Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught life 101

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*Sighs* this might be my favourite Top Ten Tuesday post so far. The actually topic is Ten books that would be on your syllabus X 101. Examples include YA, fantasy, classic literature, feminist literature, you get the idea. I’ve picked ‘life 101’ and I mean it, not in a literal way, but more of the way in which books teach you something. These books include teaching you how to pick yourself up, get over heart-break, family strains. These are the books that have given me something back.

1)       The Last Lecture by Randy Pauch

This book, honest to the word, has helped in ways that I could have never expected it to. It talks of life in such an honest, wonderfully light and subtle way, but it talks of death, love and family too. The fact that author is dying as we read along makes it feel all the more destructive but it has a calming presence. It talks of never wasting time, living every day the way we want to and to take control. I haven’t really looked back since finishing this book.

2)       Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

I’ve never reviewed this book for mylittlebookblog, but I think I might soon. The book follows the main character as he comes to terms with his sister’s death from anorexia. It highlights the struggle of family life, the tough decisions we have to make, and the loss of people close to us. It’s a tale that I always dip into now and again and it’s written in a wonderfully lyrical style. My and sister and I rarely got on a couple of years back but now we’re a solid pair of besties. She’s one in a million.

3)       ‘Giovanni’s Lover by James Baldwin

When I first started this book I didn’t think I would finish it let alone make its way onto this list, but this book taught me that there are some things, we cannot take back. I went through a lot of time not caring how I made other people feel because I barely cared about myself, at all. This book taught me that our decisions, our words, our actions towards others can be detrimental to people that we love. I know it seems trivial but I needed this to speak to me and tell me I needed to stop being an ass.

4)       Eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Maybe a controversial choice, but this book helped to change the perception that I needed to plan out, almost exactly, how my life was going to pan out. I panicked about too many different elements in my life; relationships, career, where I was going to live etc. The mother bought this and told me to read it, get some perspective and calm the hell down. This was the starting blocks to letting go a little more and trusting me more.

5)       Remember to breathe by Simon Pont

I have written about this book many, many a time but reading this really helped to break through my wailing and make me think that the collapse of my relationship was merely a blip in the road. I’ve met someone who is miles better for me, and just gets me and this book helped to smooth over all the feelings that were raging at the time.

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6)       Factotum by Charles Bukowski

Another maybe, odd choice? I’ve always worried a lot about where I’m going to be, in terms of career and this book made me think. I know that what I’m doing right isn’t right for me, it’s not challenging me but the main character in this book is all over the place. He’s changing jobs every second, turning up late, drunk, forgetting things falling asleep. Although quite obviously isn’t the way to do it, the way that you can change your life and do something else, even something polar opposite,  made me positive that I’m never stuck. I can always go a different way.

7)       The Fault in our stars by John Green

This also wasn’t going to make the list but I thought, fuck it. It’s a book about adoration, love, belief and pain. But it’s a tale that teaches us that pain and hurt exist, but to live in the present, in the moment you might say if you’re feeling all gushy. This book is worth a bloody read.

8)       The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson

I know this appears in all my lists but I couldn’t help myself once again. As I’ve come to terms with my anxiety many things I thought were ‘control-freak,’ tendencies were in fact my anxiety. I’ve struggled with losing friends in the past, holding on despite deceit, awkward silences and their brush-off manner. This book taught me it is okay to lose people, not because you want to but because it’s better, often for both of you.

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9) Pearshaped by Stella Newman 

Another tale about relationships but taken from the other side this book looks at the problems of unhealthy, manipulating and downright awful relationships. We are allowed to say when something is not up and stand up for ourselves. This books says that, loud and clear.

10)       Finally, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

I picked this because, some of the quotes features are so profound and special. I often like to ask people if they would like to be friends with Alice or be Alice, because her sudden change in perception is mind-blowingly beautiful. There are so many twisted bits of knowledge woven in and we see Alice grow as a person. It’s a classic book that means a lot to me and many readers and I’m glad it’s made the list.

I wrote a lot more here than I thought I would surprisingly but I thought this was a list where you really needed to explain why they made the list. This isn’t an extensive list (obviously) and when I read Wild, which I will do, I might have to include that as a bonus book because I think it might just change my outlook on everything but we’ll see. Another day another book.

I do love it when people comment and ask me and the choices, the reasons, and just hearing what you would add so if you have anything pop in down in the comments below. Lots of love and hugs, lizzy. X

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The Lebrus Stone by Miriam Khan

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Hellllllo readers, a little bit of an emotional review for you today; I’ve spoken to a number of bookish bloggers about this but sometimes it gets a bit too much. I’ve thought for a while about taking a blogging break and step back for a while, create some breathing space, get through my review requests and get back on top of it all. We’ll have to see; sometimes it feels like it’s all a bit too much. The reading, reviewing, writing, the social media, the emails, and all whilst attempting to hold down a full-time job, travel home and see friends/family/Lola & Barbie and trying to build on a new relationship. Gah, I feel like I’m having a blogging midlife crisis. I’ve also struggled with the book used for today’s review; a fantasy book which I found difficult to read, but I’ll let you find out why.

When eighteen-year-old orphan, Crystal Valdez, accepts an invitation to the small town of Blacksville, West Virginia, she hopes to have a summer to remember and a chance to learn more about her parents, to also get to know the family she never knew existed. But the Lockes begin to act strange and erratic; eerie movements in the night fuel her vivid and gruesome nightmares. To complicate her summer further, she becomes attracted to the menacing yet handsome Cray Locke: her none blood related cousin. He seems determined to keep his distance.

The only bonus to her trip seems to be the housekeeper and gardener. And when a local informs Crystal of the secrets buried at Thorncrest Manor, the kind consisting of a forbidden relationship and a war between hidden worlds, and witchcraft, she must decide whom to trust. Even if it means leaving behind those she has come to love.

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As the blurb suggests the book follows Crystal who has a horrible start in life in which both her parents die in a terrible car accident. Sent to live with her Aunt who is then a little shockingly killed in a house fire thing aren’t looking to positive. Alone in the world and spending her remaining childhood in a foster care home, a woman who claims to be her long lost great aunt appears seemingly out of nowhere, Crystal is invited to find out more about her mother and her family. But not is all as it seems, once in Thorncrest Manor, the family appear to turn on Crystal and her destructive relationship with Cray looks soon to burst; as readers we follow Crystal as she seeks to find out more about herself and the family she barely knew.

In terms of positives Crystal is a well-developed although complicated character. She has a lot of emotion and she’s written with passion. Her relationships throughout the book were thorny and although she has a lot of layers to her as a character, I found her difficult to warm to. At times she was prickly and her relationship with Cray is a little odd. They are both distant with each other and at times he treats her horribly whilst she adores him. It didn’t sit well with me as a reader. Their relationship is uncomfortable at best and they don’t interact in an open way at all. Additionally with her mood swinging, from needy to jealous to desperately in love, I was exhausted. Although the writing is quite strong in places, as to the description of characters and the like, the pace is slow and I found myself having to read the first few chapters a number of times to get into the book; saying this it does pick up but it’s a slow burner.

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I also questioned throughout Crystal’s decision to stay at the Manor. From almost the moment she arrives there, it becomes noticeably clear that there is something very wrong with the Locke family. Isobel’s character changes so utterly she’s barely recognisable (whilst she shows no intention of sharing any further information) and Crystal starts to suffer with terrifying nightmares which are suggested to be due to her being tormented by ghosts. Throughout Crystal attempts to rationalise what is happening whilst I was yelling to myself ‘get the hell out of there.’ It didn’t make sense to me that a girl with such intellect would stay there so long in such a unpredictable environment. Additionally towards the end of the book it becomes truly disturbing; there are a number of descriptions of rape and sensitive material that I didn’t find fitted or was needed. It all became a bit too much. Additionally the ending didn’t clear anything up for me. Many questions are left unanswered and although I assume due to the ending a second book is in the making I don’t think I’ll be reading it.

I guess for me this book just didn’t work. I’m not sure what I was supposed to get or enjoy from this book. The writing at times works well it has ebb and flow and although it moves with a slow pace many of the descriptions are spot on. I found however the situation that our main character is in and her personality as a whole jarred and became confused. Additionally as we work our way through the story and realise that we’re not getting the answers we expected it feels like the book was for nothing. It’s frustrating and unrealistic and I found it a difficult to read. Unfortunately one I’m a little saddened to have read.

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Dreamscape by Kirstin Pulioff

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Helllllo readers, today’s review is quite special to me because it was recommended by an author that she contact me. Being recommended by an author that you’re worth the wait for a review is an *over-the-moon* feeling. You want your blog to get to the point where people ask for reviews not only because you review alllll books but because they are good/solid reviews. It just makes it feel all the more special. Before I get too mushy, onto my review of Dreamscape.

Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stone is used to getting away from life’s frustration with Dreamscape, a video game she’s loved since childhood. As her family prepares to move, a sleepy night of gaming pulls her into the world like never before. Trapped in Dreamscape’s realm, Alex is about to learn that being a hero has consequences… and this time, the stakes are deadly. Will helping the rebellion cost her everything she knows and loves? Or will she betray them to save her own life?

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The more fantasy books I read the more I admire the genre as a whole; I don’t fully enjoy the genre yet, and I wouldn’t pick up a fantasy book as a choice in a book store but more books like this one could help me to really start reading this genre but extensively. As the blurb suggests the book follows Alex who is in a bit of a mess. Her family are planning the move from her childhood home and it’s the worse time possible. As she prepares to move her and her best friend decide to play their favourite childhood game, but after dark when she attempts the game again, she is pulled into the world of Dreamscape. Here she must battle the game again but without the cheats; will she succeed? Will she join the rebellion? Can she ever escape the game? In this fantasy story all will finally be revealed.

This isn’t your typical fantasy tale, here we explore a fantastical world but in the sense of the game ‘Dreamscape.’ I thought the descriptions of the games were evocative and rich helping to place us into the narrative background. Alex at the beginning is exasperatingly angry about having to move which I found infuriating but as the book progresses her character truly evolves into a warmer more intriguing character. I must admit I didn’t really fall for her in the way that I do, as in I desperately wanted her to succeed but it’s nice to watch her story and her journey develop. I thought in terms of this when she has to decide whether to face her role as the hero full on or use her ‘cheats’ and ‘shortcuts’ to leave the rebellion was an intriguing way to connect the game, and the difficulties that Alex is dealing with in her real life.

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In terms of the additional characters that we meet along the way I thought they were delightful. Arrow is writing with power as being the leader of the rebellion but he has a warmer kinder side to him whilst I thought that Melody was a deadly power female and wished we had learnt and heard more from her throughout. The writing as I mentioned briefly is strong; Alex seems everything in the game much more vividly and I thought the little changes between the game and reality helped to both connect both realities but also keep them separate. Also if you’re looking for castle, guards, missions, secret-missions, that’s all here too; all the standard game items as well.

In terms of problems the book doesn’t start with a bang, it starts quite slowly and with a lack of pace. It does pick up and for me I would keep reading for enough chapters to really get into the book but it was a little hard going. Although the characters are given interesting character profiles Alex to start with is whiny and irritating. As I’ve mentioned in the main review it’s okay because she changes so much as the novel progresses but at the beginning it does grate. Additionally the ending was, how can I put this? Disappointing? It made me angry as a reader because it just ends. The book works on a romantic storyline which is just dropped.

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Overall a book of two halves for me; writing is strong, starts slow but moves with pace. Characters are well worked but then the ending falls a little flat. I think overall this is a good fantasy reader for YA readers who like the genre. I thought the concept was really clever but a little more explanation with the ending and making Alex a more likeable character would have help me to utterly love this book.

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Dating a girl that reads

  Hi everyone, I’ve wanted to write this post for a while after seeing the ‘You Should Date a Girl who Reads,’ recently re-posted on a favourite blog of mine and I wanted to share a couple of pointers about dating girls that read.

It’s also as good a time as any to mention I’m dating again. Yes, I’ve found a rather bookish, sarcastic, slightly awkward human being who adores books almost as much as I do and mirrors my fondness for burritos. He puts up with my messiness, my fondness for trashy television and wanted to spend his birthday reading books in the garden with me whilst eating kettle chips and drinking cider; sometimes I wonder where I found him. Four years of drunken encounters throughout university we realised we’re pretty great for one another. Before I get too mushy, here are a few pointers for dating a girl that reads.

Long Walks in multiple bookstores

If she mentions she’d like to, ‘just pop into the book-store round the corner,’ you can be sure that you’re probably in for the long haul. Whether it’s picking out a book she’s already read and reciting review comments, or picking out the oldest looking books and marvelling at the embossed covers I’m sorry to say you’re not leaving any time soon. But you might be able to pick up a book or two whilst you’re at it.

Constant Reading Recommendations

 “What do you mean you haven’t read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath? It’s a stunning prose, studded with painful and evocative moments in the life of one struggling to overcome crippling depression. It’s a classic. You know, you should read it, you’ll like it I think.’

If you date a girl that reads this is likely to be a common occurrence. We just want to share books with people we think are pretty great, and you just happen to be one of them.

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No reply?

This is one doesn’t happen to me quite so often due to my escalating addiction to twitter, but there are days where I turn my phone onto aeroplane mode and just switch to book mode. It is so freeing just to turn off from the world, and I know it might feel like your SO has forgotten you but really an author has just captured their heart for an hour or two. Additionally, book time is a thing and you should totally respect it. Sometimes we just need a while to get our teeth stuck into a novel and wile away a couple of hours. #sorrynotsorry

Bookish Discussions

Blogging although very much a conversational thing is also often a little one-side so we like to make bookish conversation and you will most probably be our first call. Yes we’ll babble on for a while but sharing something so important to us is kind of special. You might even be able to pass on some bookish wisdom. I am now a proud reader of Haruki Murakami an author Tom thought I should read waaaay before we finally started dating. I now plan to read a lot more, because the writing is effortless.

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Meet the Bookshelf             

 Almost as terrifying as meeting the parents; seeing you SO’s bookshelf for the first time can be an intriguing moment. Whether it’s your pristine collection of Twilight books, or his signed autobiographies from James May, there could be an awkward moment or two. It’s often something you’ll giggle about and you never know you might find something you didn’t know was worth reading.

 If you are helping her move it will be absolute hell

As my parents will justify, moving a pile of boxes stacked with books will always be a bit of a bugger. Knees bent, back straight; it’s all part of the job. These books however hold more than just a couple of back-breaking missions to and from the car to the next house. They hold stories of passionate love, characters that have moved her to tears and stories that will stay with her forever. It’s worth it for those couple of hours days of pain.

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Books will always come first

For us readers foremost books come first. We have a passion, a love, an obsession you might say with pen and paper and although it may mean sometimes we disappear from reality for a while you are the one that we come back to and remember that reality is in fact okay and that there is a fairy-tale in real life too.

Sometimes I can surprise myself with how gushy I can be. As always anything to add, comment, share, or criticise leave it down in the comments or tweet me @littlebookblog1. Ciou.

BOUT OF BOOKS 2K15

 Bout of Books 14

I thought it was time to finally declare that I, Lizzy at MLBB will this year be participating in the Bout of Books read-a-thon. I’ve wanted to do one of these for a while but I’m always a little late to the party. Not this timeee; if you want to join me in this bookish mission step forward and sign up on the Bout of Books blog!

annnnd for those that don’t know what Bout of Books is… here you go:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I’m not quite sure how many books I will get completed but it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Progress:

Monday

Books Read: 0

Pages Read: 105

Total Read: 105

Minutes Read: Lots of little bits so I’m not too sure.

Notes: I participated in the Fictional World Travel Challenge and I’m currently reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott which I am really enjoying.

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Tuesday

Books Read: 0

Pages Read: 67

Total Read: 172

Minutes Read: I forgot to time this as before 

Notes: Ended up going for a raucous night out with the lovely people I call my friends up in SOT so I failed a little on the reading count. If I finish Little Women and get more stuck into 1Q84 I’ll be a happy bunny.

Progress:

Wednesday

Books Read: 0

Pages Read: 145

Total Read: 317

Minutes Read: Couple of hours

Notes: Feeling much better about the challenge as of today although still have lots to get read. I’m reallly enjoying little women but I understand totally why I struggled so much with it as a younger reader. An evening in with T I didn’t get quite as much done as I wanted but hopefully Thursday we get a bit more done!

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Progress:

Thursday

Books Read: 0

Pages Read: 655 (325)

Total Read: 642

Minutes Read: A few hours 

Notes: I still haven’t finished a book because I switched and instead read The Death of Danny Daggers by author Haydn Wilks (@haydnwilks.) I’m really enjoying Little Women but it is a bit full on and I fancied something a bit lighter in terms of the language used. However, because TDODD it’s an ARC and a PDF copy the writing seems to be super big so although I did read 655 pages, I’m not sure this is a fair showing of how many pages so I’ve divided it by two. Which brings my total so far to 655 #holla.

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Progress:

Friday

Books Read: 2

Pages Read: 330

Total Read: 972

Minutes Read: A few hours 

Notes: Today I finished reading The Death of Danny Daggers by author I Haydn Wilks (@haydnwilks.) I’m really just got into it, got my head down and polished it off. Brilliant book with some superb writing, characters and a really gritty feel. I also finished Little Women, I think I was in such a daze reading it that I didn’t realise I had only one chapter to go, so on the way home to Milton Keynes I finished it off. Pretty perfect.

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Progress:

Saturday

Books Read: 2

Pages Read: 170

Total Read: 1142

Minutes Read: An hour or so

Notes: Apologies for the lack of updates over the weekend. I was at home for the weekend celebrating my sisters birthday and I just didn’t have a minute to get this updated. I didn’t have a lot of time for reading but I started reading ‘What Milo Saw’ by Virginia Macgregor. It’s beautiful so far.

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Progress:

Sunday

Books Read: 3

Pages Read: 249 

Total Read: 1391

Minutes Read: Just over two hours

Notes: After a busy weekend, T and I travelled home for a good rest and although I was so very tired I just about managed to polish off the last of What Milo Saw, and I was so close to tears. I need to write the review up today before I forget how beautiful it all was but yes, three books, read lots more than I thought and I’m tempted to write a close up piece to this challenge. Maybe, we’ll see.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books that celebrate diversity/diverse characters

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Helllllo readers and happy Tuesday; this week is already dragging as it always does but this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a little special and that’s because it’s a list that “Celebrates Diversity/Diverse Characters.” I’ve picked a number of books that touch on the subject and a couple I’m thinking of reading in the next coming months.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon.

This is a wonderful tale that follows fifteen-year-old Christopher who is trying to solve the mysterious death of a neighbourhood dog all the while exploring his struggle with Autism.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

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This book looks at Stephen who is grappling with two traumatic experiences from his past that have caused him to struggle with depression and PTSD.  A stunning tale of recovery and acceptance.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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This book, narrated through the eyes of Pat Peoples, a former history teacher who has moved back to his childhood home in Collingswood, after spending a considerable amount of time in a psychiatric hospital. The book documents his life on the outside and his difficulty to understand the break-down of his marriage. A wonderfully told tale and one I very much enjoyed.

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

As a younger reader I adored this series of books and the diversity elements it manages to coerce into the book. The author flips race discrimination on its head and instead we see a dystopian society, where instead we see that white people face prejudice. A stunning tale.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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One of my most recently read books I adored this tale. The novel, set in the Deep South during the 30’s and tells the story of a lawyer who defends a black man charged with rape, but told through the eyes of his daughter Scout. An intriguing tale and one I think everyone should read.

Dirty Beautiful Words by Brooklyn Brayl

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This wonderfully written book is a collection of poems that look at the transitioning period for a trans-woman and the difficulties and struggles that happen during this time; both mentally and physically. I have never read anything like this book before and I am so happy that Kris forwarded on the release for me to take a peak because I have wanted to read a book looking at the transgender community and I haven’t found anything quite as beautiful and moving as this.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Cath is a character I really relate to at times; her struggle with social anxiety as an extrovert is beautifully written and I thought this book was brilliantly devised and written. Definitely worth a read.

Every Day by David Levithan

So here starts the books that I really want to read. I’ve seen this doing the rounds on wordpress and as far as I can tell this book questions how to define love and the ways in which we define love whether it is straight (I openly dislike that word) homosexual, bisexual or transsexual. It seems like an intriguing read.

Made You Up by Francessa Zappia

I saw a review of this book on a blog on my wordpress reader and thought it sounded like something that could be quite educational. The main character has schizophrenia and has trouble distinguishing between what is a hallucination and what is reality.

Paperweight by Meg Haston 

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Finally I have picked Paperweight by Meg Haston which features Stevie who suffers from an eating disorder which causes her to think about ending her life. I think this could be an utterly heart-breaking read but one that sounds fascinating.

Ten books that focus on diversity although I struggled collating the list as a whole. I need to read more books that focus on mental health/race/diversity as a subject I think because there are so many more books out there that do just that. As always comment, queries, criticisms pop them in the comments box belowww.

Mildred’s Resistance (The Network Series #3) by Katie Cross

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*Eeeee* such a truly special review for you today. Katie Cross has been an author that I have treasured working with over the past two years. Her constant jubilance and her flawless way with words is one that is rarely matched in her genre of choice. I say this a lot, fantasy books are not my thing, really. HP = yes, everything else = mainly no, but she is one of the few authors that when she emails me I think gah bloody yes, send it over now goddamn it. I will calm down, but this will be another review whether I sing praises for this stunning author. Hands down brilliance.

Absolute Power Corrupts Even the Best of Friends.

Mildred Graeme is a witch that knows what it’s like to fail. She loathes small talk, struggles with magic, and grew up wretchedly poor. What’s easy for her best friend Evelyn, a wealthy, powerful socialite, is difficult for Mildred.

The two lifelong friends reunite at Chatham Castle where they fight together for the dream of a better world. Mildred wants to save the Network from political elitism, while Evelyn encourages it. When Evelyn gains power and threatens to obliterate the Network, Mildred realizes that she must overcome her fear of failure to save the lives of those she loves, even if it means betraying her best friend.

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I guess the first thing to add is that, Mildred’s Resistance is a prequel to the well-loved Network Series and immediately it is a brilliant, can’t-put-it-down style novel. Prequel’s can sometimes feel a little, shoved in? As though the author suddenly realises that we need some more back-story to create more of a story in the present, but here it honestly feels not only pivotal to the writing of the coming novel(s,) but well thought-out and constructed. I don’t want to give spoilers which is always a little difficult when you get quite far into a series, but the story follows the back-story of High Priestess Mildred Graeme. As readers we get to experience her growing up, the struggles she overcomes, especially her heart-breaking family tale and the difficulties with her friends Evelyn and Stella.

The book in total covers thirty or so years so there is a lot of character profiling, inter-weaving character stories and relationships and the roles of the girls in the Central Network but Cross appears to handle it effortlessly. The book does focus at lot on Mildred, I mean it’s her book and I adored watching her transformation that isn’t so easily seen in the later books. I also thought the change in POV (we switch from first to third) was brilliantly done. It’s not such an easy thing and can sometimes feel a little rocky (I find authors tend to prefer and stick with one) but the new way of writing really suits the toying and froying of the book and the jumps in time a lot better so spot on Katie.

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As always, Katie packs a punch in terms of her characters and manages to bring depth to every single one that we meet. Mildred I thought was given so much complexity and wisdom (as she is in the later books) it often felt like she could step out of the pages and tell me the story herself. Not every author can do that and not every author can hold my attention so deeply. This did and for me it’s a big compliment to Katie. I thought the way that Katie dealt with the relationships between the girls (especially Mildred and Evelyn) was pulled apart and explored really well as to bring the characters to life a little more.

The writing once again is strong and evocative, Katie brings the fantasy world to life easily and with style, this paragraph I thought was particularly poignant.

“The smell of Piccadilly Pub’s famous pumpkin soup wafted from the ovens in the back. She ignored the heady scent and kept her eyes on the close, wintry streets of Chatham City. A queue of witches bundled up against the cold loitered near the little trinket shop across the street, where the slow accumulation of dirt stained the brick, and the cobblestone street had worn smooth. She tilted her head to see the sky, but the close buildings admitted only a grimy light. Still, downtown Chatham City was a charming place.”

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I guess the only critique I can really make is stepping back in time although tells us a lot about the characters the story doesn’t feel like it’s moved forward so for those wanting to know what’s going to happen next. But it needs it, not only to setup the first two books but also to give an inkling as to what is going to happen in the next book ‘The High Priest’s Daughter which will be out in September 2015! *Squeals.* Additionally, for me, the magic involved isn’t too overwhelming, it instead is an addition to the story and it flavours it rather than taking centre stage which I liked because it focuses more on our characters but if you’re looking for punchy magic sequences it’s not so much about that.

Overall, this is a simply wonderful book full of sublime characters, a strong plot and premise, yes a prequel but one that focuses on the points it needs to make to give us the answers we’ve been waiting for. I would 100% recommend this book, and Katie’s entire series of book if I’m completely honest. These reviews sound like broken records but they are truly and honestly worth a read. I promise you.

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A thank you from mylittlebookblog

So, it’s Sunday and the end of this celebration of mylittlebookbookblog. I’m going to keep it short because I’ve waffled enough this week.

I’ve learnt a lot blogging and I’ve learn a lot about myself in doing so and to be honest with you, I think that this blog has ultimately saved me from a number of cripplingly scary moments. My life right now is a little in limbo and it’s terrifying. I’m not sure what I want to do let alone where I want to be and in the last ten months I’ve seen the worst of myself and the panic that comes from graduating and feeling a little lost. But this blog has brought out the best of me. 

I have felt so wonderfully supported and this blog has been a life saver and I just wanted to really say thank you. From my mushy emotional and slightly whimsical heart. Because you are the best people that I could have ever wished for. All the authors, the bloggers, the tweeters, the likers the commenters and the emailers (these are not words) but all of you. Thank you. Thank you so much and here’s to another year of this pretty goddamn wonderful tiny space of the internet that I have found I’m able to call home.

 4THBLVDKICKS