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Thursday, 25 December 2014

'Tis the Season Book Tag

Another booktuber video book tag that I have stolen for my own personal blogging use!

1. Do you have a favorite winter read?
I don't actually, unless it's a book that I've enjoyed since childhood (we have an awesome book copy of The Night Before Christmas, and Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas). I have a seasonal read under the tree though, so I'm looking forward to reading that.

2. Find a book with blue on the cover!
Ok. so we're lucky I'm home for this...I raided my books and found the bluest.

I swear my copy of Citadel is blue not green or even turquoise.

3. Find a book you’d use as the star on a Christmas tree!

It's just so golden and shiny!

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter vacation!
I've never wanted to go somewhere cold for a holiday? Apart from Russia, I guess, and I wouldn't go there for Christmas. However, I would definitely like to spend Christmas at Hogwarts!

5. Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your winter vacation! 
I suppose Harry, Hermione and Ron would already be at Hogwarts so I don't need to pick them! It would have to be someone I'd enjoy either snuggling up to in front of a fire, or having a snowball fight with. Maybe Hunter from the Wicca series by Cate Tiernan, or Jem, Jace or Will from The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
Alex P was always Hunter, and then Jace, in my head!

6. Name one book on your wish list this year!
The Bane Chronicles! And it's under my tree!

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat, & movie?
I love myself some mulled wine or cider. I love my moms Christmas dinner, and also the Heroes chocolate box, and Christmas film wise Love Actually is incredible :)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Christmas Song Book Tag

This tag is originally a booktuber one from youtube, but I have stolen the questions for my blog :) I listened to the songs on the list (the ones I had!) whilst answering them, whilst sitting next to the Christmas tree, so it all felt very festive!

“You’re a mean one Mr Grinch.”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

This is the ‘Loki’ character, isn’t it? I can’t think of any book characters! I’m sure there are some! TV wise, I was always a Damon rather than Stefan fan (the Vampire Diaries) but I didn’t like the books…I always liked Rosalie in Twilight but she wasn’t a villain…lets pick *SPOILER* Cal from the Wicca series (Cate Tiernan) and both Richard and Luc from the same authors ‘Balefire’ series.

“All I want for Christmas is you”
Which book do you most want to see under your tree?

This year I’ve bought myself three books that I sent straight home, and I actually wrapped them and put them under the tree. They are: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (well, other authors but her ‘Shadowhunter universe’), I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins. Which book would I most like someone else to give me? I need to read Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, and I have about 375 books on my amazon TBR wishlist, so any of them!

“Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”
Name a character who overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Fire, in the book Fire by Kristin Cashore! She is so full of guilt and self-disgust at the start of that book, and she is in fact an amazing character.

“Santa Claus is coming to town”
Which character would be top of the naughty/ nice list.

Top of the naughty list would be The Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo…I don’t really want to say anymore in case you skipped my spoiler warning :P
Top of the good list would be…(I am struggling to pick a ‘good’ person here because I generally love characters who are a bit of both, and I can’t pick Fire again). Lets go for Peter from Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series (begins with Rivers of London). He’s not an angel, but he’s a good guy and an awesome character.

“Frosty the snowman”
Which book just melts your heart?

The first book that comes to mind is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack, but I don’t think it is the right kind of ‘melt your heart’. The Book Thief gives me all of the emotions, but I’m fairly certain this is meant to be a ‘squishy feelings’ type of book…I’m going to go back an ag range from my norm (think very young YA) and pick the Agent Angel (it used to be called Angels Unlimited) series by Annie Dalton. These books are very cute!

“Feliz Navidad”
Name a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

I’m guessing it has to be this world? Many of my books are set in alternate worlds! I had to trawl through my amazon orders for the last year to check this. Purely because of their being loads of YA authors there, the USA seems to be a place with many books I have read but none stick to mind! I’m going to go with Scotland, and pick Outlander (called Cross Stitch in the UK) by Diana Gabaldon (and The Falconer book by Elizabeth May). I know Scotland is in the UK, but it IS a different country to England J

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
Which holiday book do you use to spread the Chrismas joy.

Well, I haven’t read many Christmas themed books. My True Love Gave to Me is under the tree, but I haven’t read it. Lets go for Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs! I know the Snowman is more famous, but I have always loved this book J

“Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with?

Ooooooh the romance questions. Erm, can I choose Jamie from Outlander? If not…there aren’t many guys I’ve fallen for this year. I’ve gone for the awesome ladies instead. Lets throw in Mr Darcy, and Ian from The Host.

“Baby it’s cold outside”
Which book would you sacrifice and burn to keep yourself warm?

Breaking Dawn. I hate that book with enough fiery passion it already keeps me warm. Burning it would be an added bonus.

“Do you hear what I hear?”
What book do you think that everyone should read?

I think that lots of people haven’t read The Host because they are anti-Twilight, but it’s a really great book that I recommend. I also reaaaaaally enjoyed Witchlight by Susan Fletcher, and Stolen by Lucy Christopher. These books deserve more fans!


I hope everyone has had a fantastic Christmas Eve, and that tomorrow is amazing :D Enjoy your Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Review: Rivers of London and the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch

Although I am (again) in a car I thought I’d write a book review for the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch.

This series is about a young policeman called Peter, who works in Central London. Without any prior exposure to the supernatural world he stumbles into a case involving a ghost in Covent Garden. The series of books follows his continued progression into the supernatural division of Scotland Yard, and his relationships with various people who are a part of this community.

The plot of the books is fast paced, exciting and interesting, but what I love most about it is the combination of humour and serious plot progressions. There are so many references to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings that after each book I could die a happy nerd. What is clear from this series is that the main character (and the author!) is an unabashed fan of all things deemed ‘nerdy’. I loved the Harry Potter references (by Peters cop friend) that Peter should be embarrassed because Dumbledore could drink him under the table, and this type of humour carried on throughout the story. However, serious issues were also addressed. Peter himself is a back Londoner, with parents from Sierra Leone, and there are referrals to the prejudices he faces as a black british man. Because of this I not only found the stories laugh out loud funny, but also engrossing. Throw in the supernatural elements (river Goddesses and Gods, ghosts and the fae) and I was in heaven. There’s also  bit of romance thrown in for those (myself included) who enjoy it, but the love story, whilst benefitting the plot, definitely does not lead the way. Peter is a fun character who you really care about, without having to learn an entire back story about. As a reader I effortlessly fell into the story, taking on his perspective of the story and routing for him. 

In case you hadn't already noticed, the covers of the books are also rather fantastic. They are all maps (of London, except for the final book), and in fact in one of the books I can even see the place I live. The maps are all covered in small labels, with information about the local area. They're really interesting and tell you a lot about the area, which I love.

If you're interested in learning more about the series, check out http://www.the-folly.com/
The first book is called Rivers of London in the UK, and Midnight Riot in the USA.

It's a Christmas Miracle!

The internet has finally been returned. Although, typically, it came back 10 minutes before we left to go to Wolverhampton to see family members for a Christmas meal. So I am writing this in the car, and will upload it when I get to my aunts house J

I actually haven’t read any books since the holidays have started, but I have been very busy! School finished on Friday, which of course meant to teacher celebrations in the evening. Then on Saturday I had a late breakfast, watched the finale of The Fall (has anyone else seen it?!) and then went to the Winter Festival on the Southbank with my housemates. On Sunday I packed to go home, caught the train and within one hour of being back mom and I were at a Christmas Carol Concert at the closest church (there are at least 5 ancient churches within a 10 minute walk from our house). I’m not religious, but my mom raised us Catholic, and Christmas services (carols!) are the only ones I enjoy going to. I do feel it’s important to at least appreciate why we celebrate Christmas.

Yesterday was a lovely day spent having lunch and shopping in Peterborough with my mom. I was absolutely exhausted – a side effect of working flat out for the last 4 months! In the evening we walked to a beautiful pub and had lots of mulled wine and cider.

Today is also going to be great – a big pub lunch with my moms side of the family. Last year my brother, cousin and I undertook an eating challenge which I won. Bring it on for this year.!

- I never did upload this! We were too busy eating, drinking and being merry (we played Cards Against Humanity) for me to get my laptop out. And then, on the journey home, we managed to get a flat tyre. Because of that I wrote two *basic* reviews that I will be uploading this evening :)

Monday, 22 December 2014

So much for more posts...

There is no wifi at home. What?! Ok, true, this means I can focus more on Christmas things with the family, but I wanted to post more review and tags whilst I was home. My only option, until the internet is fixed, is to write many and then upload them all once I have access. It may mean I spend some of Christmas Eve in a cafe with wifi, drinking festive drinks!

If you want to see what I'm doing in the meantime, my Instagram is Clairbear1989. Expect many cat photos.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Quick Mention

Term is nearly over, which means that soon I will be posting longer, more interesting blogs here. I just wanted to mention how much I love the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. I've just finished the newest in the series, which came out a few weeks ago. I LOVE THESE BOOKS. Check him out.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

2015 Challenge

I'm not setting myself an amount challenge for 2015, but this looks pretty awesome:

I'm not sure which rules I'm going to set myself for this one (I don't know if I'll let myself tick more than one box for a single book). All I know is that they are not going to be re-reads.