The Hunger Games – why I didn’t like it??

The_Hunger_GamesThe Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. First read 1 October 2017.    2 // 5 stars.

Hi, it’s me, your controversial friend here to talk about her controversial opinion. Here’s why I didn’t like the Hunger Games. Let’s get started!

(obviously this is all just my opinion etc etc, if you disagree feel free to chat with me in the comments!)

I went into the book with the knowledge that I was very behind. I read it about a month ago, and The Hunger Games was really realLY big five years ago. Every bookworm who called themselves a bookworm had read this book, and I was rather behind! So I figured I might as well give it a try.

what it’s about

If you have no clue what the Hunger Games is about, it’s a story about some teenagers thrown into a giant arena and told to kill each other until there’s one left. There’s a love triangle, a grumpy main character, and a fairly predictable plot.

some thoughts

The first impression I had of this book was that I was surprised how popular it was. I personally didn’t enjoy it! Although I can see what the book was trying to do, I think it missed too many opportunities to put Katniss through difficult moral decisions to be called a Really Great Book™.

There’s a fair amount of info-dropping in the book. While this is necessary to a certain extent in fantasy and dystopian books, there is a right and wrong way to do it. Showing the reader information through dialogue and through action sequences is great! Giving the reader information by having the first person pov character think it, paragraphs and and paragraphs of it, is not so great!

So much of this book was made up of pages and pages of information that I had to take in to understand the plot. It just made me, as a reader, really tired?? And a little bored as well??

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Another thing that I struggled with was the writing. I really didn’t like it. It felt forced, and there were so many places where I was internally fixing the grammar, or switching a sentence around, that it really became a distraction. (It also just proved to me how cool being an Editor would be. Hire me please!)

However, the main issue that I had with this book was the author’s decision to avoid putting Katniss in any difficult scenarios at all. Every time that there was an option to put her in a difficult situation – i.e. deciding whether or not to kill someone, or whether to kill someone or die herself – she was mercifully saved.

My point here is that this book could have been such a good psychological thriller! There could have been mysterious twists and turns. Katniss could have chosen to turn the other cheek and died for what she believed in. Peeta could have not been a jerk (I’m sorry – I really didn’t like him XD).

I just think that the author missed opportunities to make this book a really great one!


Although there was a ton of things that I didn’t like about this book, there were a few things that I did appreciate!

  • I really liked Rue?? I think she was well developed and really cool!
  • The world building was decent! Although half of it was from info-dropping, I could really visualise the world that Katniss was running around in.

img_0581Those were my thoughts on The Hunger Games! Honestly, the best part of this experience was debating with my friends about whether or not it’s a decent book.

What are your thoughts?

Keep smiling,

emmi 🙂

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These Broken Stars

ehhThese Broken Stars, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. First read 21 August 2017.    5 // 5 stars.

I absolutely loved this book, in every way possible! There are so many things I loved about it that I don’t quite know where to begin.

This is definitely a book that I am planning on buying, and rereading again and again!

the story

This book is a YA sci-fi, which is perhaps my favourite genre combination ever. A space ship is crashing, and the heir to the ship crash lands with an obscure soldier. Two people who hate each other are alone on an abandoned planet, which might not be so abandoned after all. There’s lots of sass and desolation and creepiness? And yet the whole thing is really well written?? I love!!

Things I loved:

  • The characters! They were very well developed, and the opposite of stereotypes. There’s always more than meets the eye with them, and I loved how they were slowly developed throughout the book.
  • The humour! This book was incredibly funny, but in such a subtle way that I wouldn’t put it down as a ‘funny book’. Instead it was a book that was serious and dealt with big themes, but was still funny?? I love.
  • The writing! I am a huge fan of the writing style used in this book, and it was done really well! First person point of view is hard to keep consistent when the pov changes, but it was handled very well in this book.
  • It was creepy?? It was incredibly creepy! The book was set in an abandoned planet. One of the key themes was the sense of being alone. I really loved how the idea  of loneliness was spread throughout the book; I felt really alone while I was reading it.
  • The pace. While a little slow at times, the book somehow managed to keep me entertained the whole way through. You’d think this was quite a dull book, because looking back, all they did was walk through the wilderness? And yet so much actually happened, because the dialogue was brilliant! I was never bored at all.

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I have rarely read books that manage to scare me. Maybe it’s just because I avoid the Horror genre, but even so, books just don’t scare me. But there was something about the way that this book described being alone – and in the way that odd things kept happening – and how the characters related to that – that was just really creepy.

I’m someone who enjoys feeling scared occasionally, as it gives me something to think on when I’m scared in real life. It’s a “if this character made it through without freaking out, then you can too” sort of scenario. Loneliness has a way of consuming me, and so I really found that this book spoke into my thoughts and described exactly what it was that I was scared of.

You know when you finish a book and your soul just hurts? Something in you aches, because it was just so good. This book touched a heartstring of mine, and I am intending to buy it just so I can read it all over again!


img_0581This book was well written, greatly exceeded my expectations, the characters are sassy humans with great development, and this remains one of the few books that has managed to actually scare me.

Have you read this book?

Keep smiling,

emmi 🙂

Spindled

16949eff4a5622764701dd0c6a5423d2.jpgSpindled, by E.K. Johnston. First read 22 August 2017.    2.7 // 5 stars.

Okay. So. This book is one that really do have mixed feelings over. On the one hand, it has technical problems and cardboard characters, but on the other, it’s decently written and the world building was really great?? So I really don’t know about this book.

the story

The book is a twist on The Sleeping Beauty, set in this wonderful fantasy world that reminds me a lot of The Arabian Nights. The characters have to go and find the princess to try and break the curse that racks their nation, but they accidentally kidnap her instead. (as you do.) There’s lots of walking, staff fighting, and winding thread.

okay. so.

Reading does require some sort of effort on the part of the reader. I, however, often miss things that might be glaringly obvious to someone else. For example:

I went through over half the book thinking that the main character was a very mature twelve year old. Until he kissed someone who was eighteen. So ummmm yeah??? Definitely not twelve, Em, well done. (I still don’t know exactly how old he is though??? Hopefully eighteen or older though ehehe)

I also went through the entire book not realising that this book is actually a sequel to the first book, A Thousand Nights. That said, it didn’t really matter because apparently Spindle takes place a thousand years after A Thousand Nights. It worked well as a stand alone, I thought.


things I liked:

  • world building!! I thought it was reasonably well done – there was a bit of info dropping, but it didn’t feel dry and boring. It could have been done better, perhaps within dialogue, but as it was it worked.
  • Writing style!! I am not generally a fan of first person, but this book handled it well (although I still think it would have been better in third person). It used a large vocabulary and had great sentence structure!
  • The fairytale atmosphere! The book felt mysterious and thick with culture.
  • I loved the idea?? I love reimagined fairytales, and the idea of changing up Sleeping Beauty is one that I can get behind.
  • Also I love the cover. This shouldn’t have anything to do with anything, but ssshhhh.

So I loved the book up until the half way point, when it occurred to me that barely any character development had happened?? And these people barely had characters anyway??

And from there, I started to get rather bored.

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things I didn’t like:

  • There was no character development. Watching characters grow and change is one of my favourite parts about reading – but it was nowhere to be found in this book.
  • Also, the characters had cardboard personalities. They did have some small traits, but when you’re writing in first person it’s so important to flesh those out and make them really obvious. And they really weren’t.
  • There was no proper climax?? The climax itself was so drawn out that by the time it got there, there just wasn’t any tension anymore.
  • Not a lot actually happened. There was more walking and details about how they slept than actual action.
  • They didn’t have motivation for leaving to see the princess in the first place?? Like his mother told the main character, whose-name-I-have-forgotten, and his friends to go and seek the princess. But it’s never properly explained whyyyy they had to go, and then the mother isn’t mentioned again.
  • (Also I couldn’t work out whether or not the mother was meant to be abusive – but I don’t know, because she disappeared after sending them off on their quest and was barely mentioned again.)
  • Basically it got rather dull at times.

img_0581So basically this book bored me, and I could find no personalities within the characters, but the world building was great!!

Have you read this book? What do you think?

Keep smiling,

Emm 🙂

Gemina

29236299Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 1st read 6 July 2017.    5 // 5 stars.

My not-very-coherent thoughts after reading this book: AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH WHERE’S THE THIRD ONE I NEED IT WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT COMES OUT NEXT YEAR???

So basically, I really love this book!

 

the story

This book follows on from the first book, with lots of new characters. It’s set in space six hundred years in the future, and takes place on a jump station – a space station that allows ships to jump through wormholes. It contains exciting action, hilarious one-liners, unpredictability, and brand new characters with a whole new level of sass!

Just like the first book, this one is set out in data logs, messages, diagrams, and pictures, rather than usual text. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s so fun to read!


what I liked:

  • This books avoided the sequel blues, and it did so spectacularly! I don’t think I’ve ever read a sequel that is just as exciting – if not more so – as the first book.
  • I loved the characters! The book itself focused around brand new people who weren’t in the first book (although old characters are still included!). I feel like this was how it avoided the sequel blues – by focusing on a new plot and characters, rather than just further developing old characters.
  • The plot! It was so exciting and intricate and, though confusing at times, it was always extremely well thought out and put together!
  • It’s hilarious! It really is though! Even though overall it’s quite a serious book, there are so many funny moments.
  • The writing! I just love the format and the way that the series is put together. I think it’s really clever and it changed the way that I thought writing had to be.
  • The ending! Without spoiling anything, the ending was really fantastic! I didn’t see it coming, I (nearly) cried, and my heart stopped several times because it was just so hard to look away.

what I didn’t like so much

  • As with the last book, there is a bit of profanity. It is all blacked out, however, and it didn’t bug me as much as the last book did.

To summup, then, I love love love this book! It incorporated so much that I loved from the first book, and yet so many new characters/content/world building that it somehow (cleverly) avoided the sequel blues.

Highly highly recommend, just like the first one!

img_0581There are so many feels in this book – ahhhh. At it’s core, it’s a book about humans – human suffering and human experiences, just set in the future. AHHH I love this book so much!

Have you read this book?

Keep smiling,

Em 🙂

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_FireHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by JK Rowling. 3rd reread 5-8 June 2017.

Continuing on my ‘In which I review Harry Potter – aka basically an excuse for me to rave about how much I love it‘ review series, I’m up to the fourth book, the one where everything starts to get serious! I love this book – it’s so long, and there are so many unexpected twists and turns! It’s also the one where you really start to see the dark side of the wizarding world.

the story

Harry gets excited about a secret event that’s happening at Hogwarts. He can’t stop thinking about Quidditch, and a certain girl in his class. But lots of dark stuff is happening too, behind the scenes – and poor Harry needs a hug. Hermione and Ron are very supportive friends as Harry deals with growing up.

what I like

  • The whole book. Seriously.
  • It’s at a point in the series where Harry starts having crushes, and as such is really angsty. I love how we see this whole separate side of him, and how realistic it is written. He really is just a teenager caught up in a whole big war.
  • Hermione is amazing – ahhh dear me I love this human. She persuades Harry to see what an idiot he’s being, and she’s also just incredibly supportive and imperfect and just a great character.
  • It’s funny! The whole series is pretty funny, but I feel like Harry starts to become really sassy in this one – sometimes it’s just too much to handle, seriously.
  • The way JK Rowling writes irritating characters is honestly amazing. Rita Skeeter, the very successful journalist, is the sort of person that you throw the book at the wall for. Very very well written.
  • The plot! It all fits together beautifully, and the twists and turns at the end are unpredictable and very exciting.

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Honestly the only nag I have with this book is that the ending is a little anticlimactic. I KNOW I KNOW BUT all this stuff happens, and then more stuff happens?? I just prefer a little less info-dumping and cleaner, tighter endings. But it’s not a huge issue of mine, more just a minor nag.

In this book, the theme of power really begins to emerge, setting itself up for the rest of the series. The play of power inbetween the hands of the major characters – with Harry sitting in the middle – is something that I found very interesting this reread. How much control does Harry really have? In truth, very very little.

All in all, this is definitely a book that I love with a deep passion. I’ve only read it three times (compared to 5+ with the other books) and perhaps because of that, there was so much that I didn’t remember this read through. So many little tidbits – like how awful Rita is, how awesome Hermione is, and what a good friend Ron is.


img_0581This is just a really really good book. It’s long, and a bit of a marathon to get through, but it is completely worth it! I lost myself in this book in a way that I rarely do in other worlds. Ahhhh I just love it very greatly.

Have you read this book??

Love, Emm 🙂

Illuminae

23395680Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 1st read 5-6 July 2017.    5 // 5 stars.

*flails aimlessly* THISBOOKTHISBOOKTHISBOOK!! It’s very very good!!

This is a book that I didn’t know I needed before I found it, read it, and loved it! I just can’t stop thinking about it, the characters, and the wonderful world in which its set. Will I ever stop flailing about this book? Probably not mate.

the story

This book is all about humans set in space, seven/six hundred years in the future. And no surprises, they haven’t changed – they’re still blowing each other up and causing hurt and pain. Two humans in particular are caught in the middle of a crazy war, and try not to die as they escape their burning planet on refugee transport ships. There’s lots of fighting, computers, sassy one-liners, and wonderful pacing!

The book itself is formatted unlike a normal book; it’s set out in data logs, messages, wikipedia-like pages, reports, almost Shaun Tan style artwork, and so on. It’s an interesting layout, but it really works!


Things I liked:

  • The format! It’s so so so cool the way it’s laid out, almost like a comic but not, almost like a normal book but not. Art abounds the pages and my artist’s heart was happy!!
  • The characters! Ahhh they are so well developed and all are different and so so so relatable. They are really just normal people caught up in a great big space war, and perhaps because they are so relatable it is very easy to see yourself in that same situation.
  • It’s so funny! The characters don’t know how to handle situations, so they hide their feelings with humour, sarcasm, and bad jokes. This book is basically the definition of my sense of humour.
  • The world! It’s so well developed and I saw it clearly as I frantically turned the pages, trying to find out what happens next.
  • Did I mention it’s a page turner? Because it is. It’s just such an exciting plot and you just want to see what happens next! While this doesn’t necessarily always count as a good thing in books – some of my least favourite books are page-turners, for sure – in this one, it serves well to entice the reader to continue being enthralled by the book.

There was one main problem with this book, which I feel like I should probably mention…

What I didn’t like so much:

  • ummmmm
  • There was quite a lot of swearing/profanity. All the swearing was blacked out, but unfortunately my imagination was quite capable of supplying the censored words. I guess it just shows that no book can possibly be perfect if us humans are the ones who wrote it! However, I zoomed through the book and so it didn’t really bug me that much at the time.
  • That’s about it??? I just really loved this book!!

I can’t remember the last time that I’ve connected to characters to this extent! I just couldn’t stop reading, and when I stopped, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Ahhh it’s just a very very good book and I love it!

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was its lack of aliens. A lot of space adventures are filled with aliens and halfbreeds and resulting prejudices, and I thought it was quite interesting that this book avoided that popular trope!

All in all, this is a wonderful book set in space that’s, at a basic level, all about humans. Themes about human pain, human suffering, and the human condition are all included in this one! As I said, I’m not normally a fan of sci-fi or books set in space at all, but my love for this book is right up there with my love for Star Wars. And that’s pretty high.


img_0581I also added this to my favourites shelf, sooooooo yeah it’s a new favourite 🙂 Highly recommend to any discerning reader who can handle a bit of violence (not too much though)!!

Have you read this book? Any thoughts?

Keep smiling!

Emmeline 🙂

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban.jpgHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by JK Rowling. 3rd Reread 5th June 2017.    5 // 5 stars.

I feel like there’s already a ridiculous amount of opinions on this book already floating around on the internet, but I’m going to throw mine into it too with this little mini review.

This is perhaps my favourite book in the series! It’s exciting, entertaining, and the plot twists are so surprising!!

If you don’t know the story, here’s a quick overview (no spoilers!):

the story

Harry’s in his third year at Hogwarts, and is starting a lot of new subjects, though not as many as Hermione. The notorious Sirius Black is on the run, escaped from Azkaban (wizard jail), and a large black dog is stalking Harry. All in all, it’s the making of another stressful, exciting, and wonderful year at Hogwarts!

what I like

  • this book is so chill. Seriously.
  • My favourite part in the whole book (A TINY SPOILER, SORRY! LOOK AWAY IF YOU WANT!) is when Hermione slaps Draco. I shake with joy every single time I read that scene because it’s just so amazing and Hermione is the best!!!!!!
  • This book is kind of inbetween when Harry is a smol child™, and when things start to get more serious with Voldemort. It’s a break between angst and innocence and I really enjoy that part of it!
  • The character development though!! Hermione really gets to step up in this book, and become her own. Ron gets lots of development in the way he deals with situations. And Harry gets to show his strength in a way that I don’t think he gets to in the earlier books.
  • The action is well written. I think that JK Rowling has a particular knack for her action sequences. They’re written in a way which beg you to keep reading, and yet so you still know what’s going on.

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This is honestly one of those books which I read with a big, silly smile on my face. It’s exciting, but it’s a bit of a break. Information for the rest of the series is introduced, but the story still has its own plot. Yes, the ending is a little unrealistic, but I actually like that. I’ve always liked Time Travelling stories, after all!

Once again, the one overarching problem I have with the first books in the series is the writing style. That said, by this book I barely notice it. At this point, JK has picked herself up – it’s starting to become the sort of book where you can say, “This is well written” and pair it with an intelligent nod.


img_0581One of my favourite part of this book are all the delicious plot twists at the end – no spoilers!! I also loooove Harry. I will say that friendship drama goes down and it isn’t pretty, but it’s very entertaining.

Have you read this book?? Rant with me in the comments!

–Emmeline 🙂

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

ChamberofsecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling. Reread 5th June 2017.   5 // 5 stars.

This story was my first introduction to Harry Potter, waaaayyyy back when I was eight. Let me explain.

I was sleeping over at a friend’s house, and we watched the movie of this book! To be honest, all I remember from it now was that scene where the cat gets petrified and also that scene in the chamber, because I swear it terrified me out of my skin. Also, having not read any of the books, I had absolutely no idea what was going on, so that didn’t help. All in all, the movie greatly put me off the whole franchise.

Looking back I laugh at myself, because eight year old me was so terrified and confused by this movie. However, I do understand, because this book is slightly creepy.

the story

This book follows on from the previous one; Harry is now in his second year at Hogwarts. A mysterious chamber in the school gets opened, and Harry is blamed for it. Honestly when you’re reading it all you want to do is give this child a big hug because he’s given so so much stress for nothing!! In the end, of course, there’s a large confrontation between Harry and Voldemort’s previous self, and Harry comes out triumphant.

why i like it

  • We start to see Harry grow up a little – and it’s very well done. In fact, one of the things I most like about this entire series is how you can see the character development and growth from book to book. Even though there’s only one year’s difference between this one and the last one, you can still see Harry’s growth!!
  • The clever mix between mundane schoolwork and exciting confrontations with evil forces. Not that the schoolwork is mundane – Rowling manages to make even reading about classes exciting – but there’s a great balance between action and not-really-action.
  • Everything’s important!! I love books like that, where every little conversation matters – I need more please.
  • Enter Ginny, who is honestly a wondddeeerrrrffffuuuullllllll character whom I loooovvvve. She’s just so cool! And I love how she pops up every now and then throughout the book – and especially at the end! no spoilers here
  • The writing is improving. The author is discovering her style and there are many more well constructed sentences than the previous book.
  • The plot fits together like a clever jigsaw puzzle and I looove it. It’s not predictable, and it’s exciting, and ahhhh I love it
  • Basically I really like this book okay. It’s just really well done.

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This book is certainly a lot darker than the previous one. Where in Philosopher’s Stone, some of the darker details are sometimes skimmed over, in this book all of the evil is placed out in plain site. Kids, cats, and ghosts are petrified. Roosters are murdered. A certain level of maturity is required to read this book, because it is just plain creepy in places.

This is something that is both good and bad, I think – I’m someone who particularly enjoys hints of creepiness in books, but I don’t think that it should be there for the sake of it, nor should it be portrayed as good. This book doesn’t do that – it’s there for a reason, and the source of the creepiness is portrayed as bad.

It is possibly a bad thing because I would argue that this book requires a certain level of maturity to read. Firstly, to discern reality from fiction, and secondly, to be able to handle the creepy content. Would I give this book to an eight year old? Probably not. Any older, and it depends on the maturity of the child.

So, as to things I don’t like so much about this book:

  • There are parts where I would question what age group this book is intended for. I wouldn’t expect the series to push that boundary until a little later on, but its already pushing it, man.
  • The writing – it’s improving, but it’s not quite there yet.
  • Incidentally, this is my least favourite of all the books (probably something to do with the experience of being scarred from the movie as an eight year old). That said, I still give it five stars, sooooooo…..
  • ONCE AGAIN IT’S TOO SHORT – I NEED MORE HOGWARTS PLEASE AND THANK YOU

Basically, this isn’t my favourite of the series, but I still really love it. There are parts I only picked up on this reread that just make the characters and plot so much better . . . Seriously, if you haven’t read this series, I would highly HIGHLY RECOMMEND.


img_0581I feel like I didn’t express myself properly in this review – this is one of the only series’ (apart from LOTR, of course) where I can truly lose myself in the world, truly become engaged in the storyline. If I’m reading this book, it’s very hard for me to get distracted.

Have you read this book? Any thoughts?

Love, Emmeline 🙂

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

CaptureHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by JK Rowling. Read 2 June 2017. 5 // 5 stars.

I’ve been recently doing a major reread of this fabulous series, and decided that I might as well review them all up on here! Of course this series has been reviewed many many many times on the internet, but hey, why not add another flailing review to the pile.

But let’s start at the beginning! (A VERY GOOD PLACE TO START!!!!)

the beginning

I first opened this book two years ago, sometime in September 2015, after borrowing it from a friend. Since then I have read it 6 times, raved about it quite a bit, and become thoroughly in love with the world of Hogwarts.

When I opened this book for the first time, I was doing it at the end of the biggest reading slump eVeR. I hadn’t properly read and enjoyed a book for at least two years, which was ridiculous for me. I was starting to stop considering myself a reader.

Then I read this book, and didn’t look back.

the story

IF you don’t know the story already, it’s basically about a smol™ boy who is told he’s a wizard. From there he is enrolled in a magical school (Hogwarts!!) where he learns how to use his magical skills. Soon, however, he has to fight Voldermort and save the wizarding world from dire disaster and utter peril.

why I like it

  • The characters are all small beans who are gorgeous and need taking care of, but are instead walking around at night and getting in trouble with teachers and defeating dark lords. Hermione is honestly the best thing.
  • Can we just talk about Mcgonagall for a minute?!? She is honestly the best thing to ever happen to a book series. She’s strict and kind and will not take no for an answer. She’s just really cool okay okay
  • I’m a sucker for good world building, and this is really really good world building. Having wizards live among us sounds a little ridiculous but the way it’s done makes it wonderfully wonderful!! It’s raw and gritty and it feels real, though when you think about it it is a bit ridiculous.
  • It has just the right amount of action to relaxation, as I like to call it. The plotting and pacing is very well done, I think. Though there is a lot of information dropping it’s handled very well.
  • I am such a big fan of Hagrid it’s ridiculous. He’s so sweet and kind and ahhhhhhhhhh
  • It’s pretty well written. I’m not someone who will jump up and down advocating for this writing style, but it’s cretainly better than lots of other YA books I’ve read! ALSO IT’S THIRD PERSON SO YES PLEASE
  • It has a way of keeping you reading. Once you open this book, it becomes near impossible to put it down. And because it’s such a lovely, bite-sized book, why not finish it in one sitting?
  • Basically I have a lot of love for this book. Even though it’s only a children’s book, it manages to have moments and mentions which you only really pick up on when you’re older. They’re not inappropriate, but it may be a smile from a teacher, a side note from an adult, and suddenly you realise that this world is flawed, just like ours.

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On the surface it’s an innocent book, just like Harry’s age – he’s only eleven okay – but underneath, there are so many references that you’ll only get when you’ve read the whole series. There are so many little snide comments that you’ll only get when you’re older. It’s just so well done.

A lot of people have said to me that this book is kind of set apart in the series. It’s the first book, and it’s so innocent compared to the rest of the books that I can’t help but agree. However it certainly does a good job of keeping you reading!

There are, however, a couple of qualms that I have with this book. (JUST A FEW THOUGH)

  • Snape actually bugs me so much. I have read the later books of course and know his purpose but I just think that his presence should be justified a little more?? He’s honestly the most annoying human when you read the books.
  • The writing does bug me occasionally – I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of the writing style. It does get better in the next books, but in this book it feels like Rowling is still working out her style, still working out what she’s doing. There are just a lot of dashes and fullstops and it can be a little difficult to read occasionally.
  • IT’S TOO SHORT OKAY I NEED MORE HOGWARTS

I understand if you are not a fan of this book. Whether it be about the presence of magic, the writing, or it’s just not for you. For me, however, this book represents the start of my reading journey and the end of a pretty big slump.

My Goodreads review below sums it aaaaaallllllll up for me 🙂

It just occurred to me that this is the sixth time in 2 years that I’ve read this book. And oh, what a book! YES, I could be reading something else. Expanding my list of classics I’ve read, writing book reviews, reading the latest hit, catching up on my TBR.

But somehow, somehow this book always calls me back to it. And when I’m halfway through a boring book, or in the middle of organising my bookshelf, this book stares at me. And I can’t help but start to read it. Because hey, read what you want to read, right?

Anyway, so much has been said about this book already that I won’t really try to write a concise overview. The point here is that I really like this book, it always holds something new for me, and I’m so glad I opened it for the first time 2 years ago, scared and apprehensive and excited.

Because I have to say that I’ve never looked back.

img_0581SO basically this review was just an excuse for me to rant about Hogwarts. Also, have you seen A Very Potter Musical?? The songs have been stuck in my head for about a week and I’m not complaining XD

What is your opinion on Harry Potter? Let’s chat!

With love, Emmeline 🙂

The Water Babies – REVIEW TIME

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The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley. First read 15th April to 17th April 2017.   4 // 5 stars.

I may have missed a couple of days in this little challenge I set myself … (whoops) so it’s now day four and I’m here to review the Water Babies!

When I found the Water Babies for 50 cents at a book sale, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read it already! So of course I simply had to pick it up. I finally got around to reading it the other day and was enchanted.

The Water Babies is the story of a young chimney sweep who runs away from his cruel master, and is subsequently turned into a ‘water baby’. While it is never fully explained what a water baby actually is, I worked out from the title that it’s a baby who lives in the water?? So I suppose it’s fairly self explanatory.

The writing style in this book was honestly the highlight for me! It was so delightfully old fashioned, which made the entire thing an absolute joy to read.

What I likeeed:

  • The writing style!! So much perfection and a pleasure to read.
  • Some really adorable characters in there.
  • Honestly it was just really fun to read. The prose read like music and I loved it.
  • There were some philosophical parts in there too. I did brush over them a little, not quite being in the mood for philosophy, but hey, they were there.
  • It was soo funny! I can’t remember the last time I found a book this humorous 🙂

What I didn’t like so much:

  • Just like Mary Barton, this book focused a little bit on goodness as a means for salvation. *sighs*
  • There was a little too much ‘moralising’ in places for my liking.
  • It dragged a tad in places.
  • Ummm… that’s it??

Actually, this book reminded me a little of the story of Pinocchio. There’s a good fairy, training Tom (the naughty protagonist) up. Tom has many adventures, and struggles to find other people like him. And at the end, of course, there’s a delightfully happy ending!

My little Goodreads review sums up all of my thoughts on the book:

An endearing book filled with excellent prose! How I wish books were written like this nowadays *sighs*

img_0581Just a short review for today, but I absolutely adored this book as a little break from heavier things. I can’t believe I haven’t read it before!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Keep smiling,

Emmeline 🙂