WWW Wednesday: 30th January

WWW Wednesday: 30th January

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted Taking on a World of Words that I thought would be fun to get involved with. It involves answering three WWW questions about reading.

My first WWW Wednesday of 2019 is here! I’ve been having a fairly decent month of reading so far but I’m a little worried that my streak is going to run out soon. I had a fairly bad second half of the year in regards to my reading so I’m really hoping I can avoid slumps this year. I’ve definitely had enough of them!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve finally made a start on The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. I was super lucky to be sent a copy of this book, thanks to Bloomsbury. I still can’t quite believe I was sent it, if I’m honest. It’s quite a large book, but thanks to there being several sections, I’ve tabbed them all to make Priory look more manageable! It definitely doesn’t look as intimidating once all the sections are separated!

What did you recently finish reading?

Since I last did a WWW Wednesday, I’ve finished quite a few books. I’ll only mention my most recent finished book though and that is Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. It’s a sequel-not-sequel following her popular debut, One of Us is Lying.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think this is the first WWW Wednesday in ages I haven’t said Priory because I’m finally picking it up. Priory is a rather large book so I doubt I’ll have much to update you on next week, but I also don’t know what I want to read alongside it/after. I am thinking of reading Circle of Shadows whilst I read Priory though!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Pages: 501

Publisher: Katherine Tiegen Books (Harper in UK)

Published: 2017

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue has been on my TBR list pretty much ever since its release into the wild (aka the book community). I’ve heard so many great things about this book and seen so much praise surrounding it since its release and so in September, I decided it was about time I picked it up.

Having been on a ‘tour’ of Europe myself in Summer 2017, I was quite excited to explore the topic of a European tour in a more historic setting. I was happy to see that a map had been included featuring the tour stops and felt that this was a good addition to the book.

The plot was an interesting one. I can easily see how people who have read this previously have got caught up in it. The Gentleman’s Guide follows Monty, Percy and Felicity as the take a tour through Europe that goes a liiiiittle bit wrong, thanks to Monty!

Henry ‘Monty’ Montague is our main character and at first, I found myself getting a little frustrated with him even though I did find him to be quite funny. I found myself getting frustrated with him because I felt that he thought about himself a lot and didn’t consider others at times. I think that this changed throughout the book and we saw some good character development with him. I could sympathise with his want to be young and to his true self without his family’s reputation hanging over his head constantly.

Percy is Monty’s best friend who goes on the tour as Monty’s companion. They have a close relationship which is demonstrated throughout the book. Percy’s character is a likeable one that I enjoyed reading about.

Felicity was a good side character with some witty remarks and with a skill for medicine. I liked Felicity’s character in this one and look forward to hearing her story in the sequel, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.

I thought that the ending of The Gentleman’s Guide was a good close to the book and was quite satisfying.

Although it took me a while to read this book ( I think it was something like 1-2 months), that doesn’t reflect how I felt about this book as I did enjoy it and thought it was a good historical read. It had a good combination of some humour but also some seriousness in it.

I’m glad that I’ve finally read The Gentleman’s Guide even if it did take me a while to get to it. I’m looking forward to reading The Lady’s Guide soon, although I have seen some not so good feedback which is sad seeing as so many people enjoyed The Gentleman’s Guide!

If you’re looking for a diverse, historical read, I would definitely recommend this one!

December Wrap Up

December Wrap Up

December was both busy and calm. I know that sounds weird but it was busy because I was trying to get Christmas presents together and I was trying to tie up a few things ready for the Christmas break but it was also calm because December was the only month of 2018 where I haven’t done any studying because I finally passed all my exams. It has been a hell of a year and I won’t lie, I have really struggled but once I put in as much effort as I could, I finally had the results I needed back.

Because I had no exams to revise for, it meant that I was able to read a little more. Ok, it’s not much in comparison to some peoples monthly reading totals, but I’m happy that I managed to read this amount after being in a slump.

With December, I hosted my first readathon, End of Yearathon and I had so much fun. I’m really looking forward to hosting it again with Amanda next year, although it’ll be running from the 26th December – 31st December in 2019, as opposed to 26th Dec-1st Jan like it ran this year!

I did manage to reach my reading goal for the year, which was 40, but only just. I did want to read more in the region of 70 books, but that just wasn’t happening with exams all year.

Monthly reading total: 5 ||  Books this year: 41

It would have been a reading total of 6 for the month, but I ended up going to a friends house for New Years fairly early in the day and so I had to leave the last 40 pages to be read on New Years Day! The plus side of that is that it meant I’ve already added a book to my Goodreads 2019 challenge!

Reading Goals for Last Month:

  1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  3. The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
  4. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  5. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
  6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Uh…ok. So I read two books from this list in December. That is a little shameful but what can I say? I struggle to stick to monthly TBRs. I do want to get better at sticking to them but I do struggle as sometimes I’m just not in the mood. That being said, I have made a TBR for January.

This Months TBR:

  1. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I am planning to pick this one up, but don’t think I’ll finish it until February, which is fine! As long as I pick it up, I’ll be happy as it’s one big chunky book!
  2. Enchantee by Gita Trelease – I picked this one up in the first few days of January, so should have this one finished by the end of the month!
  3. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – I’ve been wanting to read this one for years, but have never got to it. Is this January going to be the one? Who knows?
  4. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – I read A Gentleman’s Guide last month so would like to get this series finished!
  5. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – This was one of the best books I read in 2018 and just ever, so I want to start my year off right by reading this one.
  6. Saga Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan – I think I may have to re-read the first one as I can’t remember that much of what happened but I’d like to read this one.

Not on this list, but a book I am sure I will pick up is The Wicked King by Holly Black because I read it during End of Yearathon and really enjoyed it.

So that’s my wrap up and January 2019 TBR. Let’s see how we do!

What books are on your TBR for January?

What Vicky Did: Harry Potter Studio Tour

I know this post is super late, but I’ll be totally honest. I found it in my drafts and I have no idea why it was never posted!

For my birthday this year, I booked tickets for myself and my boyfriend to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour! Myles isn’t really a Harry Potter fan at all but I used the fact that we were going for my birthday to drag him along. This was my fourth trip to the tour and Myles’ first. With the exception of the second time I visited the tour in June 2013, every time I’ve visited there’s been something new. This time was no different. The last time I went to the studio tour was December 2016 which was just before the addition of the Forbidden Forest was announced. It looks like they’re extending it as there was a lot of construction on the site so I’m sure that I’ll be taking another trip to the studio tour once that’s been added (maybe Hogsmeade village?).

Now I don’t want to spoil the tour for anyone who hasn’t been, but I will be including my own pictures from the tour. There’s currently a Goblet of Fire feature running until September so we luckily got to see that too!

As I visited for my birthday, I was able to open the doors to the Great Hall, starting off the tour. I have been waiting to do that for 6 years since my very first trip so it was so lovely to be able to do that! After that, I took in all of the new props and sets that had been added since my last trip! We actually managed to get round the tour in record time (for me). I guess after four times, you’ve seen most things already but that doesn’t take the magic away at all. I really just love being at the Studio Tour and think it’s such a perfect day out. I could honestly just go back every week!

The Forbidden Forest was added to the tour in 2017 which was after my last trip so this part of the tour was completely new to me. I was unsure of where they would base it but they put it in a good place that flowed well. At the entrance to the Forbidden Forest, they had Hagrid with his lamp waiting to welcome you amongst the trees so that you can meet Buckbeak and the spiders.

Fun fact about the spiders: once I’d finished (embarrassingly) screaming at the shadow of a falling spider and my boyfriend had finished his little ‘I can’t look at it’ speech whilst trying to squeeze behind me past Aragog, one of the tour guides let us into a little secret! The spiders are quite hairy but the hair on their bodies is actually from shaved coconuts that have just been stuck on. It makes them much less scarier when you look at them knowing that!

After we made our way through another set, we came to the Backlot Cafe where we grabbed a Butterbeer and some Butterbeer ice cream. I feel like I’m one of the only people that doesn’t actually mind the Butterbeer. Myles didn’t really like it but never mind! Once we’d finished our Butterbeers, we then went outside to see some of the other sets. I thought I would never see the inside of Privet Drive since I thought they’d only had it open for an event put on previously (Philosopher’s Stone tour edition, I think) but it was open and ready to invite us inside! I was so happy to see that we could go for a wander into No. 4, Privet Drive and see all of the flying letters in the living room.

We then went through the usual sets after that and not a lot has really changed, except for the entrance to Diagon Alley which now has a hat wall leading into it, but things do change – every time I go there’s something different!

After we finished the Studio Tour, we spent a little bit of time in the shop. I already have quite a bit of Harry Potter merchandise and I am rapidly running out of space in my bedroom so it was probably best that I didn’t really buy anything. We did, however, buy some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. I’m not the biggest fan of jelly beans anyway but thought it would be fun for Myles and I to try them. We sat and ate a few in the car park before trying a vomit flavoured one. I actually had to spit it out in the car park because otherwise I was literally going to vomit but Myles powered on like a trooper and ate all of his.

I really enjoyed going to the Studio Tour and I always just feel like I’m in one of my happy places whenever I visit. I love getting my fill of Butterbeer and seeing all the sets, especially when there have been new additions. Hopefully we’ll find out if they’re extending it or not and what they’re adding but whatever it is, I know I’ll be going again!

No matter what happens, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me, whether it’s by page, screen or studio tour.

Blogmas 2018: Bookish Goals for 2019

Blogmas 2018: Bookish Goals for 2019

Wow, it doesn’t seem that long since I wrote my Bookish Goals for 2018 post. What with us coming to the end of Blogmas, and the end of the year, I thought it best to present to you my goals for 2019.

2018 has been a fairly decent year for me. At the beginning of the year, I went to Iceland to celebrate 5 years with my boyfriend. I saw Taylor Swift and Ed Sheehan live. To be honest, I feel like I’ve mostly just cruised through the year. I’ve had some ups and downs at work and I’ve done the final level of my AAT qualification (hopefully I’ve finished it now) with some fails but other than that, I’ve not done anything life changing.

As you may have seen in my November wrap up post, or on my Twitter if you follow me, I lost my little Casper rabbit on the 18th November. It will be my first Christmas and New Year without him and I’m super sad I won’t be able to see him again or give him his Christmas treats. I live in comfort knowing that he was a happy bunny and that we gave him a decent life during his short time with us.

In terms of reading, I feel like I’ve disappointed myself this year. After reading 60 books last year, I really wanted to read 75 in 2018 but didn’t quite get to that…or anywhere near it.

  1. Read 30 books – In 2018, I set my goal at 40 books and that’s because I knew I’d be studying. I’m due to start another qualification in 2019 that is harder with more pressure so I’ve lowered my goal down to 30 for 2019.
  2. Continue to buy less books – This is something I really need to stick to in 2019. I want to start saving so that I can look to move out in the next few years, so buying less of everything, including books is definitely something I need to do!
  3. Finish series I’ve started – There are so many series that I’ve started that I want to finish. I think I might make duologies that I’ve started a priority as they’re quite quick to finish. But we shall see. I really would like to just marathon a series so that I can finish it, but depending on how long a series is, sometimes you need a break!
  4. Keep up with a reading journal – In 2017, I did a fairly decent job of keeping up with my own reading journal but this year, I have completely fizzled out. I want to start it up again so to motivate myself, I have bought a new notebook to start afresh and some new pens!
  5. Blog more consistently – Posting every day for Blogmas has been tiring and I’ve found coming up with ideas difficult at times but it’s really put into perspective for me how important posting consistently is if you want to grow your blog. Because of this, I want to blog more consistently and just plan my posts better in 2019.
  6. Get involved with the book blogging community more – I would love to increase my interaction with my followers and with bloggers that I follow. Comments are so nice to receive so I’d like to give some out.
  7. Reach 450 blog followers – In 2018, I managed to reach 300 blog followers which I was not expecting at all and it’s all thanks to you guys. In 2019, I would really love to continue to grow my blog and reach 450 followers!

Those are my goals! What goals do you guys have for 2019? I’d love to know what your resolutions are, whether they’re bookish or not!

Blogmas 2018: Jingle Bell Book Tag

Blogmas 2018: Jingle Bell Book Tag

I was tagged to do the Jingle Bell Book Tag, created by Richard, by Ashleigh over at A Frolic Through Fiction. I thought it would be fun to do one last tag before Blogmas is over!

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

I know that I am getting Vicious and Vengeful by V. E. Schwab but I’d love to see The Poppy War under the tree. I asked my boyfriend for this one so I’m really hoping I get it! This is the first Christmas that I haven’t asked for loads of books, mostly because I have a very extensive list of books that I need to get through!

“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

I’ve enjoyed quite a few books this year but I particularly enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I’d fully recommend that book. It’s a fantasy with plenty of action and it’s quite fast paced.

“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has the most festive look to it?

Definitely my copy of A Christmas Carol. It is quite chunky and has several Christmas stories in it. I’ll only be reading one this year which is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but maybe next year I’ll read another one from it!

Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?

Probably Harry Potter. It’s not that it exactly releases my inner child but it does remind me of being younger as I grew up with the movies and the books. I do actually want to re-read these books in 2019 but we’ll see about that!

The Grinch | Your favourite villain…

I don’t know if I really have a favourite villain. Can I say I don’t have one? I genuinely can’t think of a villain that I like. I think Harry Potter has quite a few villains but I wouldn’t say that any of them are my favourite! The one villain I do hate is Umbridge!

The Holiday | Name your favourite TWO couples…

Ok, obviously Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell from Stalking Jack the Ripper. I’d probably also say Lazlo and Sarai from Strange the Dreamer as I’m still reading that one. I’d also say Simon and his partner (not saying because I feel like everyone who hasn’t read this needs to read the big reveal themselves) from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I know that’s three but I’m still deciding between the last two!

What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

Right now, I’d probably gift Strange the Dreamer as that’s the book I’m currently reading and enjoying! I’d also gift Stalking Jack the Ripper, although that’s not very festive but it is a favourite of mine and I want to push it into as many peoples hands as possible!

I tag:

Kate @ Reading Through Infinity

Beth @ BooksNest

Hollie @ Hollieblog

Kirsty @ The Bibliophile Girl UK

Mia @ The Cosy Reader

Blogmas 2018: Five Disappointing Books of 2018

Blogmas 2018: Five Disappointing Books of 2018

I’ve not read many books in 2018, but I have still managed to pull together some books for this list. When looking through my list of books read this year, I realised that there haven’t been many that I really loved. I am wondering if this is due to the fact that I’ve had a fairly slumpy year, or if the fact that I’ve read quite a few disappointing reads is the reason that I’ve actually been in a slump! Hopefully 2019 will be a much better reading year!

These five books were all disappointing for varying reasons.

  1. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill – I was expecting a gorgeous story from this one, but ended up being quite disappointed. It was a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid which I was excited to read but it just felt like it lacked so much.
  2. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – We’d already met the main character of this story in Simon so I was expecting to end up liking Leah more after reading her story but I just didn’t find her to be that likeable still.
  3. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas – There is no link for a review for this one as I felt like it just wasn’t worth reviewing. I was excited for this book as it follows the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin but it seriously lacked any sort of storyline. It was more as a ‘Two months later’ kind of thing but it just didn’t add anything to the series.
  4. The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross – This was a big disappointment. Riding off the back of the hype of Beauty and the Beast last year, I think this book may have come out in the wrong year for starters. This book was a big disappointment and I just found it difficult to get through.
  5. Hamilton and Peggy! by L. M. Elliott – I was so excited to read this one as I went to see Hamilton in London this year, so I was really in a Hamilton mood, but this was just so boring. I was intrigued to see how the story of Hamilton and Peggy would be told as there’s not much written or explored regarding their relationship, but this just did not capture my attention at all.

What was the most disappointing book you read this year?