Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Picks 2015


Hello Lovely Readers, it is that time again where I let you know what books I have picked out for the month of FEBRUARY. 

Be sure to check out the theme of the month which is: Ancient Adventures and join by recommending more reads to me.

Alongside that, join in with me reading the Bookish Monthly Pick which is Witchcraft by Katie M John. 

Girl Interrupted


One of my favorite movies growing up was Girl Interrupted. I have been meaning to read this one for years. I borrowed my sister’s copy with no time limit, and I feel that February would be a great month to get to it. I have no expectations, and it is a short read.


    Howls Moving Castle

I adore the movie, both in the English translations and in the Japanese with the subtitles. My partner being a Ghibli fan showed this to me many years ago. I love everything about this movie. It gives me all the ‘feels’, and this is another book I have been wanting to purchase myself that my sister has let me borrow. It seems fitting for my theme of Ancient Adventures. 


     The Ancient Future

Ever since my partner and I met he has been putting this book under my nose and adding it to my collection to read. He has read me the first few chapters many times and I do love the concept and the story of what he has read, I am excited to sit down this month and explore the world of Traci Harding that has inspired my partner and his perspective. 


       Warriors Fire and Ice

I am reading this one for the challenge for the Pop Sugar Reading list – A book with non-human characters. What better way to spend February continuing this fantastic series about Warrior Cats. I loved the first one, and am excited to get to the second one.


13 Treasures

This will cover another challenge – A book with numbers in the title, as well as my aversion to Fey stories and lore. I have heard only good reviews about this book over the years, and the premise catches my attention. Alongside Fire and Ice, this Middle Grade novel will be a nice addition to spice things up a little and take me on an adventure.


    Is it Just me?

I started this one last year and school took over. Let’s be honest here I let it. This will cross of – A book that is Funny, as Miranda Hart is one of my favorite British comedians and her style and manner is close to mine. I can see myself having many laughs during the week when I read this.


  This Star Won’t go out

The story that inspired John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has inspired me to pick this one up in February. I have been meaning to get to it, and I am looking forward to experiencing it for myself. I know I can anticipate an emotional roller coaster, I am ready for it and this is a definite read in February.


     Witchcraft – Katie M John

I received a copy of Witchcraft by Katie M John in return for an honest review, and hope to have her over on the blog during the month. I love Witches and supporting Indie authors. This is my Bookish Monthly Pick for February. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review Y.A : Slide - Jill Hathaway



I picked this up on a whim wanting something with an element of Supernatural in a contemporary setting. Slide delivered in the relaxed enjoyment of the story, and the premise had me excited. I love out of body concepts. It was a hard book for me to rate though when it ended, as I enjoyed it, and was also frustrated with parts of it at the same time. Here are my pro's and con's, and my overall thoughts.

Things I liked

·         The developing relationship with her sister Mattie
·         Complex family secrets that unfold and reveal reality
·         The past and present colliding to create thick tension in all areas of the plot
·         Engaging protagonist[Vee] her ideals, and perspective was relatable and I was empathetic of her
·         I enjoyed that the romance wasn’t top heavy in the context of the story

Things that troubled me

·         Her ‘ability’ at times felt too easy for me
·         More development with friendships
·         The relationship and resolution of Zane felt off to me
·         It felt wrapped up too fast
·         The pacing was off for me at times
·         I did see the major twists coming


This was a great, mysterious read that had fantastic layers that when peeled back revealed a promising story.  Jill’s characters were emotionally sustaining, as was the overarching stories of Vee’s ability and the world around. The pacing was slow at times, and I feel it could have used with a little more meat in places regarding relationships and resolutions, a few threads trickled out, and weren’t wrapped up for me. It was a fun read. The elements that kept me entertained and turning the pages were definitely my intrigue with her ability and her relationships. 


☽☽☽ ½ 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two Non-Fiction Reviews - January Week 1&2


Selected by Marc Gimenez

My Thoughts:

I received this book as a Christmas present from my partner’s family who all know that I am quiet obsessed with paper; from scrapbooking to writing, books to filofaxes. I was excited to see the talent, creativity and exploration of paper art throughout the book and I was not disappointed. The vibrant photography, insightful process information and the concepts really provoked some creativity in me, and it is always nice to read something outside the comfort zone, or usual reading collection.

Recommend It?

This would make a great book for any Art fan, Paper lover or an interesting edition to your Coffee table. Easy to read, flick through, admire and inspire, Art of Paper is both written in English and Spanish.

Some of my favourite Artist in the book:

Dream it- Plan it- Live It
Debbie Ford

My Thoughts:

If there ever was a book to kick start any day off, let alone the beginning of the year it is The Best Year of Your Life by Debbie Ford. I have ventured into reading her other book the shadow side of our lives, and was intrigued when I found this one on Amazon.

With an honest approach to conscious living and embracing all aspects of ourselves: Light and Shadow side, Debbie offers some fantastic techniques, and exercises not only to plan out the best year of our life, but how to go about putting those plans into action. With a smart, realistic, inspired coaching style conversation between the reader and Debbie, this makes for a provoking read, one that had be post it noting every page with fantastic quotes and gems of wisdom.

Recommend It?

Buy it now. If you only read one Non-Fiction book this year pick up this one. It faces self realization, inspiration, action, passion, and Debbie isn’t afraid to be raw with you. Short, straight to the point and powerful this book is for everyone and anyone who aspires to make the mundane magical, and to have the best year of their life – created by the powerful you.

Monday, January 12, 2015

BOOKISH CONFESSIONS # 1 - February Goals


February Goals – Reading

It is almost midway through January and I have been thinking a lot about the goals that I made for myself only two weeks ago regarding my reading and my plans for the New Year. Now that 2015 is well into spring I feel content to say that I am enjoying the ‘guidelines’ that I set out for myself when it comes to challenges and my collection of books chosen to read each month. The aspects that are working so far for me are: reading two books a week, participating in the Pop Sugar challenge, and adding non-fiction books into my weekly reading.

Flexibility is important for me, alongside that adaptability, and when something isn’t working I want to be able to look at it logically as well as laterally and assess where changes need to me made, and how I can have the best reading journey that I can create for myself. Which in truth is personal, and up to me to decide, to mould, to craft and to explore.

Two new things I realized today are that for me choosing books does work, even though I was curious to see if it would. The two things I realized is this:

I have more Fiction books than Non-Fiction books

I have on average about 30 Non-Fiction books Vs over 200 Fiction books on my shelf. By changing my goal at reading a Non-Fiction book every week, to two a month I will be able to enjoy the more in depth Non-Fiction books I enjoy [The Secret, The Best Year of Your Life] and read more broadly with my Fiction shelves.

Some Books will take longer to read

I tend to get anxious by making deadlines. You would wonder why then I made having two books read a week a goal. For me this is one of my lessons, and this is why I love reading and creating goals. You never know what you’re capable of until you take the plunge.

This thought is a simple one, though admittedly it only sank in last night when I was reading Wuthering Heights and berating myself on my slow reading. It took me a smack in the head [not literally] to realize that while I can read a 600 page book in a week, It wouldn’t be my preference to do so every week, and like any vocation there are challenges when coming across new authors, or genres and topics that push our buttons and those books are the ones that we need to be flexible with.

What it comes down to is really fear of failure. I am sure we all feel it as some stage, even when reading is a passion. To couple this thought I realized that whatever pressure I feel is self-inflicted and there is strength in being able to be open to change.

I like to let the past be the past, and always grow even with reading, that is one of the stronger drives for me to read, to learn and to grow as well as for enjoyment and community. I have been learning that I am still hard on myself when it comes to creating goals and sticking with them. I am a focused person, and can contradict myself with my impulsive patterns.

This is my confession, my amendment to the plans I have made, and the open door to bookish bliss. My themed picks and challenges will be running for the present, but those two changes will be put into place mentally immediately and actively come February.

What about you?

How have your January goals been going?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book Review: The Circle - Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg



The Circle

More information about The Circle:
Finished: January 7th 2015
1/100 Book Challenge
Challenge Completed: Read a book over 500 pages


I was conflicted when I closed the pages of this novel as to how I wanted to share my thoughts about the book. It being the first in the Trilogy, I felt as though it was a fantastic beginning, and I am anticipating the sequel when I can get my hands on it. However there were a few things about it that took a half star away from my final rating.

Things I liked:

·         It was intense and intricately plotted [set out]
·         The mystery element was loaded and diverse
·         The strong contemporary tones lead to well developed characters [individually] and collectively.
·         It had an interesting and uncommon approach to magic law, and the elements
·         The writing style was refreshing in the perspective of each of the many characters in the novel. I hardly was confused.
·         The somber setting was elusive and provoking – I also liked the change in country and landscape.
·         The complex and realistic relationship between the girls. I liked the way it started and developed.

Things I troubled me:

·         Intentional vagueness on mythology – while I understood that this was a set up at times, the intent was strong, yet fell flat because I needed more.
·         There was a lot to digest, and at times the pacing was heavy handed.

My Conclusion:

The Circle was an all engrossing page turner with a fresh perspective on familiar concepts. The landscape of Sweden was powerful, as was the town itself. Each character had strong purpose, both major and minor, and I found myself loving the running story lines that intertwined fantastically. I grew attached to a few characters, and would like to see more personal growth in others. Alongside that I am anticipating a ramp up on the magical elements of the story, especially with the ending.
I would recommend this if you are looking for a taste of world Young Adult literature, enjoy Paranormal Witch/Magic stories, and have a desire for a novel that is both dark in undertones and hits emotionally with the contemporary realism imbued throughout.


☽☽☽☽ ½ 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bout of Books 12 Challenge | Top 10 Recommendations


Top -10 Book Recommendations

Today's challenge is hosted over at

You can find the link to Sarah’s post here

Top Ten Recommendations

This list is in no order of preference, as these are all favourites in my opinion, it was hard to slim it down to just Ten. Some are older reads, others are newer. I have noted what genre they are in, and the Authors as well. 

It was an eye opener to the diversity of my reading, and I found it interesting to see the books I have kept on my shelf even after all the years that have passed since reading them.

Without further ado... 

1.      Taken- Erin Bowman [Y.A Sci-Fi/Dystopian]


The minute that I started reading Taken I knew I was hooked. Not only did Erin’s writing style draw me in with the beautiful prose and power character development, the concept of the world took over, and I was immersed; fearful, exhilarated, excited and turbulent.

When I finished the book I knew that I needed more. It was fast dubbed my ‘crack’ book as I avoided going out and being social so I could spend more time in the world.

If you like a mixture of Science-Fiction and Dystopian, Male protagonists, diverse landscapes and political intrigue you are going to love Taken.

2.      Touch of Power [Y.A Fantasy]


I first discovered my love of Maria V Synder in the first book to her Healer Trilogy. I’d seen it at my local department store, though the cover was pretty and was drawn to the main character being a healer.
Little did I know this would be one of the most memorable books not only from the novel itself, but the personal reading experience that I shared with one of my good friends, who is no longer in my life.

The Fantasy elements in this book are well crafted, and atmospheric. The pacing of humor, tenderness, war, friendship, and magical intrigue makes it a rich read. Several times my eyes got watery with emotion, and I remain attached to the Male characters that surround the Female protagonist in her journey to self discovery and safety.

If you are pulled in by sharp wit, captivating and muti-faceted characters, touches of romance, and page-turning action you will enjoy Touch of Power.

Look out for my series wrap up later in the year when I complete the trilogy.

3.      Born Wicked – Jessica Spotswood [Y.A Historical]


This was my first completed Trilogy in physical form. From the first book Born Wicked, to the last, the trilogy kept me pining for the next one after each books release.

Let’s start with Born Wicked though.

You are going to want to get your hands on it if you haven’t already, and if you have, and are a fan of Witch stories. This one is sure to have you reading by candle light, enchanted with Jessica’s stunning prose, provocative prophecy, and swoon worthy romance. Don’t let the romance fool you though, it is intense, complicated, beautifully explored and one of my favorite couplings in Y.A fiction to date. Finn and Cate – their love story is one to last.

Along with this, the relationship between the sisters collectively and individually was hard hitting, and real, yet with the touches of magic and Historical exploration, coupled with humor, and humanity this by far one of my favorite books of all time.

4.      You’ve Got a Book in You - Elizaberth Sims  [Writing Reference]


You’ve got a Book in you is a must read, go-to guide to writing your book and developing trust in your own process. With guided, grounded advice, humorous commentary and simple to begin techniques that can be re-used this book has become my new writing Bible. 

Aimed at those embarking on their first larger Fiction or Non-Fiction project this book is also essential for seasoned writers, both published and unpublished as it offers guidance that you can put into practice to cultivate a fun, easy, and achievable daily writing practices. 

I found the concept of Storm Writing, Heart clenching moments, and her process for ‘making the book better’ changed my perspectives on writing, and my own practice. Writing is not a chronological process, and the revision state need not be either. If you buy one book on writing on writing your first book – look no further than: You’ve got a Book in you.

5.      Writing Down the Bones- Natalie Goldberg [Writing Reference]


Whether you are new to writing or a seasoned pro Writing down the Bones is an essential for any writer or creative spirit. Written in essay form, each chapter is full of insight, inspiration, and person experience in her years of writing. Her approach is fresh, humorous, sensuous, and engaging. Scattered throughout there are exercises to explore, that I myself have done many times. In terms of Non-Fiction books this is my most re-read book, and I will continue to rave and recommend anything by Natalie Goldberg as she is one of my favorite writers.

6.      Frankie Says Relapse – Siobhan Curham [Adult- Contemporary]

This one is another book that I have recommended ever since starting my book blog back in 2010. My copy is so well read and beat up that when I saw it in a cheap bookshop I brought myself a backup copy. That alone should tell you enough when it comes to wanting to pick it up, but let me sell it to you better.

Sassy female protagonist – flashbacks to the 80’s – intense romance – raw teenage emotions – Journal entries written to Anne Frank as a confidant, and plot twists that make you both cry and laugh at the same time.

Have I sold it? I sure hope so because this book is up there with my favourite books of all times, and I am well due for a re-read.

7.      Blue Eyed Boy – Joanne Harris [Adult – Psychological]


It has been many years since I have read this book, a lot of it is amiss in the jumble of books I have read in the interim, but one thing that has stayed in my mind is the way that this book affected me while reading it. I cannot remember reading something since it, aside from Chelsea Cain’s Heartsick that totally took me over, and had me questioning my sanity.

Written in a creative format, this intense, somber, and at times perverse story of a dysfunctional family, and a haunting tale of murder is a must read for lovers of psychological thrillers, and mysteries.
By the end it will have you highly wired, and unable to rest.

8.      Living Dead Girl – Elizabeth Scott – [Y.A Contemporary [Y.A]

Living Dead Girl

If there was ever a book I could recommend you read that will disgust you, scare you, captivate you and keep you hooked page after the page it is Living Dead Girl. I picked this one up on recommendation a few years back, started reading in the morning and read the entire thing in one day [this is rare for me, I am a slow reader] I could not stop, despite the tears, the repulsion and the agony that the main character, a young kidnapped girl has to experience.

The ending to this one lingers long after you read it. I would recommend this for those who enjoy darker tales, although if Child abuse is a trigger for you then I would read at your own risk. Elizabeth did an amazing job at handling the topic, especially for the young adult genre. Her writing is both beautiful and harrowing given the content, but if you feel you are mature enough to handle it, take the time to read it.

9.      One Past Midnight – Jessica Shirvington [Y.A Contemporary]


As beautifully heartbreaking as The Fault in Our Stars, One Past Midnight is a creative, unique and fresh take on the concept of parallel worlds.

Set in two locations, running along the same time line, the main character Sabine has to live two completely different lives that pose their own challenges both internally and externally. She feels out of control, and tired and makes a chilling decision that will not only affect both lives, but the fabric of time, and how it influences other people and their experiences of life and death, love, and hate, compassion and fear.

Jessica’s writing was powerful, and phenomenal. When I finished the novel I had to wipe the tears from my eyes, and I wanted to start it all over again. Her execution of the premise was superb, and has started me on a journey to read all the books she has in publication.

10.  This Song Will Save Your Life- Leila Sales  [Y.A Contemporary]


I dub thee the book that surprised me the most. While reading it, and through to the final page. Leila Sales has a way of striking deeper chords in me, and this book is no different. If you are a fan of music, freedom, learning to self love, acceptance, family, and the power of passion you will love this book.

It really drew me in to connect with a character who, through the novel, really finds her passion. It made me laugh, drew me into a world I had only heard about through the grapevine. It felt as though I was there the whole time. I resonated with her story in ways I could not even begin to imagine.

This book changed my life. It opened up parts of myself that I never knew existed and helped me to understand the important of music and creativity in my own life, and to never give that up.

Highly recommended for all ages, pick this one up NOW.

There we go, just a few of my all time favorites that I wanted to recommend and that jumped out at me to grab my attention, and share my heartfelt thoughts about them.What about you? What are your favorites? Link me up in the comments below so I can check out your lists, and as always – Happy Reading. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bout of Books Challenge – Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt


Welcome Back Readers to Mondays Challenge: Number Two for Bout of Books 12. 

I am here with the Book Scavenger hunt hosted by

I could not find a book with the same initials as me in on my shelf...I completed the rest though.

2. Find a book with the color yellow on it - Rebel Amy Tintera

3. Find an author’s name with the letter “S” in it- Jessica Spotswood - Born Wicked Trilogy (one of my favourites)

4. Find a book with a female protagonist - The Chaos of Stars - Kiersten White

5. Find the longest book you own - Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

6. Find a book with a map in it or on it - Let's Get Lost - Adi Alsaid

7. Find a book with a face on it (photograph or illustrated)

This Star Won't Go Out -Esther Earl

Bonus: Find something on your shelf that isn’t a book -

If you can see it I have a little tea strainer hanging over the edge that sits in my naughty book shelf.

This was fun. Although my bedroom and general house lighting is off. I loved taking these photo's and taking them of my shelf. It gave me an idea of what I want to look at reading in the next few months, as well as rekindling happier thoughts of the books I have read.

I will be back tomorrow with an update on my reading, and to participate in the challenges. Happy Reading.