Three in One Reviews

As a book blogger, I do try to make sure I have variety in the things I post – however, when I get busy, I tend to write far more reviews compared to other blog posts. So this month, I’ve read three books for my Beat the Backlist challenge, and I thought I’d try writing three smaller reviews in one blog post! This will just be some of my thoughts on what I liked and didn’t like about books I have read recently (along with my star rating), and as pictured, today I will be discussing Unboxed by Non Pratt, Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman, and Blame by Simon Mayo.

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Why DON’T people read? | discussion

We all have our own reasons to explain our love of reading, and it really is one of my favourite things to discuss – after all, what could be better than talking about our shared adoration of Harry Potter, or sharing our favourite childhood books? But outside of this amazing community, we all have friends and family who do not share this love of reading. In fact, I have heard from so many people that the reason they turned to blogging was because they had nobody to talk to about books in real life – that was certainly the case for me. So, today I thought I’d discuss something a little harder for us to relate to – why people don’t read.

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I’m actually gutted to have to admit this, but the primary reason I heard for why people don’t read is the internet. And most specifically, YouTube. Lots of my friends told me that they read a lot more when they were younger, and can link the age they discovered social media to when their love of reading ended. Of course, it can also be to do with a lack of time. Until recently, I found it so difficult to understand how some people simply didn’t have time to read, but the new school year has led to my free time diminishing hugely, and I have found myself really short of time to pick up a book. Often, I sacrifice sleep for reading time. For many people, reading is not what they feel like doing last thing at night when they’re ready to fall asleep, and if that’s the only time they have spare, then they just won’t read.

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Currently Reading Book Tag

It’s been a while since I last did a tag, but this one caught my eye on Emily’s blog A Cup of Wittea – I think these are really interesting questions to ask to get to know somebody’s reading habits! On reflection, I’ve realised that I actually spend most of my reading time in bed, and this has made me acknowledge how little time I’ve left for reading recently (which I can hopefully now rectify!).

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My current read, Lying About Last Summer. Verdict so far: I’m only about thirty pages through, and its very promising!

How many books do you usually read at once?

Usually only one – occasionally I’ll be reading two at once, but that’s only when I have one for school, and one for fun. I prefer to focus on one book at a time, especially since I’ll probably be enjoying one book more than another.

If you’re reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books?

If I’m reading two at once, that would suggest that I’m not feeling super invested in either, so generally it is just when I feel exhausted of the other book that I read the next one for a little while. Normally, when I say I’m reading two at a time, I’m mostly reading one, and have maybe gotten a couple of chapters into another.

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Review – Charlotte Says

35005611Title: Charlotte Says
Author:
 Alex Bell
Published by: Stripes Publishing
Publication date:  7th September 2017
Pages:  352, paperback
Genre:
 young adult, horror, paranormal, historical

The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling FROZEN CHARLOTTE, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016.
Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.
Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

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I remember reading Frozen Charlotte back in 2015 – it was one of the first YA horror novels I’d read, and I absolutely loved it! I was delighted to hear that a prequel was being released, and was lucky enough to receive a copy at YALC this year; I read Charlotte Says in October, and ended up reading it in one sitting. Once I’d started, I knew I would not sleep until I finished, so I kept going until the early hours of the morning.

I’ve seen a few other readers comment that they didn’t find this book overly frightening, however as the type of person who has to peek through their fingers throughout horror films, I often found myself genuinely scared. I largely attributed this to the fact that the story is quite fast paced, with various horrors occurring at regular intervals. I was kept in suspense for the entire novel, and as a result of reading this book, my fear of creepy-looking dolls has increased significantly.

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Review – It Only Happens in the Movies

34564400Title: It Only Happens in the Movies
Author:
Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne
Publication date:  1st October 2017
Pages:  384, paperback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, romance, feminism

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel. 

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Many of you may know that I am a huge Holly Bourne fan – all of her books are favourites of mine, and I have been so excited to read this book since I first heard about it. I love the title, especially since movies are a key theme throughout, and this is definitely the best book I have read in the second half of this year.

As usual, Holly Bourne’s writing was a* stuff – she remains one of the few authors that can make me laugh out loud whilst reading, and the rapport between the different characters was entertaining throughout. Alongside this, the book was packed full of important messages, and I frequently found myself coming across a line or paragraph that filled me with delight, as Holly put into words what so many women (and people in general) feel. Case in point:

‘They’re never stroppy and they’re never difficult and they’re never needy and they’re never bloated and they never wear mismatching underwear and they never have cellulite and they never ask to have sex with the lights off because they hate their stomachs. And even if they ARE stroppy and difficult, it’s always something that’s MENDED by the end of the film because some guy with perfectly-sculpted arms kisses them in the rain.’

on how women are falsely depicted in movies.

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In October I Read | 2017

October was busier than I ever thought it could be. September, in my mind, is the busy month, and by October I expected life to slow down a bit. Unfortunately, this was not the case (although I did have a lovely month), and so I found myself with much less time for reading than I would have liked. Still, I managed to read six books this month, most of which I absolutely adored.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu was my first read of the month, and it was a really great way to start the month – Moxie is such a powerful book, and I loved how proudly feminist it was. I think this is just the sort of book that will empower young girls, and after finishing it I wanted to recommend it to everyone I know. If you want to hear me rave about this book more, you can read my review of it here!

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Keeping a healthy reading attitude

Since starting Sixth Form, I have found myself with far less time to blog than I would like – if I’m lucky, I’ll have up to an hour before I go to bed for free time. And then it becomes a choice between blogging or reading, because there’s honestly no time for me to do both and get a decent night’s sleep. Since I’m taking English Literature A Level, and want to do lots of extra reading for this subject, this means I’ve had to change my reading patterns quite a bit over the last month or so.

I have talked a bit about the classics I’ve been reading over the past few months on this blog, but I haven’t talked much about how I’ve balanced it with my other reading – until recently, I read almost exclusively YA, so this was quite a change. I know that a lot of people drift away from YA when ‘expand’ their reading, but I’ve never felt the need to choose between the two.

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