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.

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Would You Rather 2.0 – Book Blogger Edition

Hi there,
So as the week draws to a close I finish with another awesome book tag type thing. This is the “would you rather – book blogger edition” 2.0. I did the first one last year and I would link it but I can’t find it so . . . Anyway lets jump right in with the questions.

1. Would you rather do only review post or only tag posts?
Definitely tag posts. I find them a lot more fun and when I do reviews I find that my thoughts are really scattered and jumble out in a bit of a mess.

2. Would you rather always see the film first or never see the film version of books?
Probably always see the film first. It’s really exciting to have a film version of a book you love and I don’t think I could live without that. Also watching the film first isn’t that bad because I find that when I’ve read the book already I spend the entire film comparing it.

3. Would you rather have a list of every book you’ve ever read (like Goodreads from birth) or still have the physical copy of your first favorite book?
The physical copy thing. I can generally remember all the books I’ve read anyway because I tend to own them all. Beside if I don’t remember it, is obviously can’t be that important to me.

4. Would you rather have an active in-person book club of non-bookbloggers or have lunch with your best bookblogger buddy once a year?
I don’t really have “bookblogger buddies” so I’d have to say and in-person book club. They look like so much fun.

5. Would you rather have the time to read everything you want to read or the money to buy everything you want to read?
This is actually really hard because if I have the money I won’t have the time but if I have the time I won’t have the money to buy them all. I think though I’d have to go with have the time to read it all because I have a million books on my TBR and I own most of them already. Also there is a thing called a library.

6) Would you rather dream cast the film or have editing powers over the script for the film adaptation for you fave?
I would go with editing powers over the script. They always cut my favourite scenes and I usually end up loving the cast anyway.

7. Would you rather have your favorite fictional superpower or your favorite fictional technology?
Definitely technology! A wand, duh!

8. Would you rather read an amazing story with a ‘meh’ ending or a ‘meh’ story with a spectacular ending?
A “meh” story with a spectacular ending for sure. The ending can often make the book so if the book was good but the end was rubbish it would ruin it but having a not so good book but an incredible ending will make it better in my eyes.

9. Would you rather not be able to read in a moving vehicle or not be able to read lying down?
Not be able to read lying down because I don’t do that anyway. My arms get too tired.

10. Would you rather reread your favorite book or series with fresh eyes, like the first time, or be able to un-read your biggest disappointment?
This is really tricky actually. I’d love to read Harry Potter again with the new amazement and stuff but what if I don’t like it as much? Or what if it’s not as special? I think un-read a disappointment to get that time back that I wasted.

Alright so that is it for the would you rather: book blogger edition 2.0. Hope you enjoyed it and I tag anyone who wants to do this tag.

Signing off, Verity

The Liebster Award (again. . . again)

Hi there,
So I know I’ve done this twice already but I was nominated again by Salha Abuhayer over at The Journey’s of a girl. Her blog is amazing and she talks about a really cool range of things including her own travel experiences. So if you haven’t seen my last two posts about this go and check those out to find out the rules. Okay so the questions to be answered are:

1) What is your ambition in life?
My ambition in life is to travel as much as I possibly can, to see as much of the world as is possible, and to write a book. I really want to be a writer and I really want to travel and those are my ambitions in my life.

2) If you could have any superpower, what one would it be?
I thought long and hard about this question actually and I came up with the perfect answer. I would have the superpower to manipulate probability. Imagine that! Whats the probability I have a million dollars? Up to 100% please! Whats the probability I achieve all my goals in life? Up to 100% please! It would be the best power and I could have anything I wanted.

3) What was the last book you read and what where your thoughts on it? 
The last book I read was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me somewhat of I’ll Give you the Sun and it was just so beautiful and poetic. I felt a real connection with the characters in the book and it’s become one of my favourite stand-alone’s.

4) Do you have any pets? If yes, post a picture of them (optional).
I do have pets. I have a cat named Princess and she is the love of my life. I don’t have any pictures of her right here though, sorry. I also have five goldfish. Their names are: Colin, Rosie, Frank, Alfie and the Flash. Pretty strange names for fish but I love them.

5) Tea, coffee or hot chocolate?
I don’t actually like any of them. . .

6) What’s your favourite season? Why?
Summer. Heat. Sun.

7) Your favourite quote?
I have a lot but right now one of my favourites is “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” but I don’t actually remember where I heard it.

8) If you had to only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
I’d have a big fat slice of chocolate cake. That would be it, I love a big of cake.

9) Which book(s) have had an impact on your life? Was it positive or negative?
Loads of books have had an impact on my life and all where positive.
Harry Potter: really got me into reading
Divergent: made me see the bravery in myself
The Storyteller: made me see the Holocaust in a really real light
The Mortal Instruments: brought me closer to my friends
All I know Now: gave my hope and inspiration
Nineteen Minutes: made me see killers in a whole new light
Thirteen Reasons Why: made me see suicide in a whole new way
Leaving Time: made me think about death differently.
Heroes of Olympus: brought back my childhood at a time when I really needed it.

10) A book you would recommend?
I have a lot of books I would recommend. Check out my post on recommendations and my monthly wrap-ups to see.

Alright so I won’t nominate anyone because the people I nominated before are the people I would nominate again. So thanks again to Salha for the nomination and I’ll see you all later in the week for my first post for my new segment.

Signing off, Verity

Change

Hi there,
This post is going to be different from usual posts I make. I want to make some changes on this blog. I’ve been operating now for over a year and it’s time to change some things. First and, I believe, most importantly I have decided to reveal my real name. If any of you follow the blog NerdyChampagne you will have realised that my name was already accidentally revealed over on that blog. So it’s probably time I reveal my name to you.

Hi, my name is Verity. So now you know. I’d like to explain why I used an alias in the first place. I hid my true name because I wanted to remain anonymous. I used the name Charlie because it is a unisex name and so you would not know my gender either. Anonymity was important to me because I did not yet know what would happen to this blog, whether people would interact with it or not and whether it would take off, As it is I have gathered a fair few followers and have a lot of views every day. So now it’s been revealed. My name is Verity. Nice to meet you.

The second change I want to make is in the content of my blog. Now I still want to blog about books and fandoms because I love blogging about that stuff. But I’d also like to start a segment every once in a while about more serious issues. Bullies, friends, school, love. I don’t have much authority to give any advice at all but I might be able to help someone.

The third and final change I’ll be making is how often I upload. Now I want to upload more, so, twice a week I’ll be uploading. Once, to share a book review or book tag, and the second to write for the new segment. I hope I can stick to this because I really want to upload more for all of you.

I hope you welcome these changes because I’m really excited to start making over this blog. See you in the changing future.

Signing off, Verity

Versatile Blogger Award

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Hi there,
So I feel really bad because I only just realized that I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the amazing Becca and Books. Her blog is truly amazing and you should all go check it out. So thanks Becca for the nomination! As with the Liebster Award there are some rules that come with this.

Rules:
1) Show the award on your blog
2) Thank the person that has nominated you
3) Share 7 facts about yourself
4) Nominate 15 other blogs of your choice
5) Link the nominees and let them know

Alright so the first two have already been completed so here are my seven facts.

1 – Two years ago I went on a survival retreat and lived in the middle of nowhere for 5 days with no toilets or showers.
2 – I only ever have peanut butter in a sandwich
3 – My favourite ride in Disney World Florida is the Tower of Terror
4 – I’ve going swimming in the Great Barrier Reef
5 – I’ve been to 3/5 continents
6 – My Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares books have been signed
7 – I own 32 teddy bears

Alright so they are my 7 facts about me, I hope you liked them. Now onto the nominees:
willyoutalknerdytome
Reinreads
Big City Bibliophile
zoeliophile
sherlockianbooklover
bookishrebels
fangirlsforthewin
The Perks of Being a Bibliophile
The Wanderlust Reader
Mylittlebookblog
Books and Cleverness
Pagesunravelled
WordweHeart
Opinionated Bookstar
Becca and Books

Alright so that is it for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to be posting again soon.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie – Days of Blood and Starlight

Hi there,
So yesterday afternoon I finished the incredibly amazing Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. And it blew my mind! The world was developed further and I loved learning more about it and the supporting characters got to play a lot larger roles. If you want to look at the booktalk for the first book in the trilogy Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you can find that here: The first one. As per usual this booktalk will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-Spoiler: I can’t say much because this is a sequel but I will say this: pick up this trilogy! I have so much love for it and I feel so connected to the characters, more so than I have in a long time. It is an astounding world that I could get lost in for days and each character has so much depth and is so fun and interesting to read about. You really all should read this series, I highly recommend it to you all.

Spoiler: So this opened with a chapter of Zuzana’s. Originally I was frustrated with her chapters because I just wanted to hear about Karou and Akiva but she soon became one of my favourite characters to read about and one of my favourite perspectives present. We see her with Mik a lot and I really liked him as well. Kaz was in her opening chapter and I figured this was were he became more central but no, he disappeared again. Zuze was frustrated that Karou hadn’t contacted her after a while and to be honest I was getting worried because we weren’t having any chapters from her for a while.
The second perspective was Akiva and oh boy do I love Akiva. He has become one of the fictional characters that I feel the most connected to. I loved reading more from his perspective and learning more about him as the story progressed.He said that Karou was dead because he saw a Thurible in a place that had meant a lot to her when she was Madrigal. I didn’t understand how he came to the conclusion that Karou was dead when it was just a Thurible but later we discovered that a note with her name written on it accompanied the Thurible.
It was quite a while before we heard from Karou again and that was when she sent an email to Zuzana, reassuring her that she was alive. It dawned on me then that Karou and Akiva would not be meeting for some time *sigh*. I never even considered the possibility that what Karou had written in the email was a riddle for Zuzana to solve considering her placement in the world. I figured she was still in Eretz; it never even entered my mind that she would bring the Chimaera into the World, it seemed too dangerous. Karou has taken over duties of the resurrectionist, working closely with Thiago. He was creepy and awful and I wanted him as far away from Karou as he possibly could be. I also didn’t like Ten, Thiago’s shadow.
I enjoyed the perspective we were given of Sveva and Sarazel, the Dama who were travelling with Rath (a Dashnag) after escaping from being slaves in the first attack of the Chimaera. It was interesting and gave new perspective to their lives but I was frustrated with the fact that Sveva continued to distrust Rath, even after he began to help her sister.
I loved reading about Akiva and Hazael sparing their group, pretending they saw nothing. I love Akiva and I grew to love Hazael too and this moment just strengthened those feelings.
Zuzana and Mik then decode the meaning behind Karou’s email, hoping to find her. They realize where she is hiding after seeing a picture from a traveler and go to find her. They manage to and they stay for a while, helping with the Resurrections. We get to learn a lot more about Mik at this time and I really grew to like Mik. He seemed to really love Zuzana and was protective and kind towards his friends and others. I loved the scene were they were playing violin and managed to calm the Chimaera, it really showed the powers of music.
We also meet Ziri at around this time, and to be honest I didn’t like him. Mainly I didn’t because I figured he was going to serve as the barrier between Akiva and Karou and, loving the two of them, I hated this. He’s sent on the mission to Eretz to kill some more angels but he, along with a select group, change paths and go to protect the Chimaera. Everyone else happened to die but he was the “protector” because he is the only one left in his natural form, the form that Madrigal once had.
Ziri is captured and tortured by Jael, Joram’s brother (Joram is the leader by the way). But alas Akiva produces loads of tiny birds and Ziri manages to fly free. He goes to Karou and once she heals him (through what magic I have no idea) he explains everything, even the part with Akiva. I knew we would end up getting a meeting soon after that, it just seemed as if the story was leaning that way.
Akiva, Hazael and Liraz are planning to kill Joram and take control of the Kingdom, hopefully making it a more peaceful and safe place to live. I really began to love both Hazael and Liraz in this book, they were more present and they seemed like kinder and more relatable characters. Before they kill Joram Akiva goes to see Karou, the first meeting yet, and this scene just broke my heart. She was so close to killing him but I loved him so much it really hurt me. Karou was so frustrating at this part of the book. She wanted to kill all the angels because they had killed her family but she couldn’t understand that Akiva began to kill all Chimaera because they killed his family: her.
He gave her the Thurible he had found (figuring it wasn’t actually her inside) and Karou realized that it was Issa. This made me so happy because, like I said in my last booktalk, I absolutely loved Issa. I just felt so connected to her, I don’t even know why. She’s resurrected to pretty much her exact previous body and when Thiago finds out Karou insists that Issa now help her instead of Ten. This is when we realize that Ten was helping Karou so that she could eventually take over and Karou could be killed.
We go back to Akiva and he kills Joram but Jael is still alive. He gathers his armies and kills others before attempting to take Liraz for his own purposes. When the rape of so many women was mentioned in the book it made my skin crawl. It was just so unfair and really disgusted me. Hazael tried to defend her but he was struck and killed. That was so devastating because I’d just come to really love him. Akiva did a weird magic thing that made the roof come down and I really hope I get an explanation for that in Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
Meanwhile Karou has been with Thiago and he attempts to rape her, a scene that really actually made me cry. It was so horrible and scary and I hated reading about it. He managed to die here (yay) but then Karou but Ziri’s soul into Thiago’s body (confusing I know) so that they could have full control. I didn’t mind this because then Ziri would definitely not be on the table for a romantic relationship with Karou.
Zuzana and Mik come back at this point (they left a while back) because a mass group of angels has descended over Earth! Karou and Akiva band together with her group of Chimaera and his group of Misbegotten to attempt to come up to a solution. And that was the conclusion of the book.
I really really enjoyed it, I found it really fast paced and enjoyable and I loved the larger roles the supporting characters had, particularly Zuzana, Mik and Liraz. I cannot wait to read the final book in this incredible trilogy.

Signing off, Charlie

The Liebster Award (again)

Hi there,
So I was nominated for the Liebster Award just a little while ago but I’ve actually been nominated again by the amazing fangirlsforthewin. She has an incredible blog that you all have to go and look at. Her posts are new and inventive and we have very similar taste so if you like my blog, you’ll like hers. I’ve decided that I will just answer the questions for this one but I won’t pass it on because I already did. If you want to see the original post you can find it here: The Snazzy Original

Questions:
1) Who is your ultimate favourite fictional character?
I have so many that this is just impossible! For the sake of this I will pick one of the many and I will pick Akiva from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy because I recently read the second book and he is fresh in my mind.

2) if you could be anyone in the entire world, who would you be – or would you stay the same?
I would either be one of the Disney Princesses at Disney World in Florida or Emma Watson.

3) You’re planning your annual birthday slumber party (Boys and Girls) which 5 fictional characters do you invite?
Hermione Granger because she is one of the first fictional characters I really loved and she would be a lot of fun.
Dean Winchester because I love him and we are definitely dating *cough*
Zuzana from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy because she is so bubbly and a lot of fun.
Tris Prior because she is the character that would be my best friend in the fictional worlds.
Jace Herondale because he puts the fab in fabulous.

4) What is your dream superpower?
Definitely to either fly or to have control over the fire element. I think that would be really amazing.

5) who do you ship more- romione or ginny/harry?
Definitely Romione. They are the first ship that sailed in my sea and will continue to be a permanent member.

6) Who is your favourite band/artist/singer?
Ether Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, McBusted or Fall Out Boy, I love them all.

7) the world is running out of resources and you have to eat one meal for the rest of your life – what is it?
A big fat slice of chocolate cake, with the strawberries on the top and everything.

8) who, out of celebrities would you- kiss, marry, kill?
I would marry Jensen Ackles, hands down.
Kiss Zac Efron because who in their right mind wouldn’t?
Then I would kill Chris Brown because he hit Rhianna and that is not okay.

9) what would be your dream house – cottage in the country, mansion in hollywood or penthouse in the city?
It would be a big two story house that was made of those wooden slats and they would be blue. The roof would be red and the top story would have a big balcony that went all the way around the house.

10) If you could invent anything, what would it be?
Ahh this is so hard! Probably a type of ink or paper that glows in the dark so that I could read in the dark.

11) last question, if you could be a werewolf, vampire or a wizard/witch what would you be?
Definitely witch. I would not want to drink peoples blood or become a dog. Also magic.

Alright so that is it for my second go at this. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your answers in the comments.

Signing off, Charlie

The Liebster Award

Hi there,
I was nominated recently for the Liebster Award, a chain award that helps to promote more unknown blogs and helps to make new friends in the blogging community. I was nominated by the amazing reinreads, if you haven’t seen her blog already go and check it out because it is amazing. Thanks so much for the nomination!

Alright so the rules are as follows:
1) Thank and link the person who nominated you
2) Answer the questions given by the nominator
3) Nominate 11 other bloggers with 200 followers or less and link them
4) Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer
5) Notify all nominees via social media/blog

My eleven questions:
1) 
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
I would have to go with A Summer in Genova, it had Colin Firth in it so I expected it to be fabulous but it was really boring and just completely depressing from beginning to end. It literally had no happy parts at all.

2) What artists or bands do you currently love?
Well right now I am absolutely in love with Fall Out Boy because of their incredible new album. The Kids Aren’t Alright is my favourite song, it makes me really pumped to do stuff. I also love Taylor Swift (because she is amazing) and Ed Sheeran, as does the rest of the world.

3) What’s your favourite childhood memory?
When we went to my grandparents house me and my sisters would always have pretend fairs in the back garden and we’d mix drinks and “sell” them to the people in the house.

4) Favourite book (you can choose more than one)
Alright I could honestly write a list 50 pages long but because I don’t have the time I will only pick a select few. Harry Potter (completely changed my life), The Mortal Instruments, Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, Gone Girl, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

5) Favourite Quotes?
“A fire that burns that bright is not supposed to last” -Tobias Eaten, Allegiant.
“Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light” -Albus Dumbledore, Prisoner of Azkaban.
“The marks humans leave are too often scars” -Augustus Waters (I think), The Fault in Our Stars

6) It’s the end of the world! The only people left are you, the main actor/actress from the last movie you watched, your least favorite book character, & your favorite dead artist (writer, musician, what have you). Will you guys be okay?
Alright so in my “team” I have David from the film Project Almanac, Professor Umbridge (ugh) and Elvis Presley. We’ll be okay because David has a time machine and no one can get near Elvis’ swinging hips.

7) Puppy sized elephant or elephant sized puppy?
Puppy sized Elephant! Imagine how cute that would be!

8) Pick one: a boat, a castle, a cottage, or a rocket. Make up a reason why.
A boat because through the seas I can see the world.

9) Do you ship any characters? Or hate a ship?
I ship Romione, Percabeth, Karou/Akiva, Augustus/Hazel, Anna/Etienne, Fourtris, Clace, Sizzy, Malec and Anna/Cas. I hate Snamione; it is just gross.

10) If money was of no concern, what would be the next thing you buy?
A holiday to Disney World Florida. I miss it so much!

11) What’s the nicest thing anybody has ever done for you?
I don’t have a particular nice thing that stood out to me as the absolute nicest. I just really appreciate all the small nice things that people do for me.

My nominations:
The Perks of Being a Bibliophile
The Wanderlust Reader
Talk Nerdy to Me
Big City Bibliophile
Zoeliophile
SherlockianBooklover
Pagesunraveled
Bookishrebels
Opinionated Bookster
Becca and Books
FangirlsForTheWin
T
hese blogs are all absolutely amazing and deserve a lot of reads.

My Questions:
1) You have the chance to play paintball with 5 fictional characters. Who do you choose to play?
2) What is the greatest film you’ve ever seen?
3) Who is your celebrity crush?
4) Who is your favourite Disney character and what is your favourite Disney film?
5) If you could jump into any fictional land what one would it be?
6) Who is your all time favourite superhero?
7) Every food in the world is laid out on a table, what do you reach for first?
8) Were you a Drake and Josh or The Suit Life of Zack and Cody fan?
9) Favourite thing to do in each season?
10) What would your dream job be (it can be real or not real)?
11) Name one book that completely changed your life

Alright that is it for the Liebster Award, thank you again to reinreads for nominating me.

Signing off, Charlie

Fall Book Tag

Hi there,
It is now March and so where I live it is now Autumn so I thought I would do the Fall book tag. These are questions that are based on Autumn-y things so I won’t introduce it anymore and I’ll just start.

1) Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color – choose a book that had reds/oranges/yellows on the cover
The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling has both red and yellow on it and I think may be set in the Autumn (or not, that may be a lie actually).

2) Cozy Sweater – It’s finally cold enough to don warm cozy clothing: what book gives you the warm fuzzies?
Probably all the Stephanie Perkins novels, they are cute and sweet and they make you feel all warm.

3) Fall Storm: The wind is howling & the rain is pounding – choose your favorite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day
I like to read high fantasy novels on stormy days, such as: Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Game of Thrones, because I have more time indoors to read and can get through a lot of the book. When it’s summer you want to be outside (well not really) so you can’t get a lot of time to read but you do on stormy days.

4) Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?
Definitely Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor because a) she has blue hair growing out of her scalp, b) she can shoot back angels by her hands, c) she has monsters as a family (how awesome) and d) Akiva.

5) Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?
The Anna duo by Kendare Blake. I feel like I talk about this duo a lot but it is really fantastic and has so little recognition. You really should all read this.

6) Coat, Scarves, and Mittens – The weather has turned cold & it’s time to cover up – What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?
I have the film cover for Beautiful Creatures and it is really awful so I like to hide that from the view of the public so that they don’t have to be forced into looking at it’s grossness.

7) Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favorite Fall time comforts food/foods?
I don’t have any special food that I eat in any particular season. I’m not really sure how a food can relate to a season unless you can only buy that particular thing at that season.

8) Warm, Cozy Bonfire: Spread the cozy warmth – Who do you tag?
I tag SherlockianBooklover, mylittlebookblog and reinreads

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed that tag. I hope to be posting again soon.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Hi there,
So yesterday I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (the first in a trilogy) and oh wow, it was good! I struggled so hard to put this book down for even a second; the world just continued to suck me in minute after minute. The characters were so interesting and the world was incredibly complex and exciting to discover. This book is high fantasy and it was amazing but the it required a lot of world building so I don’t recommend reading this if you are new to the genre. I do recommend it to literally everybody else though because it is amazing. Alright lets get on to the booktalk then. As per usual it will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler sections.

Non-Spoiler:
Around the world black hand prints are appearing on doorways, courtesy of the winged strangers who have arrived unannounced. In the streets of Prague, torn between two worlds, a young girl is about to caught in a brutal otherworldly war. Karou is a 17-year-old art student who fills her art books with sketches of monsters who may or may not be real. When beautiful yet haunted Akiva lays eyes on her in the crowded streets of Marrakesh secrets are unveiled and a star-crossed love affair, rooting deep in history, is uncovered. But will Karou want to hear what these secrets are?
This book, for me, was really fast-paced. It does take 150 pages or so to get the world properly built but it was so interesting I honestly didn’t care. Karou and Akiva are characters I had an instant connection with an I feel bound to them in a way I haven’t felt bound to characters in a long while. This book really did just have absolutely everything and I really recommend to those of you who are experienced readers.

Spoilers:
So the story opens with Karou and Kazimir, who I kind of disliked instantly but at the same time found fascinating. We learn that Karou lives in Prague and that the images she draws in her sketchbook are actually real but her friends have been led to believe they’re fake. This was interesting in my mind and I could really clearly envision Karou showing her incredible drawings and saying they’re real, with that knowing smile on her face. We meet Zuzanna, who I love instantly, which makes me really anticipate meeting more supporting characters (assuming, of course, that they are as awesome as she).
We then enter the actual art class and Kaz is a model, forcing Karou into drastic measures to embarrass him. She uses her Scuppies (I think) to make his bottom all itchy in front of the entire art class. The scale for the wishes was a little confusing but also really interesting. There were (and I hope these are in order): Scuppies, Shing, Lucknow, Gravriel and Bruxis. Wishes with a lower order can’t be added together to create a larger wish which sucks because with all the Scuppies Karou had she could’ve had a Gavriel, or at least a Lucknow.
The cafe Karou and Zuzanna go to after the class sounded really cool. The decor was really Gothic and it just seemed pretty amazing to be eating at a coffin while a statue of a Greek God looking down on you. The scene after this is the first time we meet Karou’s family and it was amazing.
Karou’s family are all Chimaera, meaning they are sliced up parts of all different animals shoved together to make one person or thing or whatever. This concept was really interesting and I liked seeing what each of the Chimaera looked like. The first member of Karou’s family we met was Kishmish, the weird bird thing, who was really just a pet of Brimstone’s, the family member we know most about. The second person we meet is Issa and I absolutely cannot explain it but I just had this instant love for Issa. I view her as the fun aunt to Karou; the one who gave her all the girly talks and would’ve gone shopping with her had she not have scared anyone after stepping outside.
We then meet Yasri, Twiga and Brimstone. Brimstone is a character a really didn’t trust in the beginning but as we began to learn more about him, I found my trust growing slightly. I still don’t like him completely but that may change as I venture into the second book in the trilogy. Brimstone is the collector of teeth, in return giving clients wishes. Founding out what the teeth were used for and how the magic happened was interesting but disturbing, but we’ll get to that later.
Skipping forward a little, Karou heads to Marrakesh to meet with Izil, an old client who has been cursed with the invisible Razgut after wishing for knowledge. It’s here that we meet Akiva for the first time, the gorgeous angel who has a weird fascination with Karou. We learn that Akiva feels familiar around her; that she reminds him of someone. To be perfectly honest my first guess was that Karou was his unintended daughter, born without his knowledge from Madrigal, the woman we know he once loved. Akiva was a interest to me from the very first moment we officially met him and he continued to be throughout the novel.
Karou is hurt and taken into the shop but then realizes the secret door is open and she sneaks in to take a look at whats in there. It’s there we semi-discover what the teeth are for. We see that all these seemingly dead Chimaera are lying on tables, all bearing the Hamsas (which were really fascinating) that Karou herself wears. Brimstone catches her and throws her out in the snow, which made me really sad and kind of strengthened my distrust of Brimstone.
After that the portals all close for good and Karou is left on her own. She finally tells Zuzanna everything about her life, which I was really glad about, and goes about trying to find another way into Elsewhere, which we later discover is called Eretz. She gathers wishes from the suppliers she has often seen in Brimstone’s shop. She manages to procure two Gavriels and she uses one on the wish of flight. My first thought was that it was going to go horribly wrong and she wouldn’t be able to land and would fly off the earth, eventually dying through lack of oxygen. But no, that isn’t what happened.
She comes face to face with Akiva again and they have a fight mid-air in the middle of Kaz’s vampire tours, so naturally it is all caught on camera. This is the third appearance we have of Kaz and too be honest he was interest as such a central supporting character in the beginning I was sure he would have more appearances. I think he will probably appear in the other books . . . oh joy.
This is where Karou and Akiva’s relationship really starts to develop. I loved the scene where they were in the cafe and Zuzanna joined them and was prepared to start yelling but instead was like “must. mate. now”. Then later Akiva sees the wishbone and his glamour disappears and he becomes so vulnerable. To be honest this was one of my favourite scenes; to see a character I was so interested in stripped down to his core was an intense and delightful experience.
It’s then that we meet Hazael and Liraz, and I cannot have been the only one that thought Hazael was the woman and Liraz was the man. I think I thought that because Hazael is very close to Hazel which is traditionally a woman’s name. Karou is this scene was so fierce and majestic and the image of her standing there with her hands outstretched and her hair blowing around her face was beautiful.
The next few scenes were the ones that were the most integral to the story. We got a lot of history to Akiva and Madrigal and they broke the wishbone, releasing the memories onto Karou. And it turns out she was Madrigal. The history was really fascinating and I was really disgusted with the idea of Thiago; he was pretty much a pervert. Chiro (is that even her name) was a really traitorous character but I understand why she did what she did. She just wanted to be recognized as beautiful for once in her life, and bearing the Hamsas her life was a long one. The beauty and simplicity of Akiva and Madrigal’s love was so peaceful and amazing to read about and experience second hand. We then learnt he full truth about the teeth: they are used to recreate Chimaera who die and wear the Hamsas. This was such a revelation but made a much more intense story seeing as Karou bore the Hamsas too. When Madrigal was being killed I could feel Akiva’s screams deep into my soul. It was the most torturous scene in the novel and it gave me great pain to hear his terror. Akiva said that Karou would be mad by the revelations the wishbone brought but they were all happy things so I thought it must be a mistake.
But no, he had to go drop the bombshell that he had actually killed Karou’s entire family. Good one Akiva. I still love him though. The book ended weirdly, because Karou is flying to Eretz with Razgut despite her families deaths. I don’t understand the point of this because if they are all dead anyway she’ll find nothing there and she won’t have Akiva with her. Who she very clearly is in love with.
Despite the ending I absolutely adored this book and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for hours after I finished it. It is definitely a five star book and I am so excited for the rest of the series to come out. I hope you enjoyed this book and feel free to comment your thoughts on the book, but please no spoilers for either of the sequels.

Signing off, Charlie.