Tag Archives: blogmas 2018

December Wrap Up + Goodreads Challenge Final Update

Welcome to my last Blogmas post and final blog post of 2018. Today I’m going to be sharing what I read in December and also wrap up my 2018 Goodreads challenge. 2018 hasn’t been the best reading year for me – in between a massive move and starting 2 modules at university I’ve been busy, too tired or lacking concentration to read as much as I normally do. However, looking back at all the books I’ve read this year I’ve been really lucky to read many amazing books. I’m surprised because I’m not always one to rate 5 stars and as you’ll see I had a lot of 5 star reviews. You’ll notice I don’t have any 1 or 2 stars reads this year and that’s because 9 times out of 10 if I’m not enjoying a book I’ll abandon it. Without further ado, here is my wrap up!


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

I also read the Assassins Blade this year and loved it. I have had this series on my shelf for the longest time and I finally got to read it. I’ve only read the first one and part of the second one so far, before I got distracted with my Christmas books. However, I’m enjoying the series so far and I’m excited to see what happens next.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling.

So I started my reread this month and once again I have fallen more in love with Harry Potter (who even knew that was possible!). It’s exciting to read and remember all the little things I’ve forgotten.

You can read my review for this book here.

Another post that may interest you is Harry Potter Scenes I Wish Were In The Movies Part 1.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.

This month I decided to try a free trial of Scribd. I love it – and unlike Audible you can listen to as many books as you want in a month for the same price. This was my first book by Victoria Schwab and it’s safe to say that I fell in love with her writing. I’m excited to read all her other books in the new year.

Mr Greedy, Mr Mischief and Mr Happy by Roger Hargreaves.

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter.

The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter.

Castle of Doom by Sarina Hossain.

The last few books I read in December were very short. With only 6 hours to go until midnight I was determined I was getting to my goal of 50 books. I have never failed a challenge yet and I wasn’t having it beat me. I crammed in the last 6 books and I did it!


Goal – 50 books.

Final count – 50 books.

5 star book review

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
  • The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter.
  • The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter.
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.
  • Mr Bump by Roger Hargreaves.
  • The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore.
  • The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore.
  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
  • The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore.
  • I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen.
  • My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih.
  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber.
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber.
  • The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
  • The Doll by J.C Martin.
  • Mr Greedy by Roger Hargreaves.
  • Mr Mischief by Roger Hargreaves.
  • Mr Happy by Roger Hargreaves.
  • The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.

4 star book review

  • Night of the Living Dummy by R.L Stine.
  • The Blob That Ate Everyone by R.L Stine.
  • Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.
  • The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore.
  • The Last Days of Lorien by Pittacus Lore.
  • The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore.
  • Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis.
  • The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Rain by Virginia Bergin.
  • The Storm by Virginia Bergin.
  • Mirage by Somaiya Daud.
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.
  • The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter.

3 star book review

  • The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter.
  • A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke.
  • Island by David Almond.
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.
  • Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
  • The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Maas.
  • Seed by Lisa Heathfield.
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins.
  • Immortal Girls by Griffin Stark.
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
  • Signal Failure by David Wailing.
  • Castle of Doom by Sarina Hossain.

What have been your favourite books this year? I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Years Eve. I’ll see you all in the new year!

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The Dreaded Reading Slump (And How To Pull Yourself Out!)

We all know the situation – you pick up a book and YOU JUST CAN’T READ! It’s the bane of a readers existence and personally I feel like, in the reader world, there’s nothing worse than a reading slump. I went through so many slumps this year and at times I thought my brain might explode from lack of reading! I’m here today to pick out some of the reasons why slumps happen and also offer some tips to get out of one…


Possible causes..

Too much Netflix!

I can lose hours and hours of time binge watching a new tv show I just discovered. 77 episodes later and I’ll emerge from the shame and realise I haven’t picked up a book in days. This is also happens with YouTube – I watch one video and then fall down the black hole of clicking every video that pops up..

You’ve just finished the best book ever.

The times when nothing will ever compare to the book you’ve just finished and everything else beside it is going to be rubbish. This happened to me with Caraval and Legendary this year, and was responsible for my big slump around July. I sulked because all I wanted to read was the 3rd book in the series and it wasn’t out yet!

You can’t get into the current book you’re reading.

This happens to me a lot. It’s when you don’t connect with the book but you’re too stubborn to move onto another one. It then causes you to lose the oomph to pick up the book and actually read it.

You’ve read too much.

I wish this wasn’t even a thing. This is when your brain basically tells you to stop reading before it explodes. It’s the times when you want to read but your brain doesn’t.


My top tips for getting our a reading slump.

Re-read an old favourite.

For me, it’s Harry Potter. If I’m struggling with a slump I’ll pick up this series. It always reminds me of how exciting I find reading and inspires me to explore other worlds. Plus, I know the story back to front so it doesn’t involve much concentration.

Try an audiobook.

I love audiobooks! They help me get out of a slump if I’m struggling with concentration. The beauty of them is that you don’t have to do anything but listen. I recommend Scribd – they provide audiobooks and ebooks. Unlike Audible which only allows you 1 audiobook per month, you have unlimited use for the entire month for £7.99 (which is the same as audible)

Try short stories.

This is a brilliant trick for reading slumps. Something short and quick to read usually helps me find the joy in reading again.

Don’t try to read.

Sometimes your brain just needs a break so listen to it. Do anything other than reading for a few hours or days and then try again!

Don’t be stubborn and DNF a book you’re not enjoying.

There are too many books in the world to read – that you’ll probably enjoy – to stay hung up on a book you’re not into. It took me a long time to realise this so I’d always force myself to finish every single book I picked up. Don’t do it to yourself – it’s not worth it and you’ll probably miss out on great books with all the time you’ve wasted on trying to finish a book you’re not connecting with.

Try a different genre.

Maybe you’re having what I’d like to call a ‘genre burnout’. If all you ever read is fantasy, then maybe try contemporary. Or if you read sci-fi, then try fantasy and so on.

Head on to Goodreads or Instagram etc.

I do this all the time when I’m in a reading slump because when I see others flying through books, it reminds my brain of how much joy I get from reading. However, air on the side of caution as this could backfire and make your slump worse if you find yourself getting frustrated that you can’t read.


These are just some of the tips I find help me when I’m in a reading slump. What are some top tips that help you get out of a reading slump?

My Ambitious Goals For 2019 (Writing, Books and More)

Hey guys and welcome to Blogmas day 28. So as 2019 is just around the corner, I decided that I wanted to set some goals for the new year. I have so much I want to achieve in 2019, some rather big whilst others are small. You’ll have to watch this space to see if I stick to them and I’ll be reviewing the goals later on throughout the year..


This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I decided that 2019 was the perfect time to start doing so. By a review I mean anything from a longer review or even just a couple of sentences. I think it will also come in handy with any series books I’ll read and need a refresher when the next book is released.


I’m excited but also terrified of this prospect. Taking my blog to the next level was something I was always planning on doing, I just wanted to make sure it was something I was fully invested in. After having my blog consistently for a year I’ve decided that 2019 is the year to take the plunge. I’m not entirely sure when this will happen exactly, but I know it will be sometime in 2019.


I would love to read more than this goal – but I wanted to keep the goal manageable. 2018 wasn’t the best reading year for me – in between a huge move and starting 2 university modules, I haven’t always had the concentration or time to read the books I want to. Hopefully 2019 will be a better reading year and I’ll get to read more than my goal.


I love reading other people’s posts. It’s great to read about other peoples experiences and thoughts on different topics. In 2019, I want to start commenting more and interacting. I think it’s so important to build others bloggers up – just like they do with you.


Back in October I finished my outline of my first full length novel and began writing my first draft. I’m making decent headway so I’m pretty sure I’ll have it finished in 2019. It’s a YA fantasy so there’s a lot of intricate detail to make it work, but I’m excited about it and proud of how it’s going so far.


I actually got this idea when I was playing a video game. I became obsessed with how the story progressed and the ideas that just seemed to appear from nowhere. I’m outlining this alongside writing the Mariah Kingdom and will be starting writing it when I’ve finished the Mariah Kingdom.


I’ve wrote some short stories in the past but not many, and that’s something I want to change in 2019. I also want to work on my confidence in my writing ability – so I want to try and enter some writing competitions.


So like every year I’ll be taking part in the Goodreads challenge. However, I’m also going to give the Popsugar reading challenge a go too. I love the idea of searching for a book that fits in with each prompt. The link is here if it’s something you’d like to take a look at.


What are some goals you want to achieve in 2019?

Book Review | Day 21 by Kass Morgan

Title – Day 21.

Author – Kass Morgan.

Publication date – 16th September 2014.

Publisher – Little Brown Books.

Series status – 2nd book in the 100 series.


Synopsis

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries — until now.

It’s been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They’re the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries…or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.

In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan’s The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can — together.


My thought on the book

4 star book review

*Minor spoilers ahead*

Oh my life!! There were so many twists and turns in this book. They just kept coming and coming!

I loved the survival aspect of this book. I thought it was pretty cool when they started to build their own cabins at the beginning. The world building was amazing and I really enjoyed reading about Earth as it is in the book. It kinda made me forget for a while that this book is a work of fiction.

I felt like the characters started to really develop in this book. They all had their own problems and were all determined to sort them out.

I liked how the author showed ya what was happening up on the ship as well as down on Earth.

Back up on the ship, it must have been terrifying to know that the oxygen reserves were running dangerously low and realised you were literally suffocating to death. When Glass realised the air vent was blocked on the other side I felt disheartened for her. Her and Luke had finally gotten back together and for a while it looked like they were going to make it.

I was intrigued by the Earthborn’s and what they wanted, and how they even survived the radiation. There were a lot of surprises in this book – some were obvious, some weren’t but all the same it made the book exciting and fast paced.

I was literally holding my breath the entire time Glass and her mother were fighting their way to the dropships. It was SO tense and then the guard demanded Glass get off so he could take her place. I could feel everyone’s terror as they fought for a space, knowing if they didn’t get a place they were going to die.

Overall, I loved this book. It had lots of surprises however some parts were predictable and I found myself yelling out that I knew something was going to happen.


How you read Day 21? If so, what did you think?

8 Fantastic Blogmas Posts I’ve Loved This Year

Welcome to Blogmas day 26. I hope you are all having a wonderful, safe Boxing Day so far! In today’s post I’m going to be sharing 8 of my favourite Blogmas posts I’ve read this year! I hope you’ll enjoy this posts as much as I did, and you should check out their blogs if you haven’t already…


The Perfect $5 DIY Friendship Gift by And Liv Loves.

Liv puts together this post on how to create a $5 gift for your friends. I thought it was great because not everyone can afford to spend a lot at Christmas, and I thought the ideas on what to include added a real personal and thoughtful touch.


10 Perfect Gifts For A Book Lover by A Teenage Blog.

I love gift guides – especially when they’re for book lovers. I love this post because it included some great ideas on what to buy a book lover other than books. Books are great, and my favourites things to receive, however unless they’ve asked for a certain book it can be difficult to know what they’ve read or what they already own!


Why and How I Write Negative Reviews by Books In The Skye.

I for one struggle to write negative reviews. I worry about critiquing something someone has worked so hard on. However, this post talked about why negative reviews should be written and how to do so. It’s helped me realise negative reviews are needed. Not everything can be positive!


A Christmas Letter To My One Day Baby by Peonies & Baldies.

This beautifully written letter touched my heart. I appreciated her honestly on such a sensitive and personal subject.


Poem – The Festive Bookshelf by Stephen Writes.

I love poetry – it’s one of my favourite things to write and I love reading other people’s poems. I love this one which combines two of my favourite things – books and Christmas!


How To Relax This Holiday Season by Ashley Legacy.

Christmas is a stressful time and it’s hard to find time to relax, especially when you have a lot of friends or family coming over around the festive period. Ashley talks about how to find the time to relax and provides some great tips on ways you can relax.


My Favourite Christmas Decorations by Weesi’s World.

I love Christmas decorations, and I loved seeing Denise’s. I find it so interesting to hear about where people’s decorations come from and if there’s a meaning attached. I’d love to do something like this on my blog next year!


Christmas Light Switch On by The Chronicles Of Cee.

Last but not least is a post by my dear friend Channie! I find it so interesting to see what other places put on for their Christmas light switch on, and I loved seeing all the pictures of the switch on in Leicester!


What are you favourite Blogmas posts this year?

My Christmas Decoration Tour!

Hey guys, happy Christmas Everyone. I hope everyone is having an amazing day so far! Today’s post is simple as it’s Christmas Day. I’m going to be showing you my Christmas decorations. I’m one of those annoying people who puts up my decorations before December 1st. I can’t help it, I just love Christmas. Without further ado, here are my decorations for this year ..


First up is our Christmas tree! This year we didn’t bother getting any plain baubles because we have so many special ones they weren’t needed. My favourite decorations are our special personalised ones. My best friend purchased them from Porky Penguin last year and we love them. We have one for each of us and then one for each of our pets – Midnight, Magik and Mulberry.

This year we don’t have a tree topper, instead we chose to place this gold, sparkly hope decoration on top. This Christmas is our first in a fully wheelchair accessible home. Last year we spent Christmas cramped up in my bedroom because I wasn’t able to access downstairs. This new home is a new start for us – something to give us hope for the future.


We got these two candle holders from Poundland and they are a new addition to our Christmas decorations. They have a gap at the back for tea lights – which we add in electric ones. They look pretty on as the light shines through the stars!

Another new addition – one of our friends mums gave this to us as a Christmas present. Although, we don’t use tea lights because our animals are interested in anything that flickers, this little thing is supposed to spin from the heat of the flames which I think is really cute.


We got these stockings from Amazon. They came in a pack of 4 and we love them. The other two are being used for our pets. I think stockings add such a extra Christmassy feel to the living room. They also have lots of room for all the little stocking fillers.


One of my favourites – this white reindeer has an owl perched on its back. We found this gem in the Range and it adds a modern feel.

My best friends Grandma got this for us last year and it’s such a lovely addition. It’s hard to see in the picture but it also lights up and it looks so cute when all the lights are turned off.


We got this elf from B&M last year and it’s become one of my favourites. As my best friends take the majority of my blog photos, this little fella has featured in many of my Blogmas photos!

Another B&M purchase. It was actually reduced to £3 so I couldn’t pass it up. I love the black silhouette against the sparkly lights. It looks amazing with the lights off.

This was something we purchased this year. It looks almost identical to the one my Nana had when I was little so I was pleased to find one. It’s definitely going to become a staple we get out year after year.


Lastly we have our card wall. This is one my favourite walls in the house. I think it looks so pretty with the lights, and the gold letters and stars.


I hope you are all having a lovely day! Do you like any of my decorations?

Book Review | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Title – Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets.

Author – J.K Rowling.

Publication date – 2nd June 1999.

Publisher – Bloomsbury Publishing.

Series status – 2nd book in the Harry Potter series.

(Click here to read my review of the first book). 


Synopsis

‘The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?’

Add to Goodreads.


My thought on the book

“There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.” – Dobby.

*may contain minor spoilers.*

5 star book review

Going into this book I was surprised with how much I re-learned about the Harry Potter universe. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve re-read the series, but I honestly cannot imagine ever getting bored of it.

Aw, Dobby, I love him! He was so cute and protective of Harry. He tried so hard to keep him from harm even if he didn’t do it in the best way possible.

Again, I love all the details I forget about when I haven’t read the books in a while, and the things the films leave out (you can read that post here!). I love how we learn so many new things about Hogwarts and the characters in this book.

I loved visiting the Burrow and reading about all the magical things Harry hasn’t experienced before. It was lovely to find out more about Mr and Mrs Weasley and Ginny too. I loved Mr Weasley’s enthusiasm with everything muggle related like for example a telephone. I’m fascinated by all the entire Wizarding world so a telephone is super boring compared to that. I love Ginny, and I hate how the films hardly feature her and and we don’t get to see the Ginny we know and love from the books.

I really loved how Mr Weasley’s car had a mind of its own and how angry it got with Harry and Ron for making it fly so far. It got so angry it spat them out and drove off into the distance. However, I also loved how it came back in their time of need.

My first impressions of Gilderoy Lockhart was he was so full of himself. He just seemed to get more and more annoying and self-absorbed as the story went on. Sometimes I wanted to reach through the pages and punch him in the face!

I never really noticed all the similarities between Harry and Voldemort when I first read the books. However, over the years I’ve picked up different bits each time I’ve re-read it. They were both brought up by muggles, both stubborn and determined, both orphans. The only difference they didn’t share was that Harry had good in him and had friendship and love around him, something Voldemort would never know because he was so obsessed with power.

I’m excited to get back into the 3rd book and discover more I’ve forgotten! This book series honestly has my whole heart and I don’t know what I ever would have done without it!


Have you read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? If so, what did you think of it?