Kindle Haul #3

Hey everyone, welcome to the third Kindle eBook haul on this blog! I was browsing Amazon the other night, and I found some real bargains that were too good to pass up. I feel really lucky to have found these, especially as there are some fairly new releases and several have been raved about on the BookTube community! I purchased a whopping NINE books, so without further ado, let’s get on with the haul!

The first book I got was Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, which is the first book in the Nevernight Chronicles. The novel follows Mia, who is raised in the shadows and is destined to destroy empires and avenge herself on those who shattered her world. For this, Mia must train with the assassins of the Red Church of Itreya, and prove herself. She needs to survive murderers, liars and daemons in a place that isn’t ordinary. Then again, Mia isn’t ordinary either… I’m really excited to try this – Caz of Little Book Owl is raving about this series! At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.99. nevernight

The second book I got was Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, and this is a standalone read. The novel follows Vivian who is fed up with her small town Texas high school. Sexism, enforced dress codes and hallway harassment is everywhere she looks. Vivian decides to create a feminist zine to distribute anonymously to her classmates. When others start to respond, she realises she isn’t just changing her school. She is starting a revolution! I’m curious to read this as Emma of emmmabooks has been talking about this for a little while now! This was released last month, so seeing the price tag, I couldn’t help myself. At the time of purchase, this eBook was 99p. moxie

The third book I got was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and this is a standalone read. This is being made into a film, so this is exciting news! The novel follows Starr who witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Was Khalil a drug dealer? Was Khalil a thug? The death of the teen becomes headline news, but only Starr knows what really happens. What Starr says could upend her community, and also endanger her life. This is a diverse read with a huge focus on social commentary, politics and the trauma faced by many black Americans today. So many members of the BookTube community are encouraging people to read this, so I can’t wait to pick it up! At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.90. thug

The fourth book I got was Larry 2: The Squeequel by Adam Millard. This is the second book in the Larry series, and I’m dying to read it! Following on the theme of comedy and eighties horror movies, Larry ‘Pigface’ Travers has been brought back from his grisly demise. His goal? Destroy the final girl who ruined his amazing comeback. Now though, she has developed a strange telekinetic connection to Larry himself. And she’s become acquainted with Sister Geoff, a nun who could destroy Larry once and for all! What I loved about the first book was how well it fitted with the eighties films like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The series is a love letter to those films, with handfuls of lewd, crude, humour, so I’m excited to see what happens next. At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.99. larry 2

The fifth book I got was Entangled by Cat Clarke, and this is a standalone read. The novel follows Grace who wakes up in a white room, with paper and pens laid on a table. The problem is that Grace has no idea of how she got there. Grace’s life comes back to her as she starts to write, although it means remembering everything she tried to forgot – falling in love with Nat, and the disintegration of her friendship with Sal. Grace needs to know why she is there. What is it that she’s forgotten? I remember reading this not long after its release in 2011 and it really struck a cord with me. There’s something about it that I connected with on a mental level, so I’m excited to re-enter Grace’s world. At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.99. entangled

The sixth book I got was another standalone read by Cat Clarke – Undone. The novel follows teenager Jem who has fallen in love with her best friend. Her gay best friend. She’s trying to deal with this, to still be the best friend that he needs and wants. And then, her heart is broken. After being outed online, Kai kills himself. Jem knows nothing can bring Kai back, but she knows who was responsible. And she is going to take them down! I remember reading this not long after its release in 2012, so to come back to Jem’s story seven years later, is a good feeling. So many teenagers and adults continue to struggle within the LGBTQ community, so I feel that this is an important book. At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.99. undone

The seventh book I got was another standalone read by Cat Clarke – A Kiss in the Dark. The novel follows Alex and Kate who meet and have that instant attraction. Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy. Kate is pretty, charming and a little naïve. And yet, one of them is hiding a secret that threatens to ruin their blossoming relationship and both of their lives. This is a Cat Clarke novel that I haven’t read yet, so I’m really curious to see what happens to this young couple! At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.99. a kiss in the dark

The penultimate book I got was – can you guess? Yes, readers, it was another standalone read by Cat Clarke – The Lost and the Found. The novel follows Faith, who was the only witness to her sister Laurel’s abduction. Her childhood was dominated by the disappearance – from her parents broken marriage to media attention, and “friends” who only want to talk about Laurel. Thirteen years later, a girl is found with Laurel’s teddy. Laurel is home. When a set of events leaves Faith isolated and paranoid, she starts to wonder if anything lost can be truly found after all. This is another Cat Clarke novel that I haven’t read yet, so I’m really excited – I love reading about this kind of thing! At the time of purchase, this eBook was £1.99. the lost and the found

Guess what the final book was that I bought? Yes, it was Girlhood by Cat Clarke, another standalone read. The novel follows Harper who attends Duncraggan Academy. She is trying to escape the guilt over her twin sisters death, something she was a part of. No-one else will ever really understand, especially not her new friends. Until Kirsty arrives… Kirsty has lost a sister too, and the pair connect. Soon though, Kirsty’s behaviour becomes erratic. Her life mirrors Harper’s. She becomes obsessed with Harper’s dead sister. Harper’s sense of identity and her friendships start to suffer. She wants nothing more than to get back to being who she wants to be… It came out earlier this year, so I’m excited to jump into this! At the time of purchase, this eBook was 99p. girlhood

So that completes my third eBook haul. Let me know what eBooks you have hauled lately, and if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know! Oh, and if you recommend, Torn by Cat Clarke… I already have it! *big cheesy grin here*

– ReadWriteZoe.

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Mini Waterstones Haul

Hey everyone, I’m here today to show you the three books I hauled from my recent trip to the Waterstones book shop on the High Street in Lincoln! I was visiting for the day with my best friend – nothing like a day of wandering the shops and going for dinner when you’re feeling absolutely rubbish!

The first book I picked up was the paperback copy of  Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. This is the second spin off book from the Throne of Glass series (the first spin off, The Assassin’s Blade, is a collection of prequel stories). This novel occurs alongside the events of Empire of Storms, so it’s best to read the series before jumping in! The reader follows Chaol Westfall as he tries to recover from the atrocities that have left his body broken. He decides to travel to the southern continent to try and regain his strength, and become who he used to be. I’m excited to read this, although I have heard mixed reviews. I haven’t fully caught up on the Throne of Glass series yet, and naturally I was a little spoilt for the plot. Oh well, it happens! This edition has an illustrated card in the front and was £7.99!

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The second book I picked up was the paperback copy of One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake. This is the second book in the Three Dark Crowns series, and picks up after the events of the first book. The three magical sisters are still at war and the battle ground has changed. Katharine, once the weakest, is now rumoured to be the strongest. Arsinoe is facing powers that she never expected to have. Mirabella, once the strongest, faces trouble like she never has before. Danger surrounds them all, but who will prevail and become Queen Crowned? This was supposed to be £7.99, but due to a promotion, it was £3.99!

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The final book I picked up was The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree by Tove Janson. This is a standalone small hardback book, which collects two short stories in one. It’s part of the classic franchise – the Moomins! I love the Moomins so much – look, I even met Moomintroll in London a few years ago!

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In the first short story, The Invisible Child, little girl Ninny is invisible, and with the help from her new friends, manages to take her rightful place in the world using a Moomin recipe. In the second short story, The Fir Tree, the Moomin family are celebrating a classic Christmas. This edition also has the Moomin gallery, with art of the characters and descriptions, which is a lovely touch! This book was £4.99, and all of the money goes to Oxfam. The money goes to assist women and children around the world, which I think is a great idea!

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So that completes my mini Waterstones haul! I will be featuring another Kindle haul soon, so watch out for that one – I went on a bit of a one click spree!

Let me know what physical books you have hauled lately, and if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Finally Fall Book Tag

Hey everyone, welcome to the first post of October! It’s my favourite month – the leaves are falling, the nights are drawing in, and of course, Halloween is fast approaching. I’ve had my costume picked out since maybe… April, May? Here’s a clue – check out The Binding of Isaac!

So I thought it was natural to do the Finally Fall Book Tag! I saw this on the YouTube channel HardbackHoarder, and the original creator of the tag was Tall Tales – check them both out!

So without further ado, lets do the tag!

In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting. For this, I’m going with The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien – I remember being so drawn in by the world, and its characters when I was young. I love the various settings we visit with Bilbo and co. Smaug’s lair is so vivid, with its many treasures and trinkets! I think if my bearded dragons saw all that treasure, I’d never see them again…

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Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief. It says it all in the title of this series – A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. It’s simplistic in its writing style, but oh so beautiful. You find yourself caring for the characters and wishing that the children would be rid of Count Olaf once and for all. It’s repetitive, I’ll admit that, but it deals with loss and grief very well.

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Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new. I don’t really read non-fiction, unless it’s for university assessments! However, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx was incredibly eye-opening, and made me realise the struggles with my own mental health. It also gave me the start to take the first steps in getting help.

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In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’d love to be a part of the Weasley family from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I love the atmosphere when Harry visits during the summer, and the glimpses we get of Christmas time. The family are so lovely, as well as being warm and inviting!

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The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-coloured spines! I’m moving house shortly and there are no books at all in my current flat. They have all been packaged and are in my new house – sorry guys! Here’s a picture I liked that I saw on Google instead!

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Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story. For this, I’ve chosen the Monster from A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. In this, the Monster comes alive at night and proceeds to tell three ancient tales to Conor. As the three stories come to an end, the Monster requires Connor to tell a story too – the truth. It was a heart-breaking story, a fast read, and I can’t recommend it enough!

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The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read. You can’t talk about dark, creepy reads without talking about the master of horror, Stephen King! I’d recommend a lot of his books, but I’ve narrowed it down to It, which has boomed in popularity since the new 2017 film was released! Derry, Maine, is terrorised every twenty-seven years by a strange creature – a creature who can take on a child’s deepest, darkest fears. Beware the storm drains, because they float. And when you’re down there with Pennywise the Dancing Clown, you’ll float too…

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The days are getting colder: name a short, heart warming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day. I’m going with a recent purchase – The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree by Tove Jansson. If you’re a fan of the Moomins, it’s definitely for you! By buying this £4.99 book from Waterstones/Oxfam/Moomin stores, all the money is donated to support women and girls around the world. The Invisible Child shows how Ninny is able to regain her voice and take her place in the world of the Moomins, and The Fir Tree takes us through a classic Christmas tale.

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Fall (luckily it’s my favourite season) returns every year: name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon. I’m going with Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. This is the first book in the series, and follows three queens who are equal heirs to the throne. Possessing magic beyond our wildest dreams, each sister has to fight for her rightful place on the throne – and it’s a fight for life or death. The sequel One Dark Throne has just been released so I’m excited to revisit the world and become reacquainted with Mirabella, Katharine and Arsinoe!

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Fall is the perfect time for cosy reading nights: share your favourite cosy reading “accessories”! It’s the same things I have year round – comfortable pyjamas and a fandom mugs! My current favourites are a heat changing Marauders Map mug, and a Hello Kitty mug. In the fall/winter, I love my unicorn dressing gown and some boot-style slippers. Perfect! Here’s a picture of me with an incredibly cute Asda mug!

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So that’s it for the tag, please feel free to let me know your answers! Have you got your Halloween costume sorted yet?

– ReadWriteZoe.

September Wrap Up

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the blog! I’ve been so busy with university and other personal things, so I’m afraid that the blog has taken a little tumble. I’m sorry guys!

It doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading though! That being said, it’s time for my September wrap up. All of these books were eBooks, all available on Amazon! So without further ado, lets begin the wrap up! Fair warning, there may be spoilers.

First up is the first book in the Shades of Magic series – A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. I’ve mentioned this series in the last few posts, so now you get to know more about it! The novel follows Antari magician and item smuggler Kell, who uses magic to move through different parallel versions of London – Red, White, Grey and long ago, there was Black. When a smuggling mission goes wrong, Kell runs into Lila Bard, a wannabe pirate and thief. When magic starts to weave around them, they go on an adventure through the different London’s, with different villains on their heels. The first novel does well to establish the characters and create worlds like we’ve never seen. I think this is classed as YA, and I rated it 5 stars. I can’t wait to read the next one!a darker shade of magic

I then read The Girl in Between by Laekan Zea Kemp. This is the first book in The Girl in Between series, which is YA. Teenager Bryn wants to be like everyone else – go to university, have friends and a boyfriend. Bryn suffers from Klein-Levin Syndrome, which causes her to have prolonged episodes of sleep. Whilst her body is in a bed, she travels in her mind to a reality made up of her memories. Everthing seems fine until a strange boy washes up on her beach. To top it off, she starts to hallucinate in her waking moments. Bryn finds herself drawn into a mystery, as well as trying to solve her medical problems. I rated this 5 stars, as it kept me intrigued. Although the setting is similar to other YA novels, this seemed very “small town” and I felt like it added to the plot. Bryn was an interesting character and I’m curious to see where the series goes!

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The next book I read was a standalone, adult, horror novel – The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert. This book was a reread for me, although it had been a long time! The novel follows the Caleigh family as they move into Crickley Hall, a long dormant house on the coast. The family are trying to put the past behind them, especially as mother Eve feels guilt over her missing son. Yet, the house is making noises. Puddles appear. Doors don’t close. The dog hates it. A long time ago, something terrible happened in that house. The Caleigh’s are about to see the history of Crickley Hall… This was a solid 4 star read – I knocked off a star because the Kindle edition muddled punctuation and spelling, often leading to periods of confusion. The atmosphere and horror factor kept me engaged though, and I recently started to watch the BBC television adaption that is on Netflix, just to see how it would compare.

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I also read the first FOUR books in the adult romance Crossfire series by Sylvia Day – Bared to You, Reflected in You, Entwined With You and Captivated by You. The series follows troubled Eva as she enters into a job in New York. Eva has a lot in her past, but she thinks she might be able to get through it with the love of one man – brooding, billionaire (and equally troubled), Gideon Cross. The novels shows the passion the pair have for each other, as well as how others try to ruin their happiness. These books were very popular after the release of the Fifty Shades series by EL James, so that’s a little heads up… I will say the troubled past for the pair has a lot to do with sexual abuse and mental health, so consider this a trigger warning. After that warning, there is still more underneath it all. I rated Bared to You and Reflected in You as 4 stars. They were hot and heavy, but there were times it was repetitive, although very angst driven. I rated Entwined With You as 3 stars as I felt it was boring and a little too wrapped up, although more books were planned. Captivated by You was also a 3 star read as it continually swapped perspectives – something that we hadn’t had in the series before. It was jarring, and it felt really lacklustre. I believe there’s one more book left in the series, so I will have to read that as soon as possible!sylvia day.jpg

The final book I read this month was another adult horror reread – The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. The book that inspired the popular film, and the FOX TV show, the novel follows the MacNeil household who are trying to figure out what is wrong with young girl, Reagan. She’s not herself, and the medical tests aren’t helping. They decide to turn to Father Karras, a priest with a troubled soul to see if he can help save the young girl. I rated this book as four stars – whilst it is a long read, it is still an engaging storyline. I love the possession aspect, and for Pazuzu to make Reagan do and say the things he does, is creepily awesome. My downside is that I cared little for the mother – Chris. I found her lazy, depending on her house assistants to do the bulk of the work, but I suppose it is in keeping with her being a Hollywood starlet. I also didn’t care for Lt. Kinderman, who seemed an incompetent police officer – he seems lonely and so has to keep people talking, which is really irritating…

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So that completes my fourth wrap up for this blog! Let me know what book/books you have read in the month of September – whether it’s paper/hardback, audio, eBook, graphic novels or manga. They all count! Of course, if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Kindle Haul #2

Hey everyone, welcome to the second Kindle eBook haul on this blog! Before all my bills came out of my bank account a week or so ago, I had a little bit of money for me. So I did what any bookworm would do – I started trawling through the Kindle store! I was so lucky and I came across some really good bargains. I purchased five books, so without further ado, let’s get on with the haul!

The first book I got was A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, which is the second book in the Shades of Magic series. Continuing the series, the novel follows Antari magician Kell, as he crosses paths once more with adventurer, Delilah Bard. In the land of Red London, the citizens are preparing for the Element Games (an international magical competition). The magic at play is dangerous though, as the shadows of a forgotten London begins to flourish, threatening to destroy another. I really enjoyed the first book so I’m excited to start this. At the time of purchase, this eBook was 99p.

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The second book I got was another by V.E. Schwab  – This Savage Song. It’s the first book in the Monsters of Verity series, and I’ve heard good things about this! This is a world where violence breeds monsters – real monsters. Kate Harker wants to be a ruthless leader, like her father, letting these monsters roam and making humans pay for protection. August Flynn wants to be human and good natured, like his father, and help protect innocent people. The problem is that August is a monster, who is able to steal souls with a simple piece of music. I’m really intrigued to see how the pair will meet and what will become of their lives, and of course, the monster strewn city. At the time of purchase, this eBook was 99p.

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The third book I got was The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. This is the first book in The Wrath and the Dawn series. The series is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, which is a collection of folk stories. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this, so I’d like to give it a shot. The novel follows Shahrzad as she becomes the newest bride for the Caliph of Khorasan. Khalid, the Caliph, has had a great many wives, and each morning, each wife is found with a silk cord wrapped around their throats. When Shahrzad’s friend falls victim, Shahrzad is determined to end the reign of terror. At the time of purchase, this eBook was 99p.

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The penultimate book I got was The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. This is the second book in the Millennium series. I haven’t read any of the series so far, as I’m a little intimated by them, but hey, if I can read A Song of Ice and Fire, I’m sure I can get through these! The series is a set of Swedish crime novels and follows Lisbeth Salander, who has a photographic memory and poor social skills, and Mikael Blomkvist, who is an investigative journalist and publisher of Millennium magazine. I wish I had more to say for this series! I got the first book for free a while ago, and lately, Amazon sent me a promotional code, so I was able to get this for free too!

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The final book I got was Sweet Venom by Kirsty-Anne Still. This is a standalone adult book, and I originally saw this advertised through the author’s Facebook page. This novel follows three separate points of view – the crazy, the crazier and the craziest. It is sold as a love triangle that is not made for those looking for an easy romance or stories with obvious endings. This is such an unusual pitch for a novel, and I’m really intrigued! At the time of purchase, this eBook was free.

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So that completes my second eBook haul. Let me know what eBooks you have hauled lately, and if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Back to School Tag

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog! It’s September now, which means that parents have watched their children go off to school – whether it’s nursery, primary or secondary. For some people, they will be going to college or to university. I thought it was appropriate for today that I do the Back to School Tag. I saw this on the YouTube channel HardbackHoarder, and the original creator of the tag was BangadyBangz – check them both out!

So without further ado, lets do the tag!

Fresh new outfit – a book with best dressed characters. For this, I’m going with Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is my current read and I’m really enjoying it so far – it’s also the first book in the Shades of Magic series. Kell is an Antari, which is a magician with the ability to travel between parallel London’s. I love that his coat seems so magical, and that it has several sides and pockets – each variation has a purpose and Kell still doesn’t think he has found out all the secrets the coat holds!

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New lab partner – a new sci-fi book you want to read. I don’t read a great deal of sci-fi, but for this answer, I’m choosing Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. It’s the first book in the Androma Saga and isn’t due for release until January 2018. Zenith follows Andi aka the Bloody Baroness as she and her all-girl crew are tested when a routine mission goes awry, and the Mirabel Galaxy is threatened to be torn in two. Both Sasha and Lindsay make videos on YouTube so it’s worth checking out their channels!  

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Favourite teacher – a book with a great mentor. This might be a strange answer, but I’m going with Damon McCready aka Big Daddy from the graphic novel series Kick Ass by Mark Millar. Whilst others may see this as controversial, Big Daddy was able to train his daughter Mindy aka Hit Girl to be a strong, independent, special child. She can handle the bullies and take down the bad guys without so much as breaking a sweat. I do see the problems with Big Daddy though, as he lies to many people, including Mindy. To train her, he had her shot in the chest and had her assassinate a target. And at the end of the day, she is a child! Without his actions though, we would not have Hit Girl – Big Daddy did love and respect her.

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New supplies – favourite new reading or writing accessories. I’m a big fan of pens and notebooks, as you may already know! I’m so excited to be using the stationery set I got two years ago as a gift – I love Tsum Tsum’s!

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Old friends – a book you want to re-read OR a favourite friendship in literature. For this, I’m going with the option ‘a book you want to re-read’. And my answer is Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino. It’s one of my favourite books. Tokyo prostitutes Yuriko and Kazue have been murdered, leaving many unanswered questions about their lives. Yuriko’s older sister narrates a portion of the novel, taking us back to their prestigious high school and how the girls struggle to fit into society. One woman is beautiful, whereas the other prizes knowledge above everything. How did they come to be working girls in such a hostile world?

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Ready for sweater weather – a book featuring cold weather. The Shining by Stephen King. I read this in the summer two years ago, so I’d really like to dip into this again when October comes around. The autumn atmosphere will be perfect, and the spook factor will be right up there. I can guarantee I’ll hear a noise and jump out my skin! The novel follows Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic writer, as he takes on the off-season caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel. Jack takes his family with him, where his son Danny learns that he has ‘the shining’ – psychic abilities that allow him to see into the hotels vivid past. The winter storm leaves the family snowbound and begins to test Jack’s sanity, leaving those he loves in danger.

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Open house – a book that made a memorable (good OR bad) first impression. The book I’ve chosen left a very bad impression and that is the script adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany. Taking place during the epilogue nineteen years after the battle of Hogwarts, Harry is an adult and is seeing his son Albus onto the Hogwarts Express for the first time. Albus is worried about what House he’s going to be put in, and it’s this uncertainty which sparks the plot. I really didn’t like this – the Time Turner plot should not be able to work, I think the characterisation is off, there are parts which are sandwiched in which doesn’t feel canon to the original…. I could go on! I didn’t care for the characters or the ridiculous “plot twist”. It felt like fanfiction and I was really disappointed.

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Too early for this – a book you would get out of bed for. Sarah J. Maas is planning on releasing a set of spin-off novels which are set in the A Court of Thorns and Roses world, so I’m really excited for that! According to Maas’ website, there’s going to be three more novels and two novellas. A Court of Thorns and Roses was an amazing trilogy – Maas is a great author, so I’m excited to see where she will take the series!

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The textbook costs HOW much? A book you spent too much money on. I spent £46 (or thereabouts) on a second-hand copy of Labyrinth by A. C. H. Smith – it’s the book of the film, which was released in the eighties. It also comes with eight pages of colour photos from the film. Once I knew the book existed, I knew I wanted it. And it’s worth the money! It’s actually back in print now in a hardback version, but I wanted the original, which I bought in 2011.

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Best school in literature you want to attend. You already know what I’m choosing, don’t you? I don’t think I need to explain, I’ll just leave the picture here…

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So that’s it for the tag! Let me know your answers, and what your plans for September are!

– ReadWriteZoe.

August Wrap Up

Hey everyone, welcome to the end of August – its nearly time to catch the Hogwarts Express from Kings Cross to start a new term at wizarding school! Or in my case, I’m nervously waiting to start back at university…

Before I get bogged down with big assessments, it’s time to talk about what I’ve read this month. So without further ado, lets begin the wrap up! Fair warning, there may be spoilers.

First up is the first volume of The Seven Deadly Sins by Nakaba Suzuki. It follows The Sins who were once a great band of warriors, but disbanded after being accused of trying to overthrow the kingdom. When the Holy Knights threaten to destroy the kingdom, princess Elizabeth sets out to reunite The Sins, rescue her family, and unite the kingdom. The first volume establishes everything nicely and we start to understand some of the characters. It’s a fun read, and easily worth 4 stars. I also trialled out reading this on my Manga Rock iPad app.

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The next novel was a reread for me, and that is Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It has to be said, it’s one of my favourite books. A horror, drama novel, it follows the lives of two very different girls and the way they perceive the world and others around them. Theres was found in a carrier bag in the woods and since her rescue, has been hidden away from the world, in order to protect her and her angelic voice. On the other side of the story is introverted Teresa, who doesn’t fit in with her family and school. The novel focuses a lot on the trials and tribulations of growing teenage girls, friendship and belonging, mental health, the price of stardom and the problems that come with it. A solid 5 star read.

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I then read Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase, which is the first book in the Jade Calhoun series. Jade moves into a new apartment in New Orleans, only to find out that its haunted. Jade struggles with relationships and friends as an empath – and things get more difficult with the haunting, and her attraction to Kane, the sexy landlord who co-owns the local strip bar. I rated this book 2 stars, as I felt like I’d met the characters and the plot before. The novel essentially tells you who the evil ghost is quite early on, and it became a predictable novel.

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I also read volumes 6 and 7 of Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba. These two volumes continue on the desperate battle between Light and L, and how they manipulate others to suit their needs. During these two novels, there is a conflict between the task force and the new owners of a Death Note, who are using it more as a business opportunity and success ladder. Vol 6 was 4 stars, and then I rated Vol 7 as 5 stars – it was really pushing the plot. And now I’m adding the rest of the series to my Wish List on Amazon…

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I’m a huge Coraline fan, so I thought it was natural to read the graphic novel version of Coraline. Neil Gaiman wrote the original story, and P. Craig Russell adapted and illustrated this book. It follows the plot of the novel really well, as Coraline moves into a new house and is bored with her life. She finds a set of Other Parents and everything starts to change. I was impressed with the art – it was cute, but dark at the same time to appeal to children. A solid 4 stars as it was a quick read, but enjoyable all the same.

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The next two books on my list are part of a series – Gotham City Sirens volumes 1 and 2. Vol 1 was written by Paul Dini, Guillem March, Tony Bedard, Scott Lobdell and Marc Andreyko. Vol 2 was written by Tony Bedard and Peter Calloway. Both volumes follow the friendships between Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and how they team up to form a power group. Each girl has their own trials and tribulations and can be quite hard hitting for the DC Universe. I really connected to Harley Quinn’s stories and in the end, it was slightly uncomfortable reading. Both were worthy of 5 stars.

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Speaking of the DC Universe, I read Batman: Harley Quinn by Paul Dini. This was a collection of Harley Quinn themed stories, following from her debut in the comics to where she stands now in the New 52 universe. It shows how Harley’s popularity has risen and she has catapulted into the hearts of many fans. Whilst it was quite a quick read, it was worthy of 5 stars.

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The next FOUR books are the first four volumes in the Black Butler series by Yana Toboso. The series follows Ciel Phantomhive, the young head of the Phantomhive family. Ciel has a demonic butler, Sebastian Michaelis. Sebastian keeps Ciel safe and in line, as well making sure the house is not destroyed by the incompetent chef, gardener and maid. Ciel is also tasked with being the Queen’s Guarddog, who solves crimes in the London underworld. Some of the sections in the manga are almost filler, but I think it’s a case where I found the anime preferable to the original source material, sadly. So in this case, I rated Vol 1 as 5 stars as it was a solid start. Vol 2 and 3 were both 4 stars, as I knew the storyline well. Sadly Vol 4 was only 2 stars, as I found it bland.

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Continuing the manga theme, I read the first two volumes of Sword Art Online: Mothers Rosary by Reki Kawahara and Hazuki Tsubasa. During this arc of the story, Asuna is struggling with her home life and the relationship she has with her mother. During her time in the video game, she goes to duel Absolute Sword aka Yuuki. Asuna and Yuuki form a friendship when they work together in a Guild. I’m already well aware of what happens as I’ve seen the anime, and it’s a real tear jerker. The manga does a good job of showing friendship, love, compassion and strength. Both were worthy of 5 stars, although I have to wait until September for the next volume…

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I read a complete box set this month. That box set collected the first 10 volumes of Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. The series follows Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of a headmaster as she guards the Day Class (human students) from the Night Class (vampire students). Yuki is childhood friends with Zero Kiryu, a man who despises vampires. It doesn’t help matters that Yuki has a crush on childhood hero, and vampire, Kaname Kuran. The plot has twists and turns and its an addictive page turner – although I’m sure everyone is sick of love triangles! The art was gorgeous – almost erotic in places! I read the first five books a while ago and rated those 5 stars at the time. Now I was able to finish the series and rated Vol 6 as 3 stars. Vols 7 and 8 were rated 4 stars for the action and plot. Vol 9 was sadly 2 stars – we had this massive build up and it fell flat. The final book of the box set (Vol 10) was rated 3 stars, as I had mixed feelings over the ending.

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So that completes my third wrap up for this blog! Let me know what book/books you have read in the month of August – whether it’s paper/hardback, audio, eBook, graphic novels or manga. They all count! Of course, if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!

– ReadWriteZoe.

Drag Queen Quotes I Love

Hello hello hello! Oops, I mean, hey everyone! Sorry, that was my inner RuPaul coming out… If you missed my last post about RuPaul’s Drag Race, then you what are you playing at? Go and check it out now, and then come back to read about the drag queen quotes I love.

Some of the queens have had some witty one liners, or funny little catchphrases. Some of the queens are just so entertaining. So I thought I’d share some of the quotes that mean something to me. These are in no particular order and may contain spoilers!

Kim Chi: “I’m not going to be ashamed of being hungry, I am hungry!”

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Kim Chi is one of the most beautiful queens. She is so talented with the fashion she creates and the make-up she uses. She hasn’t let being unable to dance get in her way and made the top three of her season! She has a clear speech impediment, but it makes her more endearing. And I love the fact that she talks about food a lot! I’m a curvy girl, some may even call me plus size. There’s one thing that me and Kim Chi have in common and that’s what we eat. And Kim Chi has taught me not to be ashamed of this – thank you!

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Bianca Del Rio: “Not today, Satan! Not today!”

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Bianca Del Rio is one of the sassiest queens I’ve seen on the show. I really want to see her live – as long as she doesn’t read me. Bianca’s had so many quotes that it’s hard to pick out just one, but I did. A costume designer and insult comic, Bianca has a lot of quick wit. The quote I chose speaks to me because it’s a way of saying “f*ck it” to the world, but in a more polite way. When you’re fed up of whatever is going on, I just like to channel my inner Bianca, put a smile on my face and sashay away from the drama.

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Latrice Royale: “I want people to realise that it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to fall down. Get up, look sickening, and Make Them Eat It!”

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Latrice Royale has been through so much to achieve the success she has now. On the show, she had no qualms about talking about her past – she was arrested and sent to prison. During the time she spent in prison, she lost her mother and was unable to go to the funeral. Thanks to her friends benefit concert, Latrice was able to see past her mistakes. She got up, she looked sickening, and made everyone around her eat their words! If Latrice can do it, so can I!

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Sharon Needles: “When in doubt, freak ’em out.”

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Sharon Needles never thought she would be successful on Drag Race. Her quote came to me at an important time – I was at university and comments were being made about me. I suppose you could say there was some bullying involved. And Sharon had experienced a lot of bullying in life, as well as on the drag scene. This quote speaks to me – its literally what it says on the tin. That way, when you do freak ’em out, you can walk away from them with your head held high and know that you’ve done your best. And no one can take that from you.

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Jinkx Monsoon: “My motto is water off a duck’s back. Meaning: don’t let negativity weigh you down, perpetuate positive thinking.”

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Jinkx Monsoon is without a doubt, my favourite queen. I’d love to see her shows and meet her – she’s incredibly talented with whatever she does. She was the underdog of her season, but rose to the challenge each time by quoting, ‘water off a duck’s back’. This quote was important when I was at university and the bullies were making comments. They didn’t seem to understand other points of view, besides their own. I wasn’t going to let their negativity pull me under and so Jinkx really spoke to me in that moment.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be RuPaul’s Drag Race, without one of the most infamous quotes from the host with the most!

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What’s some of your favourite quotes from the show? Share them with me!

– ReadWriteZoe.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Tag

Hey everyone, I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts lately. My heads been a mess, and I feel like my confidence has been knocked more than once. So I’ve been drinking lots of tea, taking long hot baths and watching repeats of one of my favourite reality TV shows – RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009-ongoing). If you don’t know about it, the general gist is that drag artist, RuPaul, is searching for America’s next drag superstar. There’s plenty of fashion, comedy and bitching. There’s always lip syncs, dancing, and that contestant you just fall in love with, or you just love to hate. It’s a show that’s taught me a few life lessons too – something I didn’t think I’d take from the show. Watch out for my post on that!

So, I thought I’d do the tag, inspired by Adventure & Anxiety and Cardigan Jezebel. In the spirit of RuPaul – good luck, and don’t f*ck it up! Although there may be spoilers!

Favourite season? I’m torn between seasons 4, 5, and 6. These seasons had some great challenges and queens, and have had the most impact on my thought processes. Without these seasons we might not have classic lines like, “When in doubt, freak ’em out”, “Water off a ducks back”, and “Not today Satan!” Some great looks were served and everyone wasn’t as polished, and there was always room to improve!

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Favourite RuPaul song? Sissy That Walk is the one for me, I think! Whilst I do love a lot of Ru’s music (I have a Spotify playlist), there’s something about Sissy that really makes me smile, dance, and strut.

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Favourite drag queen? I think my favourite queen of all time is Jinkx Monsoon – she was a girl of many talents and was so sweet. She made ‘Snatch Game’ one to remember and showed a high level of consistency, as well as improvement. Although, I love Sharon Needles and Bianca Del Rio in equal amounts – both were strange in their own ways, but were so talented.

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Sharon Needles (left) / Jinkx Monsoon (centre) / Bianca Del Rio (right)

I do like many other queens though. Honourable mentions go from left to right: Shangela, Alexis Mateo, Latrice Royale, Chad Michaels, Adore Delano, BenDeLaCreme, Violet Chachki, Ginger Minji, Katya, Kim Chi, Sasha Velour and Valentina.

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Favourite maxi challenge? ‘Snatch Game’, without a doubt. It’s a test of a queen’s improvisation, styling and comedy, and there have been some amazing acts, including (from left to right) Chad Michaels (Cher), Jinkx Monsoon (Little Edie), Bianca Del Rio (Judge Judy), BenDeLaCreme (Dame Maggie Smith), Ginger Minji (Adele), Kennedy Davenport (Little Richard), Thorgy Thor (Michael Jackson) and Bob the Drag Queen (Uzo Aduba AND Carol Channing).

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Have you ever seen any Ru-girls live? No, but I’d love to see some of them. I think it would be amazing!

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Favourite Drag Race winner? Jinkx Monsoon! And then it’s a tie between Sharon Needles and Bianca Del Rio – all three are worthy winners!

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Jinkx Monsoon (left) / Sharon Needles (centre) / Bianca Del Rio (right)

 

Most robbed queen? Definitely Raven from season two. Raven was edgy and talented – so much deserving than Tyra Sanchez, in my opinion.

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Best fight? I won’t forget Tyra Sanchez and Tatiana from season two arguing on the main stage in wedding dresses for a long while! Then it’s onto season four for the infamous ‘tired ass showgirl/party city’ argument between Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara. And then season five had the long running feud between Coco Montresse and Alyssa Edwards…

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Biggest shock? In season three, Ru set down the law that ‘drag is not a contact sport’, after Mimi Imfurst lifted India Ferrah during a lipsync! Not on, girl! Willam’s elimination was pretty shocking too – although it did make the other queens happy. And lately, the shock of Valentina’s lipsync…

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Most underrated runway look? I had to think long and hard about this, but I think I’m going with Chad Michaels Rupocalypse outfit. I really liked it – it was something I could see from video games and films, although admittedly, Phi Phi O’Hara’s look was good too – very Mad Max. Robbie Turner also had some really interesting looks too from the Madonna challenge and the roller girl challenge!

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Last, but not least, what’s your favourite lipsync? I’ve had a few favourites… Jinkx Monsoon vs. Detox was a classic! It’s something I’ll always remember!

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So that’s the tag! Please feel free to complete it too – I’d love to hear about your favourite queens! And remember – if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?

– ReadWriteZoe.

August Update

Hey everyone, it’s ReadWriteZoe! I realise I haven’t checked in here with you all in 18 days! 18 whole days… I’m really sorry, but you know how life has a way of sneaking up on you? That’s sadly what happened. So I thought I’d take the chance to update you with everything that’s been happening in August so far!

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Well first and foremost, my novel VRES: Digital Quest has been released by indie publishers, Zombie Cupcake! I’m over the moon! This means I’ve been doing last minute edits, having talks with my lovely proofreader, and of course, been trying to drum up sales!

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Welcome to VRES. Click here to Sign In.

When the hottest and newest virtual reality game is released, it doesn’t take fanatics Felix Moon and Erica Beale long to enter its magical world. A place like no other, it becomes everything to them – and there is more than they bargained for.

VRES is more than a game – it’s an experience that you will never forget. Once you enter, you will never want to leave. Draw your sword, equip armour and be ready to fight to the death.

Available now on Amazon!

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I’ve been suckered back into the world of television! I’ve been religiously watching the new season of Rick and Morty (2013-ongoing). If you didn’t know, Rick and Morty is an animated show that follows super scientist, Rick, and his grandson, Morty, as they have weird and wonderful adventures. Often, Morty’s family join in too and it’s just bizarre. I love it though!

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What else have I been watching? Well the highly anticipated new season of Game of Thrones, of course (2011-ongoing)! If you haven’t heard of the show, I think you must have been hiding under a rock… The show follows the families of Westeros as they fight for control of the Iron Throne and the right to rule. Meanwhile, danger fast approaches with mythical creatures – and no readers, it’s not those big dragons!

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Early on in the month, I was suffering from the dreaded reading slump. Everything I picked up, I struggled to be engaged with. I tried paperbacks and Kindle books, but it was useless. I felt rubbish for not sticking with a book. Now though, I’m on a graphic novel and manga kick so watch out for that in the August wrap up at the end of the month.

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I’ve also checked all the paperwork this week and I’m ready to enrol on the last year of my course. I’m going to be studying a Bsc (Top Up) in Health and Social Care. It means that I’ll soon be back to writing assessments and before I know it, I’ll be working on a massive dissertation – so I’ll be a busy beaver! It probably means that I won’t be carrying on with my current book – not until the holidays and reading weeks that is…

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So what have you been doing in August? Let me know, I’d love to here from you!

– ReadWriteZoe.