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November 2018

    books, currently reading, WWW Wednesday

    WWW Wednesday #3

    WWW WEDNESDAY graphicWWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

    Read my previous WWW Wednesdays here

     

    The three W’s are:

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What have you recently finished reading?
    • What do you think you will read next?

    the history manCurrently Reading

    I have just started reading The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury today as the last text for my English Literature class this semester on Sixties Britain. I have no comments yet on it because I’m really just a few pages in, but I have been really enjoying immersing myself in the Sixties culture for the past couple of months! It isn’t something I had read much about before so it has made such a welcome change.

    I am also reading The Rule of One by Ashley and Lesley Saunders, which I mentioned in my New In #2 post. It has been slow progress so far, as it always is when I have university at the same time, but I really like the premise of it so I have high hopes!

    Recently Read

    Last week I finished reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black which is probably one of my favourite books that I have read this year. I have had it sitting on my shelf for so long and finally got around to reading it this month, and now I am annoyed with myself for leaving it so long. For better, more coherent thoughts on this, read my full review here.

    I also read The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, also for my Sixties Britain class, which I loved. It’s a very short book, about 100 pages or so, and totally absurd from start to finish but Spark is an absolute mastermind. It is so incredibly clever and well-done. I had only read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie before, which I had liked at the time (I was in high school) but didn’t have particularly strong feelings about. Maybe I need to go back to it and see if my opinions have changed.

    Reading Next

    I have a couple of ARCs to read over December, including a festive little number called Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering. It is set to be released on the 13th of December, I believe, and my review is coming on the final day of the blog tour, the 22nd, which is perfect timing for some Christmassy reading after the stress of December deadlines! How inviting is the cover design too.

    I also tweeted this a couple of weeks ago:

    …which got so many great replies, which means plenty of reading recommendations for after my ARCs!! I did buy The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle after @_bookprincess_ gave it as one of her book recommendations and it sounds amazing. Click on the tweet to see what other book bloggers suggested!

    What are you reading right now? 

     

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    book review, books

    Book Review: The Cruel Prince

    cruel prince 1cruel prince 2So I am a little ashamed about how long it took me to discover this book, and then how long I then waited to actually read it. I am going to put this down to being a relatively new convert to the YA fantasy genre, but it was probably more about plain ignorance.

    However, boy am I glad to have found it.

     

    Synopsis

    Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

    One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in treacherous, dangerous world of the royal court, she needs to be as cunning as the Fey themselves. 

    But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

    cruel prince 3.jpgLet’s start with the man himself, Prince Cardan.

    I am so glad to finally see a book that doesn’t instantly portray the male interest as the most amazing thing to have ever existed with next to no flaws. Sure, he is described as being unbelievably beautiful, but there is also no denying that he is an absolute dick. No wonder Jude hates him for basically the whole novel. Who can blame her?!

    That said, I did think the romance aspect would come a little earlier on. I felt like I was waiting and waiting for it, only to be slightly disappointed by the lack of action that actually happened. Sorry if that is a spoiler!! (Although most of you have probably already read this) In this way, I guess the synopsis is a little bit misleading. I assumed from it that their budding relationship would be a major part of the book, but it really wasn’t. I’m guessing that the relationship between Jude and Cardan is going to be a major driving point for The Wicked King, which is set to be released in January 2019 (yes, I have already pre-ordered my copy and did so the second I turned the final page of this one). AND, Cardan bullying Jude because he secretly really likes her? Are we ten years old again?

    I’m also pleasantly surprised and glad that Jude actually stayed human throughout the entirety of the book. I had a small fear that she was going to somehow become one of them, like the synopsis says she wants to be. I like that she is different and isn’t accepted by them, living with her parents’ murderer in a strange world. I like that she has to fight for her place and fight for respect. She is such a strong character who takes no bullshit.

    The second half of the book was definitely better than the first, probably because it was much more fast paced, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying all of it and flying through it. There is plot twist after plot twist and you have to keep reading. You don’t really get any choice in the matter.

    I really, really want to give this book 5/5 stars, but I think the romance side of it was just lacking a little bit of substance. Maybe this is because I went in to it expecting it to be really like A Court of Thorns and Roses, which it isn’t really at all, but hopefully The Wicked King redeems this for me. I’ll settle for 4.5/5.

    What did you think of Jude and Cardan’s relationship in The Cruel Prince?

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    ARC, book reviews, books, discussion, feature

    FEATURE | Is ARC reading a chore?

    is arc reading becoming a chore.jpgI’m sure every book blogger reading this post right now will be able to relate when I say getting an ARC of a really interesting book sent to you is one of the best perks of the job.

    Free books, you say? Yes please.

    When I first started my blog just before the summer, the idea of getting FREE books was incredible. Don’t get me wrong, it still is. I couldn’t wait for the first offer, waiting for it to just fall into my lap. Then, I got an email from a very obscure writer offering me a weird children’s fantasy book that made me physically cringe when I read the description and I thought I maybe had it all wrong.

    Fast forward a few months and I am now on a couple of different blogger/PR lists and regularly get sent emails that actually do fit with what I like to read, and I am receiving opportunities to receive free books left, right and centre. If I wanted to, as I am sure is the case with most book bloggers, I could probably manage to not actually buy any books again and still be kept going well into next year.

    And that right there is my issue. I often find myself getting a little bit overexcited and agreeing to all different blog tours and reviews and you name it, only to find that, actually, I don’t really have time to read all these books. As an English Literature student in their final year, I already have plenty to read without doubling the number of pages every week. The books I have been sent to review are piling up and are going to take me the rest of the year to catch up on, never mind all the ones I most likely agree to in the meantime. We forget that these free books are all fine and dandy, but we have to actually then find the time to read them.

    I am definitely what you call a ‘mood reader’, preferring to choose my next book to read purely by what I fancy picking up at the time. I already struggle to read my books for classes for this reason, absolutely hating having to read for a deadline, and reading because I have to instead of because I want to. Sticking to a strict date for book reviews is incredibly difficult when you have a busy life going on outside your blog, which is like a part time job in itself. I am in my fourth year of my degree and have two (paid) part-time jobs, as well as being the Arts editor of the student newspaper on campus, and also quite like to have a bit of downtime and occasionally – heaven forbid – a social life.

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