Friday, 26 August 2016

Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice by Natasha Farrant was whimsical and enchanting!

Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice
Title: Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice
Series: N/A
Author: Natasha Farrant
Publication: September 1st 2016, Chicken House
Pages: 352 pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to LoveReading4Kids and Chicken House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 CUPCAKES!
A spirited, witty and fresh reimagining of Jane Austen's Prid eand Prejudice! Lydia is the youngest Bennet sister and she's sick of country life - instead of sewing and reading, she longs for adventure. When a red-coated garrison arrives in Merryton, Lydia's life turns upside down. As she falls for dashing Wickham, she's swept into a whirlwind social circle and deposited in a seaside town, Brighton. Sea-bathing, promenades and scandal await - and a pair of intriguing twins. Can Lydia find out what she really wants - and can she get it?


I'm probably going to shock a lot of you by admitting that I've never read Pride and Prejudice and I'm not really a fan of Jane Austen's writing (I've read Northanger Abbey and 60+ pages of Emma but I just don't feel it), however, after reading this vibrant and whimsical retelling of  the youngest Bennett sister, I'm utterly desperate to give Pride and Prejudice a go!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - more even than I thought I would! I read it in a couple of sittings and once I reached the last page I let out an audible "Awww, it's finished!". It's such a lighthearted, fanciful read and I would absolutely love it if the author decided to write more books from Lydia's perspective -or from the other Bennett sisters' point of views!

Based off of this book alone (as I know nothing about Pride and Prejudice except that Mr. Darcy is THE book boyfriend of all book boyfriends) I can safely say I really adored them - especially Lydia! She's determined, she's witty, she's comical and her vivacious spirit radiated from the pages. I would love to read more books from her perspective! I liked Wickham for most of the book as well, his snark and teasing combined with Lydia's spunk made me laugh out loud several times but unfortunately, I couldn't love him completely due to him being quite greedy and manipulative. I also grew quite fond of Alaric (who, after Googling, I think is an original character to this novel - correct me if I'm wrong!), the French count who woos Lydia and I completely 100% shipped with Lydia. He was so sweet and bookish but I'm quite frustrated with him and if you read this book (which you should) you will find out why. I also loved each of the Bennett sisters and I found myself chuckling several times throughout as I read about their interactions with Lydia, which often left them feeling quite exasperated and had me feeling quite amused! My only complaint for the entire book though is that I didn't feel as connected to all the characters but other than that I LOVED EVERYTHING.

Another thing I loved about this book was how it transported me back in time. How it took me to balls and carriages, to the countryside and Brighton beach in the 1800s. I loved how this book perfectly captured a different era and I felt as if I was roaming the streets with a bonnet and parasol, alongside the characters.

The writing was excellent too! I have always been a fan of books written in diary format and reading Lydia just made me realise why I fell in love with that kind of style in the first place. I love the humorous, honest and heart-warming thoughts that tumble out of the character's head and onto the page. It made me feel as if I was being confided in, as if Lydia and I had become the greatest of friends and she trusted me enough to pour her heart out. I definitely think readers will form a deep connection to her character as they read this book - I know I did! 

The plot was entertaining as well and I ended up reading this book in a few sittings which rarely ever happens when I read a book! I think the reason I generally struggle with Jane Austen's books is because I find them quite dull but whilst reading this, I found it to be the exact opposite! The story seemed to be alive. The balls were glamorous, the seaside visit was intriguing and everything that occurred just seemed so exhilarating!

Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice is an utterly delightful read, filled with vivacious characters, dashing suitors and daring escapades. It's a charming, whimsical novel that you NEED to have on your summer reading list!

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Is Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch a new favourite? I THINK YES.


Bad MagicTitle: Bad Magic
Series: Bad #1
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy
Publication: September 1st 2014, Usborne Publishing
Pages: 384 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Usborne Publishing for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
This book is incredibly BAD. It does not contain MAGIC. Or a mysterious ghost girl. Or spontaneous combustion. Or Spanish-speaking llamas.
Nope. None of these things.
Okay... maybe one of these things. But certainly not MAGIC.
It’s just an ordinary tale of a normal boy who goes to summer camp on a desert island. Nothing exciting or weird happens. The camp is definitely NOT for crazy, badly-behaved kids, and there are NO SECRETS or MYSTERIES at all.
And absolutely NO MAGIC whatsoever... 

You know when you pick up a book and you start reading it and you feel as if the book is a vortex, ensnaring you and never relinquishing control? When you feel as if you're living and breathing the words, the story and the characters? You know, the most magical feeling ever? That's how I felt whilst reading this book. It drew me in from the first page, it gave me a whirlwind adventure, it made my imagination soar and it made me fall in love with reading all over again. I'm not sure why I was so hesitant to pick this book up as I loved the author's other books which I read when I was around 12/13, but I'm so incredibly happy that I finally read Bad Magic as it set my imagination free, allowed me to think the impossible, it reminded me why I fell in love with reading in the first place...it can only be what you would call magic.

The thing that made me first fall in love with this book is the plot. Guys. The plot, it was brilliant. Summer camp, eerie happenings, ghost girls, survival training, volcanoes and magic this book was so much fun to read and I haven't felt as immersed, as transported, as I did whilst reading this book in quite a long time. I loved the sheer excitement and how completely riveted I was during the entire book. This book feels like magic and surely it is? It takes such a very special book to paint such a vivid, brilliant image in my head. Reading this book might be the most fun I've had in a while, just saying.

miranda such fun

I loved the characters and becoming acquainted with them made me realise just how much I love reading middle-grade books, something I haven't done in a while. The characters were so fun, imaginative and optimistic and possessed characteristics that only children can really have. After having a day filled with physics, maths, exam results and anxiety it was so refreshing diving into a book rife with magic and adventure. It took me back to being twelve years old (the age I was when I first read a PB book) and that was such a lovely feeling – free-falling into my childhood.

Clay, Max-Ernest's younger brother (MAX-ERNEST IS FROM THE FIRST SERIES. MY FANGIRL HEART EXPLODED) is such an incredible kid and I immediately clicked with his character. He's confused and lost and slightly angry at the world because of his brother's sudden disappearance, but he's also so brave, clever and kind. A very lovable protagonist! I adored all the other characters as well; Kwan, Pablo, Jonah, Leira, Mira...they were all wonderful and had unique voices and distinct personalities.

The writing was stellar too. Pseudonymous Bosch is such an excellent writer – he crafts magic, with words as his medium. His books are always vibrant and entrancing and I think a lot of that is due to his brilliant writing. It's comical, it's descriptive, it's witty and captivating and just perfect, basically. I still can't believe that I didn't read this book sooner but I'm so glad that I finally did as it reminded me why he secured a place on my favourite authors list all those years ago.

Bad Magic was a book that completely blew me away. Filled with magical adventures, tropical islands, ghosts and bad words, Bad Magic is an enthralling, captivating read that is simply magical. Read this book, it's splendidly bewitching.

I give it: 5/5 cupcakes!

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Bout of Books 17.0 - Day 1 Update!

Bout of Books

Update:
I didn't read that much yesterday as I was catching up on Blogging and I skyped my best friend from South Africa for most of the day but I did sneak some reading in before I went to bed and I managed to read 73 pages of Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch, a minuscule amount but I'm happy to announce that day 2 is going much better! I felt like I was slipping into a reading slump yesterday BUT THEN this morning I picked up my copy of The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee and I'm really enjoying it! It reminds me a lot of Unrivalled by Alyson Noel which is one of my top reads of 2016, so hopefully this will be a new favourite too!


How did your first day of Bout of Books go? Let me know!
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Bout of Books 17.0 TBR Pile! - Time to read ALL THE BOOKS

Bout of Books

IT'S TIME AGAIN FOR MY FAVOURITE EVER READATHON!!!

When I was busy scheduling my holidays in, I made this week free of school so I could read, read, read to my heart's content so I should get a lot of reading done!

I have a lot of ARCs to read for September and October so I'm mainly going to be focusing on those but I may slip in a couple of library books in as well. I'm a total mood reader though so we'll see how it goes!


SO, THE BOOKS I HOPE TO READ ARE:


An over-ambitious little peanut, is I. I don't know if I'll be able to read all these books as I'm a slow reader but I SHALL TRY. I'm currently halfway through Bad Luck so I should be able to finish that today! I need to read and review The Thousandth Floor asap as the publication date is pretty soon so I'll probably read that next and then Super Awkward followed by the other two! These books all sound so fantastic and I can't wait to read them.

My Goals:
1. Read at least 100 pages a day
2. Read 4 books
3. Buuuuut I'd like to read all of them. COME ON KYRA, YOU CAN DO THIS.

So! Those are the books I'm hoping to read this week? Are you participating? If so, leave me a link so I can checkout what you're hoping to read!
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Review for Dominion by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard: In which I screech at you to read this epic sci-fi trilogy IMMEDIATELY

Dominion (The Chronicles of the Invaders, #3)
Title: Dominion
Series: The Chronicles of the Invaders #3
Authors: John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi
Publication: February 25th 2016, Headline
Pages: 464 Pages, Hardback
Source: Thank you so much to Headline for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
DOMINION is the epic follow-up to CONQUEST and EMPIRE in the Chronicles of the Invaders series by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard. Fans of Pittacus Lore and Veronica Roth will be entranced.
They have cheated death.
Defied their people.
Changed beyond recognition.
Their love has survived the impossible.
But now they must learn to trust again:the future of their worlds depends on it.

You know what's one of the best feelings in the world? Picking a book up completely by chance, knowing absolutely nothing about it and falling irrevocably in love with it. Finding the kind of book that makes you laugh and cry, a book that transports you to such an extent that when you emerge from the pages, it takes you a few seconds to realise where you are and who you are. The Chronicles of the Invaders is that kind of book. I can't even begin to express how much I loved this trilogy but fear not, I shall screech at you in capitals and convey my adoration in GIFs. You're welcome.

The Chronicles of the Invaders series is an epic trilogy about love, death, sacrifice and betrayal that will blow your mind.


Earth has been conquered by an alien race called the Illyri and as expected, humans haven't taken to their new neighbours all that well. They're killing the Illyria who have attempted to conquer peacefully, the Illyri are killing the humans that are fighting against them and humans are killing humans and it's not a very happy situation. Our two main characters are Syl Hellais and Paul Kerr, the former being an Illyri governor’s daughter and the the latter being a soldier in the resistance. Meeting by chance in the city of Edinburgh, the two strike up an unlikely friendship that transforms into something else. HOWEVER, The Chronicles of the Invaders is unlike most YA series in the sense that it doesn't focus solely on the romance. YES! THAT'S RIGHT. Even though there's an adorable ship who go through incredible sacrifices and hardships for the other, there's all these intricate sub-plots weaved throughout the books. There's murders and dark secrets that are trying their best to be kept hidden, there's evil lurking in the background that I felt with an absolute certainty was going to annihilate many of the characters and the world of which I had grown to love. There are many characters, all complex, all hiding secrets, all with morals of varying shades of grey, all with intertwining story lines that provide a breathtaking tale. So much happens in this trilogy that will have you screaming “NOOO!” at your book, that will have you smiling and sobbing and clapping your hand over your mouth as another plot twist hits you like a ton of bricks – I haven't felt this emotionally invested in a series in a long time. AND EVEN THOUGH IT BROKE MY HEART IT WAS WONDERFUL.

johnny depp alice in wonderland mad hatter im fine


One of the things I love most about this trilogy is the characters and their vast development over the three books. I feel like I've grown alongside them, I've seen them mature from innocent teenagers to adults that have endured hardships that have broken both our hearts, that have had to do things that have shattered them and shaped them into people they never thought they'd be and who have become so wise due to all of the pain they've experienced. I loved all the characters so much and even the villains who were brilliantly cruel were crafted so magnificently that I found myself fascinated by them too. I absolutely loved brave Syl who always fought for justice and even though she held all this power, she never let it have an adverse effect on her. There was Paul who was SO ADORABLE and also so brave, clever and such a brilliant leader and AH I LOVED HIM SO MUCH. Then there was courageous, fierce Rizzo who despite having a love of blowing things up, was actually just a lovable marshmallow, kind and determined Ani, Thula who was SO FUNNY AND I LOVED HIM SO MUCH, Meia (I LOVED MEIA TOO. SO FIERCE. SO RESOLUTE.), Steven (my adorable, brave squishy), Alis (loved her too), Lord Andrus (LOVED HIM MUCHLY TOO)...and basically all the characters! THEY'RE SUCH BEAUTIFUL, COMPLEX LITTLE BEINGS.

Disney hug friend friendship big hero 6

I ADORED the relationships in this book as well! They were so intricate and so genuine and they made my heart dance with happiness on more than one occasion. Be it the sweet romance between Paul and Syl, the strong and often complicated friendship between Syl and Ani, the adorable relationship between Paul and Steven, the friendship between Paul and Thula...all the relationships were written so well and my heartstrings were thoroughly tugged on throughout the series.

The plot and writing in this trilogy is just...flawless. Utterly magical. I can't remember the last time I read a series that played out so brilliantly like a movie or TV series in my head and it was so incredibly exhilarating the way the story was told. I loved all the different plots that came together in an explosive manner, I loved how I felt as if I was looking down on this world and like I was able to see – and be apart of – every single thing that was going on. In one chapter I was shown what the enemies were planning, in another I was able to view love unfolding between species that were supposed to despise each other, in another I was looking in on a private matter discussing politics and wars and thinking “Oh dear, shiz is about to go down.” And it was just so incredible the way John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard told the story, like I just felt so involved in all the characters' lives and all that was going on – it was utterly amazing.

Disney hug friend friendship big hero 6

So, if you haven't been persuaded, let me sum it up for you:
    1. An absolutely fantastic cast of characters who you will totally fall in love with. Characters who will break your heart and then make you smile and then break your heart again. YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT.
    2. I don't think I mentioned this but THE DIALOGUE. IT'S WITTY, IT'S SNARKY, IT'S ALL KINDS OF GLORIOUS.
    3. The romance is sweet and doesn't take over the whole series. There's murders to be solved and planets to be saved and THERE'S SO MUCH GOING ON IT'S AWESOME.
    4. As mentioned above, the plot is seriously riveting like I can't even count the amount of times where I was so absorbed in the book that I completely lost track of time because it was so intense and so much happens and I was terrified for my poor little noodles and I needed to know if they were going to be okay. When you read these books, make sure you have nothing else to do because you won't want to put them down. I speak from experience.
    5. Futuristic earth! Space! Planets! Aliens! IT WAS A WHIRLWIND, I TELL YA.
    6. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT.
The Chronicles of the Invaders trilogy has stellar writing, a dazzling cast of characters and an explosive plot, it's a trilogy that I love with the fire of a thousand suns and I highly recommend you read it too so you can fall in love with it, just as I have.

I give it: 5/5 cupcakes!
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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pokemon Go Book Tag - Even though I haven't yet played it. Oops.

I think I'm probably the only person who hasn't played Pokemon Go and I don't know why as it looks so fun. Even though I haven't yet played, when I saw this book tag that Read At Midnight created (and look at the adorable graphics she made as well!) I just knew I had to participate. IT LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN. If you want to do this, I tag you. 

So, books and Pokemon! Let the fun commence!
Pokemon-Tag-01Starters
I started reading back when I was around 5 years old and I loved it from the moment I learned how to read. So if I'd like to be super specific it would be those books you get in creche/pre-primary that consist of bats in hats and cats on mats but the none school books I read that I fell in love with were The Babysitter Club books, all Enid Blyton's books (specifically The Secret Seven and The Wishing Chair duology which I thought were the best books EVER), the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen books (I had like, all of them and I only sold them two years ago. MEMORIES.) and the Hawkeye Collins and Amy Adams books as well as Matilda by Roald Dahl which is the only book I've ever reread more than once! I still don't have my own copy though - WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!

Hawkeye Collins & Amy Adams in The Secret of the Software Spy & 8 Other Mysteries (Can You Solve the Mystery?, #8)The Babysitters Club Collection 1 (The Babysitters Club, #1-3)Never Been Kissed (Sweet 16, #1)The Magical Adventures of the Wishing Chair (The Adventures of the Wishing Chair, The Wishing Chair Again)Matilda
Pokemon-Tag02Pikachu
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I still remember reading it for the first time when I was 10 and I LOVED IT SO, SO MUCH. I reread it two years back and it was so good spending time in the story again. I read the next two books in the series and OH MY GOSH IT WAS PERFECT. I really want to finish the series!


Pokemon-Tag-03-Zubat
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I remember when this book came out it was on every single blog and people either loved it or hated it and I've kind of lost desire to read it because it was a) so hyped up and b) there were equal amounts of negative and positive reviews and I'm like meh. I must admit though that cover really is beautiful. 

Passenger (Passenger, #1)
Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto
Love triangles can be the bane of my existence but if they are done correctly I will admit, I enjoy reading about them. One such book that contains this trope is the Splintered series by A.G. Howard. I am in love with the series and with the two love interests and by the end of the last book I still wasn't sure which guy I wanted Alyssa to end up with! In the second book she also acted like a damsel in distress but IT'S OKAY, she came to her senses and became a fierce, sassy, independent woman! Huzzah!


Pokemon-Tag-05-Snorlax
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, The Lord of the Rings...to name a few. I love big books but they're scary because it's 500, 600, 1200 pages of commitment and what if I get bored or confused or overwhelmed and GAH.



Pokemon-Tag06-Gengar
If this is "keep-you-up-at-night-because-MUCH-SCARY" than I only have one answer because I never read scary books. Never. Well, since I have an answer, I obviously do but practically never. That book would have to be Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick. It's a thriller about a girl who gets lost in the mountains with her best friends and there's these two guys who very well may be murderers but they trust them anyway because they're so hot. Anyway, it freaked me out. Especially because there was this scene with a closet and a dead body and I have a walk-in closet and the whole night I was staring at it in fear that the psycho killer would walk out. I don't think I slept properly for like 3 days. 

EditingAndLayout scared
Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen
one direction zayn malik louis tomlinson harry styles liam payne

No but really. I have like 47904 OTPs but if I have to narrow it down:
1. Wessa from The Infernal Devices
2. Jalyssa from the Splintered series
3. Malyssa from the Splintered series
4. PERCABETH (I LOVE THEM SO MUCH WHAT IS AIR) from the Percy Jackson series
5. Penelope and Ephraim from The Museum of Heartbreak
6. Anna and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss
7. Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Nexy Door
8. FourTris from the Divergent series
9. Nick and Harriet from the Geek Girl series
10. Maddie and Ollie from Everything Everything

And like a billion more. Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp
Lemme guys tell you about my new favourite thing that I've been shrieking to everyone about: The Chronicles of the Invaders series by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard. I picked the first book up on whim when I was at the library and I LOVED IT. SO MUCH. I read the second book and I loved it even more. I just finished the last book and my heart exploded. There's aliens and morally challenged characters and THE PLOT. HOLY CHICKEN NOODLES. Amazing amazing amazing.

OOH, another one, you ask? The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. I was always like "Ew, no. They look evil and scary and just not my kind of book." I read the first book and fell in love and then proceeded to read the eight books after that. ALSO. THERE'S A TENTH BOOK COMING OUT AND I'M SO HAPPY EXCUSE ME WHILE I FAINT.

Pokemon-Tag12-Legendary

Throne of Glass. Pretty much everyone and their mother loves this series and I'm still excited to read them because it sounds SO GOOD.
Pokemon-Tag15Mew-MewTwo




 *NOT MY PICTURES*.  Obviously. *cries*
Pokemon-Tag10-Egg
Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)Blood Rose RebellionCaraval (Untitled, #1)You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles, #1)#famousJust Friends
Pokemon-Tag11-Lure-Module

Derek Landy, A.G. Howard, Stephanie Perkins, Jandy Nelson, Rick Riordan...I LOVE THEIR BOOKS. SO MUCH.

love i love you that 70s show love ya love you

Pokemon-Tag13-Server-Down

I read How To Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro  two to three years ago and I LOVED IT. I was literally crying with laughter and I think my family thought I was insane but whatever, IT WAS SO FUNNY. And I desperately need the sequel. Which was supposed to be published THREE YEARS AGO. NEARLY FOUR YEARS AGO. *cries*

There you have it! My answers to the Pokemon Go book tag! I TAG YOU AND YOU AND YOU. Leave a link to your post if you decide to join!

pokemon pikachu squirtle pokemon gif
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