confrontations that feel shocking but also inevitable. In Order of the Phoenix Rowling showed us that shouldn’t was afraid of axing central characters so it feels only

How to read for less. #36

Hey everyone!

Today I wanted to write a quick blog post giving my three best tips on how to read books and not spend so much money doing it.

The idea of having to pay £7 on average for a book is perfectly ok with me because I understand that that is a fairly low cost to get hours of enjoyment and support literary craftspeople whilst I’m at it!

However I also know that feeling you get when you really want to just buy every book in Waterstones but you know that your bank account just can’t take it.

Thats why I took it upon myself to think of 3 semi-inventive ways of making reading cheaper.

#1 Start a Book-Swap

I’m sure you’ve already seen these at hipster cafés and cute cornish book stores but if not, I am here to enlighten you on the concept.

At your local school, college or even workplace simply proceed to round up a flock of like-minded bibliophiles, ask them each to bring in a book they enjoyed and then SWAP them with each other! It’s that easy, really.

If you can keep the swap up and make it a regular monthly thing then BINGO! You’ve got yourself a free new book every month.

You’re welcome.

#2 Speak to Authors

I don’t need to introduce you to Goodreads (If I do, who even are you?). As well as reviewing and finding out about new books this platform is a great way to read free literature from up and coming authors.

The method is simple: go to one of your favourite books’ goodreads page, look for similar choices, choose one of these similar choices that has far less ratings and then contact the author and find out whether they are giving away review copies! Usually you will, of course, actually have to review the book in payment for the free copy but who doesn’t love reviewing books anyway?

I have said before that often, indie authors’ work is of a lower quality. This isn’t because they are bad writers but instead because they lack editors and all the behind the scenes people that you get when your actually being published. Take this into account but don’t let it spoil your experience! There are loads of great free indie books out there waiting to be read.

#3 Form a Book Circle

I am coining the phrase ‘Book Circle’. It is mine now!

No, this is not the same thing as a book club although it does posses some of the same traits as one.

In fact, a Book Circle is a really social way of spending way less on books whilst still getting all the satisfaction of a good published novel.

Here is how it’s going to work:

  1. Round up three of your bookwormiest pals
  2. Convene in a safe alcove of your local bookstore
  3. Choose one book that you all want to read
  4. Proceed to argue about which book this will be for at least 25 minutes.
  5. Buy the agreed book but only buy one copy: each put an equal amount of money towards the book at the checkout!
  6. Form a rota of who is going to read the book first, second, third and fourth
  7. Allow one week of reading time for each of the four readers!
  8. Convene again at an agreed date by the end of the fourth week.
  9. Discuss opinions on the book and then allow whoever is first on the rota to keep the book for good: Next month’s book goes to person number two for good and so on!
  10. Enjoy reading cheap literature forever more!!

Those were my three tips on reading for less! I hope they help and I hope they give your bank account a well needed rest.

Keep on reading!

And thanks again Beth.

12 Days of Bookmas – Book 12

Welcome to the first day of my Christmas series – 12 Days of Bookmas! From now until Christmas day I’ll be counting down my 12 favourite books from 2017, and I’m so excited to get started.

I’ll still going to be posting as usual, so you might actually see 2 posts from me on some days from now until Christmas. But I think it’s about time I make up for the lack I’ve been posting on this blog in the past couple of months, don’t you?

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My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

I read this book all the way back in April and I still remember how much I adored it. I can only hope that my heartfelt review (linked above), can possibly begin to express the way I felt towards Geekerella. I was also very lucky to be able to interview Ashley back in May, and you can read that post here!

So Geekerella is day 12 on my countdown, and tomorrow you’ll be able to find out my 11th favourite book of 2017!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Random: The Sun is Also a Star Art!

If you follow me on social media (if you don’t, click at the links at the bottom of this post for bookish photos and chat! (shameless self-promotion)), you may have noticed I’ve been a little absent the past couple of days.

Well, I have a good (and bookish!) reason for this. You may remember me reading The Sun is Also a Star a couple of months ago, and mentioning in my review how much I loved the cover?

This led to me researching into how the cover was actually made and wondering whether I could recreate something similar! I put this down as a note for a few months and never believed I could actually do it. Then one day, I just went out and bought the wood, cotton and the nails. I worked it all out, and I got started!

Within 5 days, here we are. I have a fully finished design of thread/string art with a design inspired by The Sun is Also a Star and a video to prove I did it!

Honestly, I really enjoyed this project and I’m proud of the finished result. It was monotonous, but very therapeutic and rewarding. I won’t write lots of steps about how I made it, but I basically printed out the cover, nailed an outline of the words and thread cotton between the nails in no particular pattern! To push the cotton down, I used a spoon, of all things.


-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Random: So Far This Year

I’m happy to say I’m on track for my Goodreads goal of 50 books this year! The summer is definitely helping me catch up and I’m really getting back into reading more at the moment. So as a just-past-mid-year post, I’m here to mention the books I’ve read this year so far and some of my favourites/least favourites!

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Books I’ve Read

Our Chemical Hearts ★★★★ | Tales of the Peculiar ★★★★ | Seed ★★★★★ | The Girl of Ink and Stars ★★★★ | Caraval ★★★★★ | Cinder ★★★| Ink ★★★ | Geekerella ★★★★★ | Out of Heart ★★★★ | All the Good Things ★★★★★ | Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist ★★★ | One Italian Summer ★★★★★ | Lorali ★★★ | Thirteen Reasons Why ★★ | Everything, Everything ★★★★★ | Release ★★★★ | Spontaneous ★★ | The Sun is Also a Star ★★★★ | Who Runs the World? ★★ | The Last Summer of Us ★★★★ | Your Name. ★★★★★ | One of Us is Lying ★★★★★ | Seven Days of You ★★★★ | The One Memory of Flora Banks ★★★★ | A Quiet Kind of Thunder ★★★★★ | Windfall ★★★ | Wing Jones ★★★★★

My Favourite Reads of the Year So Far

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My Least Favourite Reads of the Year So Far

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I’m pretty happy with my progress at the moment! I’m feeling fully out of my reading slump and back into reading.

How are you doing with your reading challenge?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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June Wrap-Up & July TBR

Unfortunately I didn’t quite match last months amount in June – I read 4 books compared to 6 in May. This is mainly due to it taking me so long to get through Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin and that kind of pushing me back!

Luckily, I picked up speed towards the end of the month, but due to my YALC TBR, I only read one of three books on my June TBR.

Books I Read in June

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Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

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Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

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Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

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Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

My favourite read in June was definitely either Your Name. or The Sun is Also a Star! My least favourite read was Who Runs the World?  – unfortunately by far.

Books I Bought in June

We Were Liars – E.Lockhart
Who Runs the World? – Virginia Bergin
Your Name. – Makoto Shinkai
One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus

July/YALC TBR
The Next Together – Lauren James
Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton
The Potion Diaries – Amy Alward
A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr
Wing Jones – Katherine Webber
Windfall – Jennifer E. Smith

Clearly I have a lot to get through this month! I don’t know if I’ll do it, but I’m going to give it a shot.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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