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!

My top 5 dream author collaborations

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I’m not a massive fan of books where the writers collaborate but I have a couple of ideas of authors that could be a DREAM TEAM! Here are my top 5 dream collaborations:

1.JK Rowling and Rick Riordan

Why?: I think their imaginations are on par with each other and together they could create such a vivid and intense, unique world that could be the next global phenomenon. Plus they both have a knack at extending a story over several books..and who doesn’t love having loads of books in one series to read?

2.Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan

Why?:They both write such three dimensional characters with so many levels to them and as far as I can tell, their characters are never alike book by book. They both write in a very poetic and poignant, beautiful way which I feel would be even more amazing if they collaborated with each other.

3.Rainbow Rowell and John Green

Why?: CAN YOU IMAGINE THE FREAKING FEELS?! I actually think if they were to collaborate, there would be a dangerously high level of feels, sky rocketing and taking over the world. They are both such brilliant YA contemporary authors who could do so much good together. They are both beautiful writers and create great stories with amazing character development. THIS IS ALL I ASK FOR. PLEASEEE HAPPEN!

4.Daniel Handler and John Green

Why?: WE ALL KNOW I LOVE CONTEMPORARY. WE ALL KNOW I LOVE JOHN GREEN AND DANIEL HANDLER. WE ALL KNOW HOW THEY ROCK AT CONTEMPORARY YA FICTION. THEREFORE, WE ALL KNOW THEY COULD KICK BOOK ASS IF THEY TEAMED UP!

5.Rainbow Rowell and Sophie Kinsella

Why?: I feel that if these two wrote a book together, it’d be the funniest and sweetest and happiest book of all time. Combining Kinsella’s hilarious but simpler writing with Rowell’s beautiful and flowing writing style we could have the ultimate chick lit read. Kinsella would ensure no heartbreaking endings and a never-ending laugh fest, where Rowell would give us sentences that make us think “whoah, deep”.

There’s my five dream collaborations guys and I hope you enjoyed this! Let me know what collaborations you’d love to see.

My favourite authors

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As of right now, I have a few authors who are old favourites and a few new. So I’m going to talk about each author a little, why they’re my favourite and what books I’ve read by them. Here we go:

John Green: I don’t think I know a single person who does not like John Green. If not his books, his bubbly, nerdy personality on his YouTube channel. I discovered Vlogbrothers a long time ago and I went a long time without linking the books to his name (stupid, right?). I had been desperate to read his books for some time, but they weren’t as popular over in the UK and weren’t as easy to come buy. One evening, I was in Waterstones with a friend of mine as she wanted to get a present for her little cousin and then we were going to go have a meal, so I’d decided not to go and look at the books so I didn’t get sucked in. While I was waiting for her to pay, I saw it, The Fault in Our Stars sitting proudly on the “books we love” shelf and I actually screamed out loud. I bought it there and then. Since reading TFiOS I went on to read Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines and Let it Snow! John Green is one of the only authors where I have loved each and every book he’s done. There is not a single book by him that I don’t like and I find that a very rare occurrence. It’s the same with music, you don’t always like every song on a record, right? But with John Green, I love every single book. He’s contemporary fiction too, which is my favourite genre. His love stories aren’t unrealistic and they are so deep and real. I JUST LOVE HIM OKAY? SHUT UP.

Rainbow Rowell: This is a new entry. I read Eleanor and Park when BookTube and Goodreads exploded with it and I read it in one sitting (basically one, I got up once to get food and took it with me). I loved Eleanor and Park so much that it actually stopped me from reading for at least a week or two after, as every time I tried to read something I would just be thinking “this is nowhere near as good as Eleanor and Park”. At the end of 2013, literally in the last day or two I picked up Fangirl and IT BLEW MY BRAINS OUT. It took my heart and played with it and messed with my head (in a brilliant way). I loved this book just as much, if not more than E+P. I am now reading Attachments by Rowell and I love it. It is funny, the formatting is so different to what I normally read and it’ s just another great read. I love the depth Rowell gives to each character, her ability to make things funny, her ability to play with my heart strings,her way that she makes me feel every last feel until I am emotionally exhausted and the way in which none of her stories are alike. ROWELL YOU ROCK.

JK Rowling: I don’t think I need to say much more about that, do you? Harry Potter. Awesome. My first addiction. My childhood.

Enid Blyton: Again, a childhood favourite that I like to go back to. I broke my ankle when I was younger and I read a Famous Five book every day until I finished the series, and I reread them again. I loved Blyton’s stories so much and her imagination. just captured me. It got to the point where instead of wanting to go outside when my ankle was healed I wanted to stay in and just read.

Terry Pratchett: I love, love, LOVE Discworld. I find it so fascinating and I want to branch out of his Wee Free Men series and move onto some of the other Discworld books but I haven’t yet. Pratchett has created his own entire world for his characters and brought so many things to life. He has a vivid imagination and it just makes me happy to read him. He is intelligently funny and I love that about his books.

Hope you enjoyed this.

 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: A book review

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OH GOD GUYS

I had read about 180 pages of this in a few sittings. I picked it up about 11pm last right and then finished it early this morning….I could NOT put it down.

Rainbow Rowell seriously has magical in her brain. She can write anything and still make it beautiful. This was almost like a romantic comedy novel but it was still so lovely with beautiful writing. 

I’ll give you the Goodreads summary first before I get into anything:

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

First I’m going to talk about the format of this book. The story alternates chapter by chapter between Lincoln living his life and Beth and Jennifer conversing over email. It is so great having light, message esque chapters that you can fly through mixed with prose as well. I love when the conversations Beth and Jennifer have start to match up to Lincoln’s story. I thought the format of this book was really fun.

Next: the plot. I loved that this book revolved around one company at the new millennium time. I loved that the characters (particularly Jennifer and Beth) wrote insightfully as it was in their character as writer’s for the paper. I loved the fact that although they wrote in email format, they still wrote proper, constructed sentences and the plot was explained through them without it being totally obvious that it was for our benefit and not just part of their conversation.

In terms of writing, Rowell smashed it once again. She managed to get the funniness across without the book being simply written. I thought in particular that the dialogue between Beth and Jennifer was hilarious and I laughed out loud at points. Here are some examples of some of my favourite quotes:

“Love. Purpose. Those are things that you can’t plan for. Those are the things that just happen. And what if they don’t happen? Do you spend your whole life pining for them? Waiting to be happy?”

“There are moments when you can’t believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening.”

I love these quotes, but don’t let them fool you! It’s not all full of these meaningful and romantic lines. It is genuinely a light, funny, easy read. 

I’ll talk next about characters. The characters in this book are brilliant. Even though we don’t physically see Beth or Jennifer for a while and all we learn is learnt through their emails, we still learn so much about their characters. I found Beth and Jennifer really funny, realistic and witty. They were both going through  problems that can be related to such as relationship issues, fear of new things etc. I loved that they were so close to each other and would openly joke with each other about things. They were there for each other unconditionally through everything and we could see this from the small glimpse of our lives that we got. Although for the most of the book all we learn of them is through the emails, I feel like I knew both characters extremely well.

Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincoln. I LOVED LINCOLN. I thought he was so misguided and awkward and I loved that about him. I thought he was a very interesting character and seeing him go through changes and conflicts within himself and falling in love was just so great. Well done Rowell, another male character that I love to bits and want to date.

The ending was great and although you could argue it’s predictable…I DON’T CARE. I DON’T. I DON’T. I DON’T. I loved this book unreservedly and I think it shan’t be too long before I read it again.

Is 2014 going to be an awesome reading year? I THINK SO. 

Hope you guys enjoyed this review.