WWW Wednesday: 27/02

WWW Wednesday: 27/02

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.

Finally, I can bring you guys a WWW Wednesday that isn’t the same as the last few weeks because I finally finished one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I can’t wait to read some smaller books and hopefully have a successful reading week.

What are you currently reading?

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. I started this two weeks ago on the plane to and from Poland but after we landed home, I focused solely on reading The Priory of the Orange Tree. I will be looking to finish this one this week as I am just under half way through it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI finished reading The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon yesterday. After reading it for just under a month, I finally tackled the beast and I won! I think it’s probably the longest book I’ve ever read so I’m glad that I’ve finally read a book that long.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read some shorter books now as Priory was so large that it took pretty much all my reading focus in February. I’m leaning towards either Clockwork Angel or Truly Devious.

What are you guys currently reading?

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

 

Title: Enchantée

Author: Gita Trelease

Pages: 459

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Published: 2019

Source: ARC (Gifted by MyKindaBook, thanks!)

Rating: ★★★★


Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


I have been wanting to read Enchantée since I first heard of it and it was pretty much everything I had hoped for. It had magic, the glamour of court (or should I say, glamoire), a Parisian setting and a lovely romance. It also had a feature of Marie Antoinette, although she didn’t pop up very often.

The plot of Enchantée is simple to follow. Camille, her sister Sophie and brother Alain are orphans who are trying to survive. Camille is the only one of her family that is able to work la magie and so, in order to make money, she goes to Versailles to help her family out. There, she comes across trouble.

Camille is our main character who is very focussed on doing anything to ensure that neither herself or her sister, Sophie, fall into poverty and face a worse fate. Camille definitely grows in this book as she has to deal with her alcoholic and gambling brother Alain, but also the threat of being found out that she can work magic to her will at Versailles. Camille essentially lives a double life throughout this book, but as her confidence grows thanks to the ‘fake’ life she’s living, this affects her attitude throughout the book on both sides.

During Enchantee, we see the introduction of other characters including Lazare who is working on a hot air balloon with Rosier and Armand. Lazare is a character who is trying to hide his roots but needs to use his connections at the same time to aid him in his work. He is a fairly significant character in this book. Armand is a character who felt a little unnecessary as he didn’t really take to Camille and there was no real reason why. Rosier was a very happy character who was a whirlwind of positivity on the page.

Whilst Camille is living her double life at Versailles, she meets Chandon and Aurelie, two characters who turn out to be great friends to Camille. With the introduction of these two characters, I feel like this changed Camille’s attitude towards the elite class of society as at first, she sort of resents the upper classes but throughout the book, her outlook on the upper classes changes.

This book was set in Paris and Versailles. I enjoyed seeing the contrast between the two, particularly as I felt that they helped to separate between Camille’s real life and her fantasy life. I think that this helped to show the contrast between how the rich and poor lived in France at this time. I also think that this lent to the fact that it felt like there were almost two stories that were running side by side.

I enjoyed the magical element in this book and it was quite important to the plot and to Camille and her character development. As magic is essentially forbidden and Camille is forced to hide her abilities, this reminded me a little of the witch hunts that had taken place in Europe.

I was expecting to see more of the planning of the French Revolution and more of Marie Antoinette, but I don’t think this particularly made me rate the book any differently but I do think that it may have added to the book. I just felt that I went into the book expecting something slightly different but nevertheless, I still enjoyed Enchantee.

I thought the writing in this one was good. It was a good pace and I didn’t feel myself losing interest at all. I will admit that during the first 100-150 pages, I felt the pace was slow but it did pick up and flowed really nicely afterwards. The chapters were also a nice length – I personally find books with longer chapters slower to read but the chapters in this were a good length.

Final thoughts?

I would absolutely recommend this book! If you’re looking for a book full of magic, mystery set in the city of Paris with the glamoire of Versaille, look no further than this! I thought that Enchantee was a wonderful addition to the historical YA genre and I look forward to seeing what Gita writes next.

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WWW Wednesday: 20/2

WWW Wednesday: 20/2

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

This past week has been slightly disastrous in terms of reading however, I do have a reason for why I haven’t finished anything and that’s because I was in Krakow, Poland for a long weekend away with my boyfriend! The only opportunities I had to read was on the plane there and back as we were out and about every day.

What are you currently reading?

I’m still reading Priory. I can’t wait to finally get this one off my TBR/currently reading as I’ve been reading it for almost a month now. Work and life has got in the way of me reading this one but hopefully I’ll be able to read the majority of it or even finish it by its release date next week. I’m also reading City it Glass which I started on the plane last Wednesday so I’m just under half way through that too.

What did you recently finish reading?

….nothing. I’m so sad I don’t have an answer for this question this week!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not sure to be honest. I’m focusing on finishing both my current reads at the moment but I’d like to read another Cassie Clare book, Truly Devious and/or Muse of Nightmares.

What’re you reading this week?

The ‘I Should Have Read That’ Tag

The I Should Have Read That book tag was created by Beth at Books Nest. She tagged me to do the tag and you can find her own answers here.

Rules:

Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
Answer the questions below
Tag 10 others to take part
ENJOY THE TAG!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

Kate hasn’t actually told me to read this specifically but I feel that because she loves Victoria Schwab so much and her series A Darker Shade of Magic that I should really get to finishing this series. I know that I will have to re-read the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic because I don’t really remember very much from it.

A book that’s been on your TBR for forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up

Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a book that has been on my shelves since it was released but  I just haven’t picked it up yet. When I bought it, I really wanted to read it but I was going through a time when I was buying basically every book I could get my hands on so I ended up with a load of books to read, but I wasn’t actually reading them at the same pace I was buying. I do still want to read this one though and Spinning Silver.

A book in a series you’ve started but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This year I want to finish more series and this is on my list of series to finish this year. I especially want to finish it as King of Scars was released at the end of January so I want to read that.

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy it as I don’t tend to get on very well with classics but it is a book I would really like to read and having read the first few pages, it doesn’t seem toooo bad.

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

So I’m cheating a little bit as it’s not quite a book, but a series instead. The Mortal Instruments books are so incredibly popular but I’ve only read the first two. If I read all of the Cassandra Clare books that I own, I would be able to clear about 12-13 books off my TBR alone. That’s a lot of books to read by one author!

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love but just haven’t read yet

I’m struggling to think of an answer to this one because I usually watch the film/tv adaptations of books if I really enjoyed the book. I’d probably say Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I don’t love the film but I did quite enjoy it and I haven’t read the book yet. I want to read the original story first though before I read this.

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

This is difficult because there are a lot of books that are all over instagram that I haven’t yet read. Perhaps Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas because that came out in October and I still haven’t read it. If I’m honest, I haven’t even read Tower of Dawn yet but I do want to get this finished now.

This was quite a fun tag to do and it’s given me a little more chance to focus on the books I do want to read in 2019.

I’m now tagging:

Lauren @ Fiction Tea

Kate @ Reading Through Infinity

Connie @ Connie Reads

Mia @ The Cosy Reader

Kirsty @ The Bibliophile Girl UK

Layla @ Readable Life

Justine @ I Should Read That

Ruby @ RubysBookBlog

Bec @ Two Book Thieves

Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

 

Title: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Pages: 532

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Published: 2017

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★★


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?


Strange the Dreamer was one of the best books I read in 2018 and is one the best books I’ve ever read just ever. I think that’s probably a good place to start with this review.

When trying to write this post, I really didn’t know where to start and I am sure that this review will continue to feel a little like that. I always find it more difficult to talk about books that I loved in comparison to talking about books I didn’t like so much. If I come across as incoherent or repetitive at any point, I apologise but talking about a book you love is just difficult. What more can I tell you other than I loved this book so much and I encourage you to read it immediately?

I have read the first two books from Laini’s Daughter of Blood and Bone series, and found that, for me, her books dropped off between the middle and end. Because of this, I have put off reading Strange the Dreamer. Not every book is different, I know, but I was really worried that the same thing would happen reading Strange. I was worried that I might fall in love with this book and then be disappointed when I got three quarters of the way through it. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. The thing I reminded myself of before going into Strange the Dreamer is that the series is different and that authors do change and their writing styles continue to be worked on.

The plot of this book was interesting and enchanting. This book had a perfect mix of a world of normality and a hint of magic. Strange the Dreamer follows the main character Lazlo Strange as he journeys to the city of Weep. The city is in the shadows of a city made up of once great yet terrifying group of Gods. The Gods were slain but yet the city still remains and so the majority of this book follows the task of destroying the flying city that has haunted the citizens of Weep ever since it arrived.

Lazlo Strange was such an interesting character to follow. He was raised by monks but when we meet him, he is a junior librarian who dedicates his spare time to finding out as much as he can about Weep. Lazlo is a gentle and kind character who is unable to progress and become the Scholar he would like to be because of his background. Despite this, he didn’t let that stop him from going on a mission. On this journey, he discovers a lot about himself.

The other characters were complex and interesting. Whilst there were a few characters that I wasn’t so keen on, everyone did have a purpose and were involved in the plot. Sarai, who was the other main character in this book, was someone who you could sympathise with. She is hidden away from the rest of the world but desperately wants to live normally with the rest of the people. Although the Gods and the Godspawn are seen as monsters, Sarai’s PoV proved this point wrong.

The writing in this book was good in that I felt that it described everything well which enabled me to imagine every scene. It constantly kept me interested and made me want to read the book even when I couldn’t. I felt that Strange the Dreamer was written at a good pace that sped up at the necessary times during the story.

Final thoughts?

This was absolutely a 5 star read. I honestly enjoyed this book so much that after I finished it, I had to just take a moment to sit and think about it before I went back over the ending again. I am looking forward to reading Muse of Nightmares and diving back into this story with all the characters I loved in Strange the Dreamer.

 

WWW Wednesday: 13th February

WWW Wednesday: 13th February

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

I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday for a few weeks as after my great month of reading in January, I’ve definitely slipped in February. I blame Priory of the Orange Tree to be honest..

What are you currently reading?

I’m still reading Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. I finally reached part 2 of it but I’m still in the first half of the book. I really need to get a move on with this one before it’s release at the end of February! Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

What did you recently finish reading?

I have actually managed to finish one book in February so far, despite the fact I’ve been trying to get through the beast that is Priory. I read Heartstopper by Alice Oseman and absolutely flew through it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m going away today for a long weekend to Poland so I’m taking City of Glass by Cassandra Clare as it’s much shorter than Priory so it’s easier to take on the plane but also because I’m meeting Cassie on the 22nd February at a signing. I do want to finish Priory but it’s so big, I know it’ll take me until the end of the month to finish it!

What’re you reading this week?

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

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Title: Two Can Keep A Secret

Author: Karen M. McManus

Pages: 327

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2019

Source: ARC (Gifted by Penguin)

Rating: ★★★.5


Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


Doesn’t this book make you think of the Pretty Little Liars theme song?

Two Can Keep A Secret is the second book by Karen M. McManus’ following her hugely successful debut novel, One of Us is Lying. I love a good murder and seeing as this one was coming out in January, I knew I had to read it. It’s relatively short being just over 300 pages so I knew it would be quite a quick read. I started it on the 24th January and finished it just after midnight on the 27th January. I probably would’ve read it faster had I not had work in between reading.

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure how I would find it. When I read One of Us is Lying, I found myself just wanting to skip straight forward and find out who the killer was, which is exactly what I ended up doing. I was determined not to do that with this book as I wanted the satisfaction of being right or the feeling after being bested by a murder mystery book.

The plot of Two Can Keep A Secret is a easy to follow, which I think helps it read quite quickly. Like One of Us is Lying, it was told from different points of view, but unlike OOUIL, we only had the story from two different perspectives. One of the perspectives is from Ellery. The story starts with Ellery and her twin brother, Ezra, moving to Echo Ridge after their mother was admitted to rehab. Almost as soon as the book starts, things start happening in Echo Ridge.

Ellery is one of the main characters in this book and one of the PoVs. I liked her character and she was quite inquisitive, particularly when it came to true crime as a result of what happened to her Aunt. I enjoyed it when both Ellery and Ezra were on the page and I enjoyed seeing their relationship. The other main character, Malcolm, was closed off at the beginning of this book, but I felt like his character came out of its shell over the course of the book. I enjoy books where the characters really do develop.

Two Can Keep A Secret wasn’t full of murder like I was actually expecting, but it was still a solid YA thriller, which I feel is a genre in YA that needs expanding on. I feel like Karen M. McManus does a good job of giving us several leads to make us suspect certain characters as that then has you questioning them every time they do something suspicious. Ultimately, I did get the suspect wrong, but I was ok with that. I prefer murder mysteries to surprise me with who did it rather than my guess being right.

img_5539I was a little disappointed partly because I was expecting a little more from the disappearance but also because I felt like some things within the book were just touched on, such as the previous crimes and what happened to the twins Aunt. I expected a lot more sleuthing from Ellery due to how invested she was in crime novels but it wasn’t quite up to Nancy Drew’s level.

I am definitely hovering between 3.5 and 4 stars with this one, I just can’t decide. When I finished it, I gave it 4 stars but I immediately contemplated whether it should actually be a 3.5 star read. Did I enjoy it? Yes. But did I love it? Not quite. I liked the book and it was such a quick read, plus I enjoyed it more than One Of Us Is Lying but I just can’t decide what to rate it at! I think perhaps 3.75 is the most appropriate rating for this book so it’s just in between.