26 October 2014

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Title: The Bloody Chamber
Author: Angela Carter
Pages: 126
Genre: Gothic, Fantasy, Fairytale, Dark, Short Stories
Book Description: 
The Bloody Chamber (or The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories) is an anthology of short fiction by Angela Carter. All of the stories share a common theme of being closely based upon fairy tales or folk tales. From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

My Opinion: 
So I was lent this collection of short stories by my English teacher as further reading for my college course and I have mixed feelings about it... There was a selection of 10 short stories, all under the genre of gothic fiction.
To make this easier, I'm going to write a short paragraph about each story (like a mini review)

1) The Bloody Chamber
34 Pages (longest story in the book)
I found this story really intriguing but quite creepy. It was about a woman who had recently married a man, she didn't even really like, to find out he was hiding a gruesome secret. The descriptions provided were really gothic and I enjoyed that factor but it took me a while to get into this story... I had to keep coming back to it but I persevered and found the ending wonderfully unexpected!

2) The Courtship of Mr Lyon
11 Pages
This was probably my favourite story from the collection! It was about a father who got caught in a snow storm and found a house when he was seeking for shelter. His daughter had asked for a pure white rose, one he found in the garden of this mysterious house. The father stole the rose but there were serious consequences that followed. I loved the Beauty and the Beast aspect hidden inside the story and the characters were lovely!

3) The Tiger's Bride
17 Pages
This was about a man who took the form of a tiger. He hated his appearance so acted like a man by wearing mens clothes and a mask which only exposed his eyes. The father of a beautiful girl places a bet against the tiger, but loses and similarly has to face the following consequences. I found this very similar to the story before but it was still a nice read. I thought the ending was quite ambiguous but I still liked it.

4) Puss-In-Boots
17 Pages
I didn't really enjoy this fairy tale. It included a cat called Puss, who became a young man's valet. He did many chores for him and they got on well until Puss's master fell in love. Puss hates this and plots against his master. The events after this were gothic and strange. I found this story quite hard to keep up with and didn't like it as much as some of the previous stories.

5) The Erl-King
8 Pages
This was another one of the few stories from the collection that I enjoyed. It was about a king who lived in a hut in the middle of a forest. He eats plants and sometimes animals. The narrator visits the Erl King to learn about his life and have sex with him. One day the girl realises the King's plans for her and a troubling turn of events occur... What I loved was how Red Riding Hood was weaved into this story. It was nice to come across symbolic quotes from the story like 'what big eyes you have.'

6) The Snow Child
2 Pages (Maybe not even that...)
Another one of my favourite stories! It was short and sweet and involved aspects of 'The Snow Child' from the Grimm Brothers fairy tale (which is one of my favourites!) It's about a Count and Countess who are travelling on hours through the winter when they come across a naked girl. The Count has an attraction to the girl and takes her on his horse but the Countess becomes jealous and tries to trick the girl so she can kill her. I really enjoyed the ending too.

7) The Lady of the House of Love
15 Pages
This story was about Vampires and I liked that aspect of it. However I didn't really understand what was happening, and I had to keep coming back to it because I got bored so I didn't find this addition very interesting... I also liked how Jack and the Beanstalk was incorporated into it including quotes like 'fee fie fo fum!'

8) The Werewolf
2 Pages (The shortest story in the collection)
I really enjoyed this very short story. I was gothic and unexpected and had features of Little Red Riding Hood. I think it had a good moral to the story even if it was quite twisted... The main thing I liked was it's uniqueness

9) The Company of Wolves
9 Pages
This story also involved Red Riding Hood but it wasn't as good as the previous one. It's about how ruthless wolves are and talks about a blond girl visiting her grandmother. She is armed with a knife but is not afraid. She meets a man on her journey and they become trusting friends. He challenges the girl to see who can get to her grandmother's house first, however when the girl arrives (after the man) she is caught in a rather awkward situation... I liked the idea of the story, but it wasn't as well written as some of the others.

10) Wolf-Alice
8 Pages
This was about a female child who is raised by wolves. One day humans find her sleeping with her mother and take her to be treated like a human with the nuns. They cannot break her from her animalistic habits however she begins to notice how different she is compared to other people. I liked the idea of the wolf-human but I found the story line quite odd and confusing.


I felt like if I didn't have to read the book and if I wasn't going to be questioned on it, I would have put it down relatively early on... It's also a quick read, I read this in a matter of days, which was probably another reason why I continued reading... I think this is a good book to just pick up at random times are the stories are all short and easy to read, so you could just read one every once in a while. However if I was to recommend the book, I'd advise 16+ because there was some strong language and many sex scenes. There were some really lovely chapter but I personally found that there was more bad chapters than good.

Favourite Quotes: 

A lily. Possessed of strange, ominous calm of a sentient vegetable, like one of those cobra-headed, funereal lilies whose white sheaths are curled out of a flesh as thick and tensely yielding to the touch as vellum


There is not much in the autumn wood to make you smile but it is not yet, not quite yet the saddest time of the year.


A young girl would go into the wood as trustingly as Red Riding Hood to her granny's house but this light admits no ambiguities and, here, she will be trapped in her own illusion because everything in the wood is exactly as it seems


The beautiful queen of vampires sits all alone in her dark, high house under the eyes of the portraits of her demented and atrocious ancestors


She is so beautiful and unnatural; her beauty is an abnormality, a deformity
Her beauty is a symptom of her disorder, of her soullessness.


Be he alive or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread


She herself is a haunted house


Fear and flee the wold; for, worst of all, the wolf may be more than he seems

 2 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

21 October 2014

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Title: Frankenstein
Author: Mary Shelley
Pages: 265 
Genre: Classic, Gothic, Horror, Fantasy
Book Description: 
At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

 My Opinion: 
This is another novel I was advised to read for English but I also wanted to read this myself and boy am I glad I did! When I was reading this I really wasn't expecting what I got from this novel - in a good way!

People who think the monster is called
Frankenstein get on my nerves!
The main thing that surprised me was the storyline. Before reading this, all I knew was that a scientist created a monster which he lost control of and went round killing everyone. But after reading this I am really surprised at how much more there was to this book than I thought; it's so underestimated! The copy I read was split into 3 volumes, one of which was under the point of view of the monster himself! (The monster isn't called Frankenstein. (Victor) Frankenstein is the name of the man that creates the monster... ) I had no idea this was even in the book so it was really interesting to hear his background and side of the story - as I said, totally unexpected!

Linking to this, I really enjoyed the sub-stories within the main story. For example, the monster's background and his story as well as the sailor's story and his letters at the beginning and end of the novel. And then there's Victor's story which is mainly what the novel is about. This was a lovely touch that I didn't know existed until I read the book...

Another thing I liked about the book was that the English is easier to read than other classics. Because this book wasn't published as late as other classics, the language is relatively modern (there's still a few words I had to look up the definition of) meaning it's a good book for those people that want to get into classics but want an easier novel to start with.

I was recommend this book to literally anyone. If you like gothic/horror genres, read it. If you want to try somethign new, read it. If you're interested in starting classic novels, read it. This is such a well known novel that should be read because it is so underestimated!
There are many film versions of the novel... I've seen the oldest film version and that was a very accurate interpretation but there's a few more modern films too...

If you decide to read this, or have read it, please let me know what you thought! I'd love to hear your opinion :)

 Favourite Quotes: 
Thus ended a day memorable to me: it decided my future destiny.


'Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart'


Darkness had no effect upon my fancy and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm.


When you read their writings, life appears to consist in a warm sun and a garden of roses, in the smiles and frowns of a fair enemy, and the fire that consumes your own heart


I do not fear to die


Nothing is more painful to a human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty, which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear


Our house was the house of mourning


A dream has power to poison sleep


Am I thought to be the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me?

 Rating ★ 
4 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

16 October 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins Tag!

Firstly I want to thank Olivia over at Olivia's Catastrophe for tagging me! 
I think this tag is very fitting considering Halloween is almost here so good timing haha :) All you have to do is answer the questions... So, let's get started:

1.) Greed: What is the most expensive book in your library, and what is the most inexpensive?

The most expensive book I own is my Grimm's book of Fairytales! It's a beautiful hardback and cost £25! :O However it was a gift so I didn't have to pay for it...
(I have a blog post about this book, which you can view here)
The cheapest book I own is a really old copy of Oliver Twist which I got from an antique store for £1.75!  I wish books were still that cheap :'(

2.) Wrath: Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

That's easy: Ellen Hopkins, I have read a few of her books (The review for Identical is also on my blog) and I love her themes and writing style, but it can take me a while to get into her books. And sometimes verse writing gets on my nerves... but her books are definitely worth the read if you're into that sort of genre!

3.) Gluttony: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over again, with no remorse whatsoever?

The Book Thief. I have read this book twice now and it is still amazing! I swear every single time I read it the book just gets better and better and I notice more things I didn't notice the first time around! The quotes in that book are also amazing, so relatable<3 (I seem to have done a book review on half of the books I'm mentioning here... If you're interested you can check it out haha)

4.) Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness? 

I started reading Gulliver's Travels a while back but I got bored and put it down. I will probably come back to reading it in the future because it's a classic novel that I really want to read but it just didn't have any speech in it and wasn't the sort of genre I like reading anyway so I gave up...

5.) Pride: What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?

I've read quite a lot of classic novels like Pride and Prejudice and Dracula etc so I like to talk about those as the language can be quite difficult:)

6.) Lust: What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?

Anyone that makes me laugh is straight away attractive. I love male characters that are good looking, intelligent and adventurous but also a little bit protective of the female character...

7.) Envy: What books would you most like to receive as a gift?

There's a collection of similar books to the Grimm's fairytales book I own which are absolutely gorgeous and probably very expensive... The main one I want is Edgar Allan Poe's complete poems and stories but there are loads of them that I want! I want to build up a collection and they're just beautiful omg look at this:
Here is an example of the Alice and Wonderland version!

They all have shiny pages and covers and they're hardbacks and I want them all but no money... hint hint!

Here are the lovely people I will be tagging:

Mallory @ Mallory Books
Belle and Cassie @ Fangirling Misses

10 October 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 552
Genre: Fantasy, History
Book Description:
It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids - as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

My Opinion:
I read this book a couple of years ago for the first time and I loved it. When I heard there was a film coming out, I wanted to re-read it so I have the novel fresh in my mind before seeing the film. And guess what? I loved it even more the second time.

I find that when you read a book more than once, you always notice things you never saw before, like quotes or questions or just a really great description you didn't fully appreciate reading it the first time around. I felt like that with this book.

I think what I loved most about this book was the style of writing. I loved how the narrator uses colours to describe dying, just at the very beginning of the novel! From then on I think the format and style were so creative; the short and unique definitions at the beginning of the chapters, the descriptions, everything. The narrator was an wonderfully unusual choice and it just gave the novel that extra uniqueness. I really enjoyed how Death was telling Liesel's story and it was so interesting finding out his opinion of the situation. In life, I don't tend to think of death as a person, so this idea opened many doors for me and made me think deeply about the feelings this character portrays.

The characters were really well written and I felt like I could connect with each and every one of them. This book is quite long,but it's worth it because we as an audience get to see how Liesel grows and gets used to life in Germany with her new family. We get to meet her friends, and see how she stands up for what she believes in. Liesel was such a wonderful character, I hope in the movie she is played just as well as she was written in the book.

I was hooked with this book from the very first chapter. The heartache is shown straight away in the second chapter and from then onwards there's romance and knowledge and more sadness... But it doesn't matter because this book is amazing!

I would recommend this book to anyone. It includes history, romance, heartache, mystery and the characters are just phenomenal. There is so much more I want to say but 1) spoilers and 2) this review would never end otherwise ;) To sum it up, I'd happily read this book a third time!

I think Markus Zusak is a genius. I haven't read any of his other novels but they're on my TBR list... If anyone has read any specific books and would like to recommend them to me please let me know in the comments and I'll reply asap! The main book I want to read is I am the Messenger - thoughts?

 Favourite Quotes: 

She slept a lot and didn't dream, and on most occasions she was sorry to wake up


The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy who loves you


Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not hat they say. Just in what they are.


I have hated the words and I have loved them and, I hope I have made them right

Even death has a heart


Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it


If your eyed could speak, what would they say?


I am haunted by humans

 Rating ★
 5 out of 5 stars

A recent film has just come out based on this novel. I haven't actually seen it yet but it looks amazing! Plus I loved Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech so I have a feeling he's going to be fabulous in this one too!
Here's the trailer if you're interested:

Next book I'm going to review:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

6 October 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I've been nominated by the lovely Tika over at fANGIRLconfessions! Thanks for the tag!
Let's begin!

Like all other tags and blogger award, there are a few rules:

1) Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their site
2) Post the award's logo on your blog
3) Answer the 10 questions you've been asked
4) Nominate 10 bloggers
5) Set 10 new questions for your nominees

Tika's Questions:

1) What is your least favourite book at the moment?

This is such a hard question because recently I haven't read any books that I've disliked... I'd have to go with

2) What is ONE book you're read this year that you worth a re-read?

I would definitely re-read The Book Thief! I've already read this novel twice (once last year and once this year) and I have to say it's one of my favourite books everrrrrr

3) If I asked you to recommend me any book of your choosing, what would it be? * I'm kinda looking for recs to find more books to read lmao *

I'd recommend anything by John Green (if you haven't already read all his novels) and I love The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath! (It's one of those classic books you have to read at least once in your life)

4) If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be? Why?

I don't know if this is a generic answer or just silly but I'd love to be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice! I think it would be so interesting to get a taster of what life was like back then and Mr Darcy is gorgeous!<3<3

5) What's your favorite meal?

Sushi or Chinese food<3

6) Hardback, Paperback, or E-copy?

I prefer physical copies of books so either a hardback or paperback are fine with me! I don't tend to buy hardbacks often as they're so expensive now so I guess I prefer paperback copies...

7) Name 2 books you've given a negative review to this year. In ONE sentence tell me why. * hehehehe, some of you guys know how evil I get with these questions lmao *

Since I've only been blogging for 2 months I haven't written any negative reviews yet but I'm sure there will be one eventually...

8) If I gave you a lighter a told you to set 3 books that you share a love/hate relationship with on fire. Which 3 would it be? * I'm such an ass for this question! *

Omg this is such a difficult question because fire and books are just a huge no! Gahhh um.... I'd probably set alight

9) You're the main character in a New Adult novel. You move into a dorm/off-campus apartment and have a swoon worthy boy residing across the hall. You guys hit it off immediately and begin "lusting" for one another. What fictional character is he? * muuaaahhaha *

I think he has to be Miles from Looking for Alaska by John Green! Just because he's really smart and lovely and I love how his character was written... He also remembers famous people's last words which is awesome!

10) If you could write your own memoir, what would the title be?

Punk and Disorderly

My Nominees:

Sorry if you've already done the tag and I've tagged you again... Also I don't have ten people but if you'd like to do the challenge then please do! I'd love to read it so make sure you leave a link below :)

My Questions:
1) What is a genre you rarely read by wish you did?
2) Do you prefer to read lots of books at once or just one at a time?
3) Hardback, Paperback or Ebooks?
4) If you could be one character in a novel for a day, who would you be?
5) What do you like eating when you read?
6) When you read, do you do it in silence or listen to music and if so what songs are on your playlist?
7) What was your first blog post/book review?
8) Where is your favourite place to read?
9) What's your opinion on love triangles?
10) Do you have any autographed books? If so which ones?

1 October 2014

WWW Wednesday!

This meme was created by MizB at Should Be Reading!

Description: This is a weekly event where you share:
(1) What you're currently reading
(2) What you recently finished reading
(3) What you think you'll read next

1) I'm currently reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
2) I recently finished Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
3) I might read Gingerbread by Robert Dinsdale
Sorry I haven't posted as much - I've been so busy at the moment with college homework and stuff!
Happy 1st of October!