28 January 2015

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Title: Through the Woods
Author: Emily Carroll
Pages: 208
Genre: Graphic Novel, Gothic, Dark, Fantasy, Fairytale
Book Description: 
'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

My Opinion:
I've been wanting to get into graphic novels for a while now because I barely read them so when I saw one of my favourite booktubers do a review on it I knew I had to get it. But because they were American and I live in the UK, the book wasn't on sale in stores here. But today, after looking for many months, I finally found it and I'm the happiest person alive!
This graphic novel is one of the most beautiful books I own. I bought it in hardback because that's the only edition they have and I read it in less than an hour.

It includes 5 Gothic fairytale-inspired stories which are all creepy and beautiful. I loved every single one of them because they were all different and included twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. My favourite story out of the 5 was probably 'A Lady's Hands are Cold' because it had a very unexpected twist and I loved the contrast between the red and blue colour scheme.

The stories weren't gory or graphic, they were just unsettling and some of them gave me chills - which is exactly what I was hoping to experience from this novel!

The illustrations in this novel are phenomenal. The colours used are bright but link in with the story's themes very subtly. The writer sticks to a colour theme and it's just stunning and really represents the horror aspect of the stories.

Overall, this graphic novel was magnificent.  I definitely recommend it; everyone should read it! If you don't like horror, you should still read it because it's not so scary, just a little creepy. If you want to get into graphic novels, this is certainly a great place to start because the artwork is amazing and the stories are intriguing and intense. It's definitely a new favourite book of mine!

Rating ★ 
5 out of 5 stars 

24 January 2015

Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult

Title: Where There's Smoke
Author: Jodi Picoult
Pages: 41
Genre: Short Story, Contemporary, Fantasy?
Book Description:
Now, in this original short story, available exclusively as an eBook, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited new novel, Leaving Time.

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

My Opinion:
I saw this as a free novel on iBooks and decided to buy it because it was by one of my favourite authors! I didn't even read the blurb! After I downloaded it, I noticed it was a short story and acted as a prequel to one of her other novels, Leaving Time. I didn't realise this until after I'd read this so now I'm planning on buying the actual story as I'm intrigued to find out what happens to Serenity!

I read this on a 30 minute bus journey and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was really curious to find out what happened and I enjoy things about psychics and spirits anyway. I liked the main character and I really want to read the main novel to find out what new journey her spiritual gifts take her.

I think short stories are really difficult to write but Jodi did a fabulous job here and I really enjoyed it! I would recommend this to anyone because it's such a short book so it can be read if you'r bored or just need to kill time.

Favourite Quotes:

Sometimes, all you can do is watch things burn, and wait for the ash to settle


Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean I don't. I can't explain it, I can't understand it, and I can't deny it. So I sure as hell am not gonna fight it

Rating ★
4 out of 5 stars

Next book I'm going to review:
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

17 January 2015

Poems by Emily Dickinson

Title: Poems (Three Series Complete)
Author: Emily Dickinson
Pages: 323
Genre: Poetry, Classic fiction 
Book Description: 
Considered by many to be the spiritual mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was one of the most prolific and innovative poets of her era. Well-known for her reclusive personal life in Amherst, Massachusetts, her distinctively short lines, and eccentric approach to punctuation and capitalization, she completed over seventeen hundred poems in her short life. Though fewer than a dozen of her poems were actually published during her lifetime, she is still one of the most widely read poets in the English language. Over one hundred of her best poems are collected here.

My Opinion:

I really enjoy reading poetry so I thought I'd give Emily Dickinson a go. I knew of some of her works and decided to explore by reading this collection of poems that I found online. It's split into four small collections; Life, Love, Nature and Time and Eternity. This was one of those books that I didn't read in one go, I came back to it here and there. So when I was in the poetry mood I would simply pick up this novel, read a couple of chapters, and put it down.

My favourite sections were the poems about Nature and Time/Eternity. Personally, I prefer darker poems that have more depth and that I can relate to more, so the poems in the Eternity section certainly fit this description while the Nature poems were more lighthearted and meaningful. The Chariot was my favourite poem. (The last quote I have written earlier on is from this poem)

I enjoyed this collection. It included poems about a range of topics so it was nice to just pick it up and read what I fancied. Although I didn't feel enticed to read the entire collection at once, I did find some nice quotes that really sum up moods I've felt in.

I think that with poetry, you either love it or you hate it. There isn't really an in-between. I liked some of the poems in here but the majority didn't connect with me or maybe they're just for someone with a different state of mind than I'm at. I prefer poets such as Edgar Allan Poe and Philip Larkin.
I would recommend this book if you enjoy reading poetry but you may benefit from it more if you're older/mature.

Favourite Quotes: 

I measure every grief I meet with narrow, probing eyes-
I wonder if it weighs like mine, or has an easier size


"Hope" is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops - at all -


Power is only pain, stranded, through discipline


Forever - is composed of nows -


I took power in my hand
And went against the world


I see better in the dark
I do not need a light


Who robbed the woods
Th trusting woods, the unsuspecting trees


They dropped like flakes, they dropped like stars
Like petals from a rose


Because I could not stop for death,
He kindly stopped for me

Rating ★ 
 3 out of 5 stars 

Next book I'm going to review:
Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult

14 January 2015

The Bookish Groupies | Co-Review | Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

So I took part in another read-a-long with my favourite girls, Blessie, Tika and MalI've written their answers in different colours (Mal, Blessie, Tika) so you can see their opinions as well as mine :) Enjoy

Title: The Raven Boys (Book 1)
Pages: 416
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Book Description:
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

Initial thoughts

When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it or not. I liked the idea and the prologue was really unique and intrigued me but I felt it was a little slow. However as soon as the narrators changed between characters I really started enjoying it and everything fell into place!

After hearings so many good things about the book, I was unsure if the hype would leave me hanging. I was worried that I would expect too much out of it. But from the very beginning it had me hooked. 

I didn't expect to like the book since I hadn't read a YA paranormal fiction in years. I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon, but I thought I'd give this book a try. I thought I wouldn't be able to enjoy YA reads anymore after having to DNF a couple prior to reading this book, but I was in for a shock.  

To be honest, The Raven Boys hadn't popped up on my must read radar " until late last year. I remember reading such great reviews for it on the blogs of girls that I'm really cool with. Then after Christmas, while being a creep on IG and Twitter, on every post I scrolled past, was some sort of amazing praise about The Raven Cycle series. Some of my favorite veteran bloggers had nothing but good things to say about the books, so I ran over to Amazon, and one-clicked that baby to my Kindle.
So I guess I didn't have many initial thoughts prior to reading the story besides, 
" I need this book . . . like NOW "


The writing in this novel was really great and it did a fantastic job of keeping me curious and wanting to keep reading. I really liked the fantasy concept and the idea behind the novel was really creative.

I love the way Maggie's writing is so dark and mysterious. In certain parts, the book actually made me look around my room. I was actually scared! I loved all the secrets and how they all kind of threaded together by the end. 

The raven situation going on the cover was intriguing, and Tika had said "Maybe the boys turn into ravens". Well, well, that's different. The whole story, along with Maggie's writing exhuded an eerie and enigmatic feeling, yet mixed with an exciting rush with all the supernatural situations going on. I think black magic is one of the most underrated supernatural concept since everyone seems to be going through the hype of vampires and werewolves and angels, but black magic is defnitely making a comeback. 

It was definitely a hit! In my opinion, the concept of The Raven Boys, really put the book in a lane of it's own. There were fun, whimsical, and very dark elements to the story, which made it such a unique read. The story consisted of psychics, mediums, boys with major issues, a weirdly sane girl as our main character, talking trees that speak Latin, oh and let's not forget the tree that will give you so much anxiety (not literally) while showing you visions of the future. Yeahhh . . . I'm pretty sure I never read anything like this. 
As far as the writing goes, Maggie has such a magical way of telling a story. I felt the writing displayed some simplicity compared to other gimmicky novels I've read this past year, but was strong enough to completely pull you in, and keep you on edge until the very end. If you weren't holding your breath through most of the chapters, then you definitely missed the originality train. Maybe you'll get on at the next stop!


I loved the characters in this book! I loved how some of the psychics were really mysterious, especially Neeve, because that made me curious. I think my favourite 'raven boy' was Adam because he was strong and brave and put other people first. He's my ideal type of guy!

Blue had me super intrigued with her deathly kiss and all. I really loved her story and how she struggled to be like the rest of her family. I also want her and Gansey together right now!
Gansey is wonderful. At first I thought he was going to be a snobby Raven Boy, but boy was I  wrong. He was so quirky and determined. Did anyone else picture him with a British accent?
Adam was so sweet! I was so disgusted by his father and "that part" actually made me tear up. 
I never really paid much attention to Noah, he was just there. But man did he come into play by the ending! 
Ronan really creeped me out. I did feel sorry for him too with his dad and all.
Maura, Persephone, and Cala made an awesome team! Maura reminded me of Tika! Cala was so snazzy. Get it girl! Persephone reminded me of a cute little fairy, or should I say Purse-uh-phone. I liked Neeve at first, but I didn't really trust her. Whelk was my least favorite character by far! 

Blue was intriguing: I mean, who wouldn't be intrigued by her deathly kiss? Four boys... which one dies? And Gansey? He was literally a young version of Prince Harry. Posh and fun at the same time. This may sound really weird but I feel so attracted to Ronan and Noah's character. For sure, everyone's going to love Gansey because he's Mr. Perfect but Ronan was all dysfunction and craazy and creepy and let me not get started on the damn tattoos. Noah, on the other hand, was just like an adorable puppy. Although, he did get me creeped out in the first few chapters. 

 The characters were one of my favorite things about the story. I really liked our MC Blue and how despite all that was going on around her, she had such a great head on her shoulders. 
Urban Dictionary Translation: she wasn't bat-shit crazy.
Okay pause. Was anybody else pronouncing her name: Per-Sah-Phone? I literally had no clue I was wrong until the girls informed me that it's pronounced Per-Sef-Ah-Nee. Like whatttt lol? Anywho, Persephone and Cala, were such a pleasure to read! They're banter, especially Cala's feistiness, allowed the story to have some pretty hilarious scenes. 
Oh and how could I forget the boys! I loved them all, including Ronan and especially Gansey. They weren't your typical: " Hey, I go to a prep school and I'm rich! " characters. Gansey was completely opposite of what I thought he'd be. I loved him so much, that I nick-named him Great Gansey, after my favorite classic lol. Noah was . . . Noah. Ronan was a troubled kid, but I know deep down there's more to that asshole than what he's letting on. Adam, with his adorable self, was so frustrating to the point I wanted to strangle him . . . more than once. All of the boys were flawed individuals, with dark pasts and even darker futures, and you can't help but applaud Maggie for making such a great cast. 


I liked the story line because it kept me wanting to read on and there was always an unanswered question that I desperately need answering! There was a huge twist toward the end and I did not see it coming so that was really good.
I thought the beginning was a little slow but that didn't last long so it's not a huge dislike. I thought the ending came too soon, like one minute the scene was really tense and the next they were back to normal life.

My favorite thing about this book was learning. I learned so much about ley lines and psychology. But that also happened to be a tad bit confusing when we got too much information at once. But after I got used to it, I was amazed by it all. I also disliked reading from Barrington Whelk's point of view because I could not stand his character. But when I got to the end I was happy we had seen his side of it all. 

The whole black magic thing was AWESOME. As for dislikes, the book kind of got confusing mid section, because of certain references that I wasn't able to pick up on immediately, but it got better eventually. And as for the mention of a love triangle in some reviews, I didn't even notice one. Mind you, a love triangle is a deal breaker for me so I know one when I see one, but instead, this book flowed more on the friendships formed by the group. 

I have so many likes, and if I elaborate on any of them, I'd be spilling tea everywhere, and spoiling a wholeeee lot of people. So I'm going to be pretty vague and say, my likes were basically the plot, the twists, and the characters. The story kept my heart beating rapidly with anticipation, and I just loved how the characters meshed well together, even though they were completely night and day. My dislikes are easy, Whelk with his creepiness, and Neeve with her sneaky ass! I felt so uncomfortable while reading Whelk's POV, but that's a good thing! It made the story really creepy actually. As for Neeve, I felt like something was off with her from the moment she stepped foot into the story. I have to pick up book 2 to see if my intuition was right.

Overall thoughts/rating

Overall I really enjoyed this book! The things I didn't like were minor details so I can look over them and focus on the good things such as the characters and the mystery. I look forward to reading the next books in the series and continuing the read-a-long with my girls!

This book was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was dark and perfectly matched my weather. I was so satisfied with the ending and I just want to jump into the sequel ASAP! I gave it a full five stars.

I GOT GOOSEBUMPS AND CHILLS. And I'm so stoked to grab the next book of the series. As for my rating? I'll give it a 4.5 for now

Overall, The Raven Boys was beyond amazing. I adored everything about this book, and I'm super pumped to continue the rest of the series with these amazing girls. If you haven't already guessed, my rating is . . . 
5 stars!

Favourite Quotes:

'Don't throw compliments away, so long as they're free'


But the problem with being weird was that everyone else was normal


Is this the way life is supposed to be? Maybe it would be better not to know


And everywhere, everywhere, there were books


She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.

Next book I'm going to review: 
Poems by Emily Dickinson 

10 January 2015

Reader Problems Tag

I was tagged by Olivia to complete this tag so thanks for that! All you have to do is answer the questions, so lets get started:

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
I literally have no sensible way of doing this. I just choose the book that looks the best/I want to read the most at that time which means I have had some books on my TBR pile for ages because I want to read them but then I find other books I want to read more and oh god the struggle...

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

I depends how my I'm hating it. If there's a small chance that it will get better, then I'll continue but if there isn't then I just give up because I have so many books I want to read, so why waste time reading something you're not enjoying?

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?
If I was close to finishing the challenge, like I had 5 books left I would definitely try but if it was really far away I wouldn't be that bothered about it. Like last year I didn't really try to complete the challenge but I'm going to try this year!

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I always prefer for the covers to match but if they don't I'm not hugely bothered... When I buy a series I try to buy the matching covers but if they don't have that cover in stock then I'm not largely bothered.

Everyone and their mothers love a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
The best thing about having a blog is that you can always find people who have similar feelings to you. So when I don't like a book I just find people in the community and bond with them!

You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?
I'm an emotional wreck when it comes to sad books, I cry at the smallest things! If I start crying in public I won't hold back but I will subtly wipe away the tears and hope people haven't noticed... and I hope my make-up didn't smudge;)

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you've forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?
It really annoys me when the first book in a series comes out one year and the second one doesn't come out until a year later because I usually read so many other books I've forgotten what happens. I usually just read the last couple of chapters of the other book to remind myself as well as finding the synopsis on goodreads.

You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?
I am very funny about keeping my books looking new and I hate it when the spines crack so I only let people who I can trust borrow them. If someone asks and I know they're going to crack the spine I'll usually make up an excuse abut someone else having it or something...

Reading ADD. You've picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?
I don't think I've ever been in the reading slump before... But I think I would just keep picking up books until one really interests me. And if that doesn't work I'd just go to one of my favourite novels/series:)
There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
I have a bad habit of finishing one book and buying ten more so I'd probably buy them all! I'd see if there were any offers on and prioritse those books and then buy the rest if I have any money left (because books are so expensive these days!)

After you've bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?
Because I buy so many they just sit on my shelf for ages, and then I buy more because I finished another book and then I just forget about them and god it's a never ending cycle!

I tag:
 Mallory @ Mallory Books
Blessie @ Mischievous Reads