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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Two things to very briefly mention in this post...

1. I was reading The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, but I have given up. Whilst it was well written, and I've heard the plot is exciting, interesting and bizarre, I just couldn't get in to it. I have so many books on my To Be Read list, that I decided to prioritise those and to go with my gut feeling; this book was just not for me.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this book. There are quite a few places I could donate the book to, such as the tube near where I live that has a book donation shelf. However, if anyone is interested in reading it, and can give me some good reasons as to why I should post it to them, feel free to leave a comment. All I ask is that you read some more of my posts and maybe recommend this blog on some of your social media sites :P Seems a bit self promoting, but I really want to interact with more people on this blog, and the main way to do this is to get more readers! This can only happen if I self promote!

If you're interested in learning more about this book, head over to Glasgow Beauty Blogger (http://www.glasgowbeautyblogger.com/2014/06/what-im-reading-end-of-mr-y.html), who is the person who took the photo of the book above, and is one of the people who read the entire book, so her review is probably more useful than mine :P

2. Not really an announcement, just a ramble. I just had breakfast in a cafe down the road with my housemate, and a man and his daughter sat at the table next to us. She pulled her book out of her bag, and it was City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. It made me smile. She was explaining to her dad the 'order' of the series, and how The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices are linked. It took a lot of restraint to not involve myself in their conversation; she was only about 13 (younger than I thought would enjoy this book) and I thought she might be freaked out by an adult randomly fangirling over her book.

Has anyone else had to restrain themselves like this before? Have you ever thought someone was a little too young to be reading certain books?

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

For Christmas I bought myself the Bane Chronicles, by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan, as I am a little obsessed with CC's Shadowhunter world stories, and decided I'd been too long without a book. I also love MJ and SRB. I've always loved Magnus Bane; in fact some of my quotes written by Cassandra (when I've met her) have been dedicated to my love of his character. He's such a funny, interesting and deep character with the potential for so many stories, which could be either light-hearted or serious. I loved the character development Alec underwent during the stories, and much of this was due to Magnus. I also loved all mentions, meetings and hints of Magnus in the Infernal Devices series!

I was really impressed by the appearance of the book when it arrived. It's a beautiful hardback, but without a dust jacket, in these lovely swirling colours. I very much associate this style of cover with Cassandra Clare's books now. I also liked the image of Magnus on the cover; it is of the actor who plays him in the film, which I like as I had never actually given Magnus a face...and I didn't think an abs shot would be appropriate (see the other books in The Mortal Instruments series if you don't know what I mean). I'm actually one of those people who finds it hard to give characters I read about exact faces. Yes, I imagine them with all the features the author describes, but then when I'm reading I get more of an impression than an entire person. Then, when I see a real life person who suits their look and personality, they slowly morph themselves into the character I'm reading about. Does that make sense? Probably only if you do the same.

I read the entire book over one evening and day (in fact, that day is today). I've been off work with an awful cold, and this book was perfect to curl up with, sipping tea and wrapped in blankets. Because it is a collection of short stories, I felt like I was more able to relax and do other things between each section (like wash, make more tea and nap) without that constant pressure to carry on to the end of  the book that normally forces me to read at super speed. Each story was really engaging and enjoyable, explaining more about Magnus' past. However, it was the stories that mentioned or referred to characters (or their relatives of those characters) from TID or TMI that kept me really engaged, as it revealed a little more of the roots of the main characters from the series. And then were the chapters that directly included those characters; Tessa, Will, Jem, Alec, Clary. I have to say, these were the stories I enjoyed the most as it was a chance to see an alternative view on events that we already knew about. These stories were the reason it was read in a 24 hour period, rather than over a weekend - I just needed more of my fix! I have to say, I wish there had been more mention of these characters. This book has made me realise I really want to know more about the life of Tessa (and her family) between TID and TMI. I know that there will be many of these characters in The Last Hours series, but the first is not released until 2016/2017, and I want it now!

This book fulfils so many options on this list. I was going to choose the short stories, but I am still (slowly) reading My True Love Gave to Me, so I will not count it as that. Instead, it is going to go under 'a book with magic'.

Clair's 2015 Reading Challenge:
  • A book you read in a day - Dreamfever/ Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (3rd January 2015)
  • A book with magic in it - The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan (9th January 2015)

~to be added to as time passes~

Monday, 5 January 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

Happy New Year!

It's been a while since my last blog post, but that is because I have been away (in Dublin!) for New Years. It was amazing.

I thought today would be a good day to kick off my 2015 Reading Challenge. I reread the majority of a series whilst I was in Dublin; I am going to count the last two as I am fairly certain I had already started the book before them prior to New Years Day.

Here is the 2015 Book Challenge, to remind you (and me!):

The two books (I'm going to count them as one, unless towards the end of the year I need to tick a few extra boxes) were Dreamfever and Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. 

(I'm sorry they have the 'look inside' labels)

Now, there are so many categories this could fit into; none human characters, female author, foreign country (Ireland), friend recommendations, finished in a day, a book with magic). I thought there would be a reread category, but alas. Because of this, I'm going to put this book series in the 'read in a day' category :)

The categories these books (and the others in the series) can be placed in to gives you  hint as to the plot. This is an urban fantasy series about an American 20 something year old girl called Mac, who heads to Dublin after her older sister (who is also her best friend) is horrifically murdered. Shortly after arriving in Dublin she has her first accidental encounter with one of the Fae, and from this incident her already disrupted life begins to unravel further.

I love this book series. KMM has a fun style of writing that is really easy to read, and characters that are relatable and who develop really well throughout the story. There is a brilliant mix of urban fantasy and action, and a looooot of sex. A lot. If you do not like sex in your books, I would not recommend. If you do not like fantasy, I would not recommend. I would recommend if you were someone who has previously said that faeries (or the fae) are your least favourite 'supernatural' creature as they were wishy washy and boring. You'll finish reading these still disliking the fae, but not because they're boring!

I'm looking forward to the surprise extension of Mac's story; I thought the series was finished but there has recently been a new release. However, first I have to read the book Iced (set in the same world but with a previously encountered character as the POV). I keep finding it hard to get in to Iced, as the main character is harder for me to relate to, but I'm hoping that the recent release of Burned will help me power through.

Clair's 2015 Reading Challenge:
A book you read in a day - Dreamfever/ Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (3rd January 2015)
~to be added to as time passes~