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!

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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!

My Perfect Book Tag:

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I thought this’d be fun way to show you guys a bit more about the type of books I like. I know this is a tag from YouTube but I thought it’d be fun! Let’s gooooo!

Genre:

1)      What genre or combination of genres is your perfect book?

It’d be YA contemporary.

Characters:

2)      Is your main character a girl or a boy and what is he or she like?

If I had to pick one gender I’d probably pick a girl main character, but honestly I love books like Eleanor and Park when there are girl and boy perspectives. I’d like my character to be smart and not whiney, one that isn’t too dramatic or sits around moping and waiting for things to happen to them. I’d like my character to be strong and funny.

3)      Is there a sidekick?

No. I’d rather have a split narrative and have a few main characters rather than one main character and his/her “homies”. Either that or I’d have the main character and her/his friend or partner..but no ‘sidekick’.

4)      Is your villain totally evil or in the grey?

I’d say in the grey because no character should be black or white. They should have many levels to them. I love books where I don’t necessarily like a character but I understand why they are the way they are and can still sympathise and love to hate them. I don’t think I’d necessarily need a villain in my contemporary novel but if I did, grey.

Romance:

5)      What is your ideal romantic interest?

I’d like my character to either already be in a good relationship, or on the verge of being in one. I don’t want a story of pursuing this super love. I think if the character is already in a relationship then it would give the book a more real aspect as most of the time romance doesn’t play out like the books. I do love a bit of cheese occasionally though.

6)      Love at first sight or slowly developed?

Slowly developed because it’s more realistic and for contemporary I think that makes more sense.

7)      Do they end up together at the end?

Maybe, but I’d prefer if the book ended with maybe one asking the other out and then leaving it before the first date so we have no idea how their relationship will go. No soppy speeches and no make out session.

Ending:

8)      Happy, sad or bittersweet ending?

Bittersweet. I get really upset when books are left at a really sad ending. That being said it doesn’t make them bad but I prefer for books to keep me in good spirit, so a bit of something sad and a bit of something happy is the perfect blend for me.

9)      Cliffhanger or neat and tidy?

NEAT AND FREAKING TIDY. I absolutely hate cliff hangers. I’d prefer to be put out of my misery if there is a bad ending or be happily finished. However if it is a series I don’t mind cliff hangers as much.

Lastly:

10)   Does your perfect book already exist?

Kind of. I guess it’s a combination of Eleanor and Park, Wonder and Why We Broke Up. It still isn’t completely perfect. The ending of Eleanor and Park is kind of how I’d like my book to end, Why We Broke Up doesn’t have any cheesy romance and Wonder is just so happy and sweet and genuine.

11)   If no, what author would you like to write your perfect book?

I said kind of, so I’m answering this. I’d say either Rainbow Rowell or John Green..or maybe even a team effort, Rowell doing the girl’s P.O.V and Green doing the guy’s.

TAG: Questions about books

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Thought I’d do a book tag that I saw floating around, although I have no idea who created it.  So, here we go!

1) What is your favourite book?

I genuinely do not have one favourite book, I have many. Instead of one favourite I will pick 3. The first would be Wonder by RJ Palacio, second would be Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and third would be Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

2) Who is your favourite author?

I would say John Green, purely because I have all of his books (bar Will Grayson Will Grayson) and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all. Honourable mention would go to either JK Rowling or Enid Blyton (my childhood favourite).

3) What genre do you prefer?

I would say contemporary YA fiction. I love dystopians but I have to be in the mood for them. Contemporary fiction is my favourite purely because it is so accessible and more realistic.

4) What is your favourite book series?

The Harry Potter series is an obvious favourite, as a child I loved The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. I am branching out into more series now and although I haven’t finished the series, I love the Divergent series.

5) What book did you hate reading in school?

The only book I ever hated in school was Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I found it the most dreary and savage story.

6) What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

7) Bookstore or library?

Bookstore. Library books kind of creep me out because you’ve no idea where they’ve been. Plus, I like to take my time with books and not worry about a deadline.

8)  How many books do you own? 

If we’re including eBooks, maybe 150-200?

9) Do you read before bed?

Sometimes. I like to read earlier in the day however as if I read before bed I end up either staying up all night or having to reread what I read because I was too sleepy.

10) What is your most comfortable reading position?

For me, I like to read on my side in my bed with my head on pillows, or reclined on the sofa sitting on my side.

11) What is the most recent book you’ve read?

Once An Addict by Barry Woodward.

12) What quote from any book will you never forget?

” “Come, Miss Jane, don’t cry” said Bessie as she finished. She might as well have said to the fire, “don’t burn!”

13) Science fiction or fantasy?

Fantasy.

14) What book do you regret reading?

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen.

15) How large is your bookshelf?

There are two in the house which are medium sized I guess but I use my kindle for space.

16)  On average how many books do you read  per year? 

30-40 roughly.

17) What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

Any of the Harry Potter novels. I especially love rereading the first one.

18) Do you like to read outside?

If the weather isn’t too hot or too cold then yes.

19) What’s the biggest lesson you have learned from a book?

I’ve got a few: you are not alone, the impossible can actually be possible and first impressions are not always correct.

20) Of the past year, What is the greatest book you have read?

Again, I can’t just pick one. I have three. I pick Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler.

I hope that was relatively interesting! Please do this tag:-)