Booktalk with Verity – Carry On

carry on

Hi there,
Now I know what you’re thinking; “we haven’t had a booktalk in ages, why the change?” Well I’ll tell you why! I just finished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and it is that amazing and I have that many thought, I have to share it with you. As per the usual setup this will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler sections.

Non-Spoiler: Carry On is a kind of spin off from Rainbow Rowell’s masterpiece, Fangirl. The protagonist in Fangirl writes fanfiction for the Simon Snow book series she is obsessed with (a Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson kind of thing). Carry On is the fanfiction that she writes and it was so good! The story is supposed to be the end of the series but it wasn’t confusing, and it wasn’t that weird. It was just really good. It was told from duel perspectives; Simon, Baz, Penny, Agatha, Lucy and the Mage. Simon and Baz are the two protagonists and there is a really amazing storyline that follows the two of them. I really do recommend this to everyone. It has something everyone will love; romance, fantasy, kick-ass characters. I do recommend reading Fangirl first though because it gives more context to the story and gives you more of the previous storyline. It was an amazing book though and you should all read it.

Spoiler: Alright so the book opens with Simon explaining his past, which kicked the book off well because, being a fanfiction, it didn’t have to. It gave context to Snow’s character, to his life at Watford and to who (and what) he valued most in the world. It was already really interesting that Agatha didn’t even place on Simon’s list of most amazing things at Watford. I hated the Mage from the start, I know he wanted equality but he didn’t achieve that. The Mage and the original families were radicals in their own way. Neither of them made positive change when they could’ve.
The story, for me, really kicked off when Baz came in. Before then it was really fun to read but the story wasn’t completely developed until then. I was really intrigued when Baz’s Mum came to visit Simon from the veil.  Baz was the most adorable character in possibly the entire world (sorry Jamie) and I really wanted to give him a hug.
I loved when the fight with the dragon occurred because the way that Simon pushed his magic into Baz without hurting him, while with Penny it did hurt, because it meant that were basically soulmates.
I loved when they were all working together because, I think, Penny and Baz were really similar and could be pretty good friends (if Penny would open up more). Penny was another really unique character. I connected pretty strongly with her and her magic ring and blatant disregard for rules was pretty cool.
The story was at its peak when Simon went to stay with Baz for Christmas. When they went to see Nicodemus (totally called that he was Ebb’s brother by the way) and when they Baz tried to die. When Simon saved him. When they kissed. When they finally admitted their feelings. It was amazing and special and great. But I was also shadowed by a feeling of sadness, sadness for Nicodemus. He was one of the most powerful magicians and he gave that up to be a vampire but ended up having his fangs removed so he was useless! He threw away everything for greatness and was given nothing in return. I loved that he went to see Ebb sometimes, see her in secret to just listen. The ending of the story was amazing. I totally knew that the Mage was evil and wasn’t that surprised when it was revealed that it was he that killed Baz’s Mum. I was surprised though that he was Simon’s “father” (if that’s the right word). Lucy (his mother) had a really interesting story and I want to learn more about her. I want another book that focuses on her story.
Simon being the hero and the greatest evil was one of the most interesting plot points I’ve ever read. I liked the ending but didn’t like the fact that Simon lost his magic and that he kept his stupid tale. It was a good ending though, with Baz and Simon being together, and Penny and Simon finally moving in, the spots closing and Agatha getting to be Normal, which is all she ever wanted. It was a really amazing story, I really did love it.

So that is it for my booktalk. Let me know your thoughts and opinions down in the comments and let me know it you plan on reading it (because you should)

Signing off, Verity

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The Avengers Book Tag

Hi there,
So as the month draws to a close I’ve decided to grace you all with the Avengers Book Tag. The tag involves questions that each suit a different Avenger. Alright so lets just jump right in.

1) Iron Man / Tony Stark – A book that made you laugh out loud
I have to pick a collection of books for this one; the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series’. They are hilarious books, because of the character of course, and I laughed my butt off in every one of them.

2) Captain America / Steve Rogers – A book that sends a positive message
I think I’d have to pick Divergent for this question. It really taught me, personally, and I’m sure a lot of other readers that you can be brave, and that you aren’t constricted by societies perceptions of you. It was a really positive message told in a beautifully subtle way.

3) Black Widow / Natasha Romanov – A book with a kick butt female protagonist
Absolutely the Throne of Glass series by the amazing Sarah J. Maas. Celaena is one of the most kick-ass female characters I have ever read of. Her bravery and her love for her family and her friends is what makes her so special.

4) Hawkeye / Clint Barton – An underrated book you wish more people would pay attention to
I think I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is pretty underrated. It is the most beautifully poetic book and the characters are incredibly well developed. I love this book and more people should definitely read it.

5) Hulk / Bruce Banner – A book that made you incredibly angry
I actually have an entire series for this question. The Shiver series by Maggie Steifvater is a collection of books that made me very angry! The characters are so frustrating, particularly because the two main characters are not only annoying but boring. The story itself was actually really unique and one of the only books involving werewolves that I got into, the characters just made me want to tear my hair our.

6) Thor – A book with a character who’s strength you admired
Cassie from The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy is a character with incredibly admirable strength. She lost the only people in the world she loved: her mother and father both died and her brother was taken away. Nothing stopped her though, not the fact that there were unidentifiable aliens and the fact that she was completely and utterly alone in the world and would probably die. She kept going and I love that about her.

7) BONUS: Loki – A book with a twist or surprise that tricked you
Definitely Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Oh man, the twist at the end of that book. I was so shocked by that and I actually felt personally betrayed. I was not expecting it at all and I particularly liked said character that it involved. It was a really big shock.

Alright so that is it for my Avengers Book Tag. I tag anyone that wants to do this tag and I especially tag all those people that love the Avengers as much as I do. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments below.

Signing off, Verity

TFF: Favourite Back to the Future moments

Hi there,
This week I think I have the most exciting Top Five Friday yet! This past Wednesday, the 21st of October 2015, was the day that Marty Mcfly and Doc Brown traveled to in the Delorean in Back to the Future II. So for this weeks most marvelous Friday I have decided to list my five favourite Back to the Future moments, from the entire trilogy. I hope you enjoy.

1) Marty Mcfly playing Johnny B. Good (Back to the Future)
This is the scene I remember loving the most when I was younger. I loved Michael J. Fox and he was such a good singer and looked so good playing that guitar. I feel like it was a turning point for his character as well, all the time he had been in the past he’d been stressed and fearful but after realizing he was going to be born he released all his tensions into this song.It was a celebration of life and hope and was a phenomenal moment in the film that I think everyone remembers. It was also pretty hilarious.

johnny b goode

2) Marty receiving the letter from the past (Back to the Future II)
At the conclusion to the sequel of Back to the Future it is revealed that when Marty was sent back to 1985 Doc was sent to 1885, due to an overload of gigawatts. Doc wrote a letter in 1885 to be given to Marty in the time period he arrived in. It was a fantastic moment in the film for the audience to realize that Doc was to be saved, that he has simply been living as a blacksmith in the past. It was a fabulously acted scene, and the lighting gave great shadowing for Marty’s inner feelings.

letter

3) Marty meeting his dad in the past (Back to the Future)
Marty meeting his dad in the past was one of the best shots in cinematic history (in my opinion). The similarities created were incredible and Michael J. Fox’s acting was amazing. I don’t know why this scene resounds with me to such a degree but I just find it an incredibly well performed scene and it really struck a chord with me as a child, and even now.

marty meeting dad

4) George Mcfly punches Biff (Back to the Future)
I feel like this was an incredibly iconic moment for the movie, it was the moment the audience finally rose from their seats and cheered for George for his courage. Standing up to someone like Biff was an amazing thing to do and it was ultimately George’s love for Lorraine that made him do it. George played out as a weak character until that very moment, and I think that moment alone is what made a lot of people fall in love with him.

george punch

5) Marty riding to “Power of Love” (Back to the Future)
In the beginning of the movie Marty is skateboarding to school (after being late) and decides to latch onto the backs of cars to get there faster. The track that played during this moment made it that much more profound. It was a fabulous song and I think it was great foreshadowing both for Marty’s character and for the plot itself. It also was a great indication of Marty’s character; he was kind of lazy (I mean he never gets out of bed and couldn’t be bothered to skateboard normally to school), but also thought outside the box to come up with a fast and effective solution to problems.

skateboard

Alright so they are my five favourite moments from the Back to the Future trilogy. I hope you enjoyed and feel free to share your favourite moments with me in the comments.

Signing off, Verity

thanks

Spring Book Tag

Hi there,
So at the moment I am in the glorious season of Spring . . . but most other countries are in Autumn. I’ve seen a bunch of Autumn book tag’s going around, a lot that have Halloween themed questions, so I thought I do the Autumn book tag but fiddle the questions around to be relatable to Spring. Alright so lets just jump right in.

1) What is your favourite thing about Spring?
Definitely the fact that the heat is slowly coming back and thawing me out of my winter frost. I absolutely love the sun and seeing it come back just makes my cold heart warm.

2) What book reminds you of finishing school?
I’d have to say the Percy Jackson and Olympians series. It takes place during a summer camp so it definitely reminds me of school ending.

5169728

3) What cover reminds you of Spring?
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy book cover. I think it’s because of my favourite part of Spring! The sun is rising over the trees and it looks so warm and full of colour.

fifth-wave

4) What is you favourite horror/Halloween story?
I don’t read that many horror stories so I’d have to say Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. It was actually pretty scary, there were a lot of people being cut in half by a ghost. It was a brilliant book though.

Anna-Dressed-in-Blood-Kendare-Blake

5) What is your favourite horror/Halloween film?
I’ve only ever seen one horror film actually, Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock so I’d have to say that. It was a fantastic film as well, the cinematography was incredible.

psycho

6) What Spring book release are you looking forward to most?
Winter by Marissa Meyer, the final book in the Lunar Chronicles. I am so looking forward to this, I absolutely loved the first three books in the series. Really super nervous about how this will end though.

winter

7) What Spring movie release are you looking forward to?
Mockingjay Part II!! I am so excited for this film! But also really sad that it’s ending and because of the stuff that was happening. The first three films in this series were really good and I am super looking forward to this film.

mockingjay part 2

8) What are three books you plan to read this Spring?
I hope to finally get to Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas this Spring! I’m also looking forward to reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. The final book I’ll be looking to read is The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy, the second book in the Fifth Wave series.

Alright so that is it for my Spring book tag for today. I hope you enjoyed and feel free to leave your own answers in the comments down below.

Signing off, Verity

TFF: Favourite characters that aren’t American

Hi there,
So after a rough week another Friday has finally rolled around. Hurray! So it’s time for another Top Five Friday’s and this weeks topic is “favourite characters that aren’t American”. Most books these days lack ethnic diversity, with the the largest populace of characters being American. So today I decided to share with you the top five characters that avoid this category, they can live in America but their heritage is a different culture. Alright lets get started.

1) Jamie Fraser: Scottish
Jamie Fraser is the main romantic interest in the incredible novel Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon. He was born and raised in Scotland and is, honestly, the love of my life. He tops the cake for this category (and probably every other) and his Scottish heritage makes him all the more interesting. That Scottish accent (in my mind) sure is delightful.

2) Karou: Czechoslovak
Karou is the protagonist of Laini Taylor’s amazing Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. She was “born” I guess you could say in the Czech Republic and made her home in Prague, the capital of the city. Karou is an incredible character and being set in Prague was interesting and beautiful and I felt it added to the enjoyment of the book and the character.

3) Etienne St Claire: French
Etienne is half French, half American but kinda English at the same time but it’s really hard to find characters okay! And I love him. So anyway Etienne is the amazing male character in Stephanie Perkins Anna and the French Kiss. His English accent and French romantics make him the most amazing character. He was a really unique character, largely in part to his strange mix of cultures.

4) Cinder: Asian
Cinder is one of the protagonists in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and is a really cool character. The city of New Beijing serves as the backdrop for many of the scenes in the novels, particularly the first book Cinder. Cinder’s Asian ethnicity isn’t that strongly evident, the only clue is where she lives, but I think that that makes it all the better. Cultures aren’t a strong theme in the books because no one cares and I really liked that.

5) Kishan: Indian
Kishan is one of the main protagonists in the Tigers Curse series by Colleen Houck. Kishan is amazing and sweet and really attractive and funny and attractive and nice and attractive . . . and attractive. He really is the full package and his learning about his culture was really interesting and fully educational. I learned a lot about Indian cultures and history through these novels and I had a really good time with it.

Alright so that is all for my Top Five Friday’s: favourite characters that aren’t American. I hope you enjoyed and feel free to leave tell me your favourites in the comments (not that you ever do).

Signing off, Verity

The Sad Truth about Writing

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to be a published author, as I’m sure many other bloggers have dreamed. For the past year or so I’ve been attempting to write my first novel and believe me when I say – it sucks. Writing is long and hard and usually pretty boring. Sometimes it’s great but generally you end up hitting a wall or feeling like your characters are 2-D and ordinary. It’s frustrating to read a book and then return to your writing and see that it’s sup-par in comparison. Writing takes a hell-of-a-lot of commitment and time and effort and actual talent. It’s draining sitting at a keyboard hour after hour going God-knows-where and attempting to keep your dream alive; to keep your enthusiasm for it alive. It sucks, trust me.

The thing about me is, I have about a million ginormous dreams and realizing them all is going to be near impossible. But I have to believe I can do it, so I push on. Writing is hard and boring and unbelievably frustrating but it’s also rewarding. The feeling you get when you create something, something amazing out of nothing but your mind; when your characters seem to come alive in front of you cannot be matched. The realization that people might one day pick up your creation and find something magical is a thought you will never forget first having. Creating new worlds, and new people is an incredible feeling.

Yes writing is awful, that’s the sad truth we have to accept, but writing can be great and it can be magical and that’s why we do it; to find the amazing in the ordinary.

September Wrap-up and October TBR

Hi there,
So the great month of September is over and October is starting. So today I thought I’d share what I read in September and what I am planning on reading during the month of October. I read three books and one novella in September, not the greatest month but not too terrible. So lets just jump right in.

September Wrap-up:
1) Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
This is the second book in the Outlander series and I absolutely loved it! It took me a while to get through because of the length and the beginning of it was rather slow but by the end I was racing through it. It became incredibly fast-paced and the storyline was exciting. The character development was incredible during this book and Jamie was just as incredibly amazing as before.
Rating: * * * * *

2) Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
This is a novella and the first thing I’ve read by Colleen Hoover. I actually only read it because is was free on google books. I really enjoyed it, it was cute and short and adorable. The ending was disappointing though so it kind of ruined the entire story for me.
Rating: * * * *

3) Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
This is a short contemporary novel focused around a fourteen year old girl withe depression and anxiety. It really showed mental illnesses in an incredibly real way. The subject matter was dealt with appropriately and the characters were really fun to read about. I kind of felt like the Mum may have had some kind of mental illness too though and I would’ve liked to delve into that a bit more. Either way I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was a fun and quick read.
Rating: * * * * *

4) The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Page
This is the second book in the Dorothy Must Die trilogy, a story about a girl named Amy Gumm who is taken to Oz and given the mission to kill Dorothy, who became a corrupted leader upon her return to Oz. This was a really quick read and I enjoyed it a fair amount. The plot was interesting but I feel like the characters are under-developed and Amy is incredibly confusing. She kept swapping between good and evil and between whether Kansas or Oz was her home. A fun read but a frustrating one.
Rating: * * *

October TBR:
1) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This is the first book in the Mara Dyer trilogy and the book I am currently reading. It’s about a girl who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there or of how her boyfriends and her best friends died. I’m really interested in the storyline and am excited to get into it more.

2) Cress by Marissa Myer
This is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles and I need to read it! The first two books were amazing and I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while now and I really want to get to it. I’m hoping this series just keeps getting better because it is already incredibly amazing.

3) Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
This is the third book in the Throne of Glass series and, since I’ve had it on my shelf for ages and have already got Queen of Shadows, I figure it’s time to read it. I’m really excited for it because Crown of Midnight was even better than Throne of Glass so you’d think it would follow the trend.

4) Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K.Rowling
I have already read the Harry Potter series but I ordered the special fully illustrated version of the Philosophers Stone so I figured it was the perfect time to re-read this masterpiece. I’m very excited to read it while getting to enjoy all the images that come with it.

Already so that is it for my September wrap-up and my October TBR, I hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you all soon.

Signing off, Verity