5 Historical Fiction Books!

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This post is inspired by PeruseProject on YouTube who just posted a video about her top 5 historical fiction reads, so I thought I’d do the same! Keep in mind that these are not all historically accurate, but I love them anyways. Also, please note that some of these are more recent historical fiction, in the more recent decades. I’ll be including a basic summary and also the reasons I enjoyed these books.

1. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.

This book was so interesting to read. I loved that it was focusing on fighting for the throne but wasn’t a fantastical novel like Game of Thrones. It follows one side and one family’s fight for the throne in England. I loved the time period that this was set in and found it captivating and quite an easy read, although keeping track of all the people’s names was quite intense!

2. War Crimes for the Home by Liz Jensen

`You know what they say about English girls’ knickers,’ ran the wartime joke, `One Yank and they’re off.’ When Gloria met Ron, he was an American pilot who thought nothing of getting hit by shrapnel in the cockpit. She was working in a munitions factory in Bristol during the Blitz, but still found time to grab what she wanted. Ciggies. Sex. American soldiers. But war has an effect on people. Gloria did all sorts of things she wouldn’t normally do – evil things, some of them – because she might be dead tomorrow. Or someone might. Now, fifty years on, it’s payback time. In her old folks’ home, Gloria is forced to remember the real truth about her and Ron, and confront the secret at the heart of her dramatic home front story. In a gripping, vibrant evocation of wartime Britain, Liz Jensen explores the dark impulses of women whose war crimes are committed on the home front, in the name of sex, survival, greed, and love .

This book made me feel all the feelings. It was something I was wary of picking up as I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, but it was so funny. It depicts wartime life on the home front really well. I loved the split between Gloria’s time during the war working in a munitions factory and her time as an old woman. I loved the fact that Gloria was not depicted as some lovesick, wishy washy woman trying to survive through the war. She was such a 3-D character who made me laugh out loud and cry.

3. Camille by Tess Oliver

At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study.

Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. Yet beneath the irresistible exterior, Nathaniel is transforming into a flesh-tearing monster, and as each experiment fails, Camille loses another inch of her soul to him. In a month’s time, she must face the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart

I found this book for free on the kindle store and whizzed through it. I always have an idea in the back of my head where I assume because a book is free it’s going to potentially have a pretty thin plot, 2-D characters and not be that great. I was so wrong! This book was so captivating. It takes place in the early 1900s and it depicts that time extremely well. Although there is the fantasy element to this book, it is still excellent in
the depiction of destitute London at the time. Excellent and a quick read.

4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

THE FEELS IN THIS BOOK ARE SO INTENSE. I was torn as to whether to include this one, as although it is set in 1986, it doesn’t focus on the time, it is more the plot. However, there are some great little mentions of objects and trends evocative of the 80s era. This is one of my favourite books of all time and I defy anyone to read it and not be moved.

5. Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy

Evacuated from Blitz-battered London, shy and genteel Elizabeth White is sent to stay with the boisterous O’Connors in Kilgarret, Ireland. It is the beginning of an unshakeable bond between Elizabeth and Aisling O’Connor, a friendship which will endure through twenty turbulent years of change and chaos, joy and sorrow, soaring dreams and searing betrayals..

I feel like this book was a result of my mother’s influence. I loved the story this book depicts and again I thought it did an excellent job of conveying what Britain was like in WW2.

I hope you guys enjoyed that:) I am hoping to delve into some more historical fiction as soon as I can!

Reading Slumps: A Discussion

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I’m in a bit of a reading funk, I haven’t had very much in the past week and I’ve quite frankly not had very much time.

The question for me is this: is that a bad thing? I’d have to answer no. I have read 6 books this month, a massive success in my opinion and I’m kind of at the point where I need a break. Reading is one of the things I love to do more than anything in the world and so I don’t want to make myself resent it by pushing myself to read and read and read. It’s the same with drawing, I consider myself quite good at art and so after having spent maybe 3 or so weeks on a project I like to leave it a while before I start something else. It continues to keep it as a hobby I find great pleasure in. I feel personally, that if I was pushing myself to read and read when I wasn’t in the mood, it’d start to feel like a chore.

Currently, I’m reading Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut and although I am thoroughly enjoying it, I am having a hard time a) having time to read and b) being motivated to do so. I decided that I’m going to attempt a chapter or so every evening or a minimum of twenty-ish pages. If I do finish it by the end of the month, YAY! If not, that’s okay too.

What are your thoughts on reading slumps? Do you think there’s anything wrong with taking reading breaks?

My top 5 fictional crushes

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You all know what I’m talking about. We’ve all read a book and fallen in love with a character. We’ve all become emotionally attached to a character and wished they were a real person so you could be with them. Don’t lie to me, I know you have. Today I’m going to list my top 5 fictional crushes. These will be going in order from 5 to my number 1….hope you enjoy!

5. Tobias (Four) from Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I have only read the first book in this series but I fell in love with Four extremely quickly. He was just so brave and just sweet and I just…I can’t even.

4. Etienne St Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Okay, first…he’s english. Secondly, he’s gorgeous. Thirdly, he’s the sweetest and funniest guy and fourthly….hell, do I even need to go on?

3. Lincoln from Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Not only is he fit, he is the sweetest and most socially awkward guy ever. He is basically me but actually good looking. I love his little nerdy things and the fact he is quite awkward around girls etc. and how he thinks about Beth regardless of her looks etc. LINCOLN BE MINE.

2. Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

It was really hard not to put Mr Rochester at the top because I freaking loved him. I love how he was kind of blunt but flirtatious with Jane and after seeing the movie and seeing him be played by Michael Fassbender I just wanted to marry him.

1. Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I think we all knew he was going to be number one. I love Levi. Throughout Fangirl, even when he wasn’t as big of a character at first I still just loved him from the word go. He’s very much like me in that he likes to be nice to people and to make them laugh. Also, he freaking works at Starbucks aka my home away from home. I love how he was described as tall as I myself am quite tall and oh my god I just squealed whenever he said anything. I’D READ TO YOU LEVI.

So those are my top 5 fictional crushes. They overload my head with feels. I hope you enjoyed this and please leave your fictional crushes in the comments!

Basically bookish scenarios: A book tag

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I thought I’d create my own book tag to see how people like it. I’m going to answer the questions as well. Basically, there will be a list of scenarios where you get to choose aspects from books to fit the scenario. Okay? LETS GO:

Scenario 1:

You are on a car ride across the country with your companion, and with ten or so hours left of your journey, you break down on a discrete, country road where cars pass few and far between. Your signal is terrible so the odds are that you are going to be stuck there for the foreseeable future. Which character would you have as your companion for the trip and why?

I’d pick: Levi from Fangirl, purely because he would stay in a positive mood while I was freaking out. He would keep me entertained while we waited and would be able to charm some people into giving us a lift to wherever we needed to go. Plus, I love him so….

Scenario 2:

It’s your birthday and you are trying to decide what you want for gifts. You’re then told that for your birthday, for the first and last time ever, you can pick ANYTHING you want, no matter how impossible or how strange an object. What crazy thing from a book would you ask for?

I’d pick: Hermione’s Time Turner from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban because I would love to go back in time to fix mistakes, or simply so that I can read more books in a month!

Scenario 3:

Today’s the big day. You’re taking your significant other home to meet your parents. Which fictional adults or couple will be waiting to greet you when you take your partner home?

I’d pick: Mr and Mrs Weasley from Harry Potter because they are the most genuinely nice people ever, Mrs Weasley would make an excellent dinner and Mr Weasley would spend the evening discussing muggle objects with my partner, making him feel accepted.

Scenario 4:

You wake up an hour late, and you’re in a mad rush to get to school/work. Just as you leave the house you hear on the radio that there is an insane traffic jam, which is only going to make you later. If you could pick any other method of fictional transportation, what would it be?

I’d pick: Hagrid’s flying motorbike, because then when I land it’ll look normal in the car park. Plus, I can drive it home!

Scenario 5:

You’re excited about coming back home from your school for the holidays, but which fictional boarding school have you just returned from?

I’d pick: The American school in Paris from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Why? Because I’d be living in Paris. Paris. I’d be able to go for walks along the Seine and go up The Eifel Tower whenever I felt like it and sit in cute little coffee shops. And…DISNEYLAND.

Scenario 6:

It’s bring your pet to school day. What is your pet of choice?

I’d pick: Manshee from The Knife of Never Letting Go because talking dogs are cool, and he’s so annoying, but I know I’d love him.

Scenario 7:

You have won the chance to get a makeover. You are being given the opportunity to reinvent your style and get spoiled with clothes, makeup, the works in order to replicate the style of a fictional character. Who would you replicate?

I’d pick: Cather from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because she wears jeans and t-shirts, and you can never have enough of those. SO DAMN COMFY. I also love her effortless hair and how she barely wears makeup, so probably Cather.

Scenario 8:

You are given the opportunity to go on a holiday or visit any fictional world or place from a book that you want. You could go to Hogsmeade or even Narnia. Where would you go and why?

I’d pick: I’d go to Amsterdam to stay in the Hotel Filosoof. Why? The description of Amsterdam in TFiOS makes it sound like such a lovely place to be.

Scenario 9:

You have entered a talent show at your school and are up against some of the most talented people you know. You are not worried because you have the coolest talent there, one that only exists in fiction, what is your talent?

I’d pick: The ability to use transfiguration like in Harry Potter, because let’s face it, how cool would it be to turn the talent show trophy into a snail?

Scenario 10:

You are studying in your school library and suddenly, a fight breaks out between two guys across the room. People run up to you and tell you that they’re fighting over you and upon getting a closer look you realise who they are. What love triangle are you caught up in? Either pick a famous love triangle or two characters you’d want to fight over you.

I’d pick: I’d pick Levi from Fangirl and Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre because I’m in love with them both and I’ve no idea who I’d pick.

That’s the tag! I hope you guys enjoyed this and please complete it on your own blogs. Love you all!

Rat Catcher by Andy Diggle, illustrated by Victor Ibanez: A book review

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I’m sorry I didn’t post a daily post yesterday, I had a lot going on. Just thought I’d apologise first!

Today I’m doing a book review of the graphic novel Rat Catcher. I got this book from the library in an attempt to mix up my reading experience. I’ll first give the summary before talking in depth about what I thought:

According to underworld legend, the Rat Catcher is a peerless assassin who silences mob informants. There’s just one problem – he doesn’t exist. At least, not according to the Federal Agents who oversee the Witness Protection Program.

But now there’s a pile of dead bodies in a burning safe-house outside El Paso. The Rat Catcher has finally slipped up, and a washed-up FBI agent has one last chance to hunt him down before he disappears again forever. But as the two men spiral in towards each other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, each of them hides a deadly secret from the other- a secret that could destroy them both…

Exciting right? The blurb of this book sold the book to me as it was completely out of my comfort zone in reading, but the type of thing I love to watch on TV. I picked this up and read it in about an hour, tops. It was really great.

The plot was intriguing and engaging, I loved the dialogue and the way it flowed throughout the book and fit with the format of the book (i.e. picture form). I thought that it was constantly thrilling and it kept me entertained. It was an extremely quick read also and boosted me up in my book count while giving me a break from heavy reading.

The artwork in this book is brilliant. Very detailed, yet not too realistic. I loved the consistent detail in all drawings and I found the pictures interesting to look at. I think this book read excellently and I could imagine it being adapted into a good movie.

However, I did have some problems with this book as at times I found the plot slightly confusing, and as it was all dialogue and no prose I felt about lost and out of my ordinary. I felt that the ending was not as exciting as it could have been, in my opinion.

However, with that being said I did thoroughly enjoy this quick little read and would recommend it to someone looking to branch out into graphic novels and someone who is interested in the crime and thriller and action genres.

3 stars out of 5 from me!