Book Review – My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih (ARC)

39346604Book: My Real Name is Hanna

Author: Tara Lynn Masih

Format: eBook

Rating: 4/5

Review: To begin with, I want to point out that this book was an eBook I received as an ARC from NetGalley for free, but all thoughts are still my own. The release date for this book is 15th of September 2018.

This book is about a young teenage girl named Hanna, who is a Jew, and it is a story about her and her family’s survival during the Holocaust. This is slightly different to what I’ve read before with Holocaust books, as this does not feature within a Nazi concentration camp. Her family and extended family are forced to hide in a forest and survive as well as they possibly can. It’s a beautiful story about family, friendship, strength and survival. I feel as if I learnt something when reading this book, and although the characters are fictional (minus Hitler), it is based on true stories of survival of such a horrific era in history.

It’s written from the first person perspective of Hanna, who is telling her story to her daughter. Because of it being written in the first person, we really get to know Hanna. We read her thoughts, feelings, memories and more. She’s a strong and intelligent girl who really helps her family during their time in hiding. I highly recommend this book, as it is well-written, educational and emotional. It’s a wonderful book.

-Laura

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Update

I’ve been gone a while and thought it would make sense to specify why and update you all on what will happen with this blog in the future.

Why I was gone:

I was gone because I’ve been focusing on other things. I enrolled in an open degree in photography at the end of January and since then photography in general has been my main focus, although I have still been reading a fair bit. Photography and life in general has been getting in the way, but I have been wanting to give this update and even post on here, but I’ve only kind of started trying to make some time for it.

What will happen with this blog:

I have some posts planned and do plan on trying to do some posts or book reviews at some point. Book hauls and Book goal updates will be coming out vaguely soon. I haven’t gotten any more arcs from netgalley as i need to read some more of the books I own myself and have also been using my local library more, but in terms of book reviews, I think I will do reviews on books that are either really good or quite bad, or just where I have a strong opinion. I’m not sure how often I will post but it’ll be as often as I can, and I’m also not sure if I’m going to post non-bookish things or not.

I hope this provides some sort of insight into what’s been going on and what’ll happen on here in the future and thank you for your understanding!

Christmas Book Haul 2017

Christmas has been and gone and now we’re firmly into January of 2018! To begin with, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great new year. I want to also mention that this post is not for bragging. I love watching book hauls and reading posts about them so I wanted to join in with what books I got for Christmas. Only a few of these were given on the day and the others were purchased with Christmas money. So I will separate this post into 2 sections.

The books I actually got for Christmas were ‘Star Wars Made Easy’ by DK, ‘Victoria & Albert: A Royal Love Affair’ by Daisy Goodwin & Sara Sheridan and ‘Victoria: A Life’ by A. N. Wilson. I have already read the book by Daisy Goodwin and Sara Sheridan and I gave it a full 5/5 stars.

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The other books I got for Christmas were purchased with money I received and are ‘Leia, Princess of Alderaan’ by Claudia Gray, ‘Victoria: The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen’ by Helen Rappaport and ‘Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’ by Oliver Bowden. The third being part of a series I am collecting, and the first 2 being ones I am desperate to read this year. Leia actually being on my list of 10 books to read this year!

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As you can probably tell, I’m very fond of the Victoria series on ITV at the moment, and have been trying to learn more about Queen Victoria, as I realised I didn’t know much about her before and I’ve always been keen on learning about the monarchy throughout history, such as I’ve been learning more about the Tudors too. What books did you get for Christmas? I’d love to know!

-Laura

Book Review – Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

34187776Book: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This is a book that was on my list of top 10 books to read this year and I decided I had to get round to it as quickly as possible. The book sticks with part of the film where the Beast gives Belle the library and he seems to be becoming happier. It’s about Belle finding a book she’s never seen in the library before and she’s able to go into it. She does, as it provides a sort of escape into a new world, it gives her a break from her life in the castle. It helps her discover who her friends really are and it makes her realise how much she cares for Mrs Potts, Chip and even the Beast himself. It also opens up her determination as she wants to understand this new world she’s discovered but also opens an inquisitive side to her as she discovers things that aren’t quite right with this new world and the whole story can get very tense in some places. Belle seems much more open to discussing her past with those who live in the castle and that moment where she does talk about her life before the castle is a really sweet moment. Going away from Belle and more onto the Beast, we see more of a transformation of the Beast. There are more humorous moments with him and we see how much he truly cares for Belle and that he cares more for Belle than he lets everyone see. In all, the book is really well written and interesting and is a wonderful addition to the story of Beauty and the Beast.

-Laura

Top 10 books I want to read in 2018

Like most book lovers, my tbr is huge, and there are always some books we want to read more than others on our tbr piles. So here are my top 10 books I want to read this year! Most of these I own but some I don’t yet but will do. This is in no particular order…

1. Still Me – Jojo Moyes

2. Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a Book – Jennifer Donnelly

3. Victoria: A Life – A.N Wilson

4. Leia, Princess of Alderaan – Claudia Gray

5. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco

6. Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance – Oliver Bowden (a reread because I want to finish the series)

7. Fallen – Lauren Kate (as I want to read the whole series)

8. Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII – David Starkey

9. Saucy Jack: The Elusive Ripper – Paul Woods & Gavin Baddeley

10. Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tails – Justin Richards

Those are my top 10 although I want to read so many more books than that. As you can tell I like history and I’m weirdly fascinated by Jack the Ripper (and love Victoria & the Tudors) and there are 2 series in particular that I do really want to complete. What books do you really want to read this year? Please let me know!

-Laura

Top 5 books of 2017

In 2017 I read 27 books, and my average rating for the year was 4.3/5 stars and I read some seriously incredible books. Here, I wanted to let you guys know my top 5 books of 2017. These are in no particular order, except number 5 was my favourite of the year! The list is summarised and below will be explanations with accompanying book covers.

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  4. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  5. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline:

12279616I read this book fairly early on in the year but I just found it really interesting. It takes place in the future and everyone pretty much lives their lives in this virtual world called the Oasis and they’re all involved in this contest. There is action and there’s friendship and it’s a seriously interesting book that I recommend to anyone, especially if you like more sci-fi, kinda techy books.

 

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn:

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This was a book I’d been meaning to read for ages and I’ve even done a full review of it and I found it to be incredible. It’s dual perspective and can be quite emotional and shocking in some places, it really messes with the reader. It can be a bit violent and there is some bad language so it’s definitelty not for younger readers but overall it was really interesting and enjoyable and again, it’s highly recommended.

 

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness:

6043848I’ve kind of included this to represent the entire trilogy. I’ve owned this trilogy for a while and just never got around to reading it (the 3rd book being over 600 pages was a tad intimidating) but once I found out that there’s gonna be a film in 2019 with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland in it, I got a bit excited and read the entire trilogy as quickly as possible. It’s an interesting concept of peoples thoughts always being able to be heard and it was also another very action-packed book and was really fun to read. I think pretty much everyone has read this at this point but in case you’re very late to it like I was, please do read it! You won’t regret it.

 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo:

34443972I love love love Wonder Woman! The film came out in 2017 as well so I got to watch that and I adored the film and knew I had to read this book too and it was sooooo good! It’s to do with teenage Diana Prince trying to help the human world because of this Warbringer, who she must either cure or kill to get rid of the curse. Diana is as lovely and wonderful and powerful as she was in the film and this is one of those books you need to read if you love Wonder Woman.

 

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher:

28585312This is actually the first book I read in 2017. At the end of 2016, Carrie unfortunately died due to a heart attack and as a fan of her as Princess Leia while growing up, I was very upset by her death. I loved her and Princess Leia and I really wanted to dedicate the beginning of the year to reading her autobiographical books. This was the first one I read, which was a late Christmas present from my father (a lot of her books sold out pretty much the minute she died, so getting this was a pain) and I took the time to read it and appreciate it. This book is more about her when she was first becoming Princess Leia and involves a lot of diary extracts and discusses the affair she had with her co-star and on-screen lover, Harrison Ford. This book was lovely and sad to read and it lead me on to reading Schockaholic and Wishful Drinking, both books I also adored.

 

So those are my top 5 for the year of 2017, let me know what your top 5 books were!

-Laura

Bookish goals for 2018

Happy new year everyone!! 2017 was an interesting year for reading. I succeeded with my goal of reading 20 books during the year despite doing my A-levels and I feel like I found some really interesting books to read. But with a new year there must be new goals, so… what are these goals I’ve decided to set for myself?

For a start my goal is 25 books. I will be doing open uni so that’ll take up a fair bit of time, but hopefully I’ll also have plenty of time to allow myself to read, which is why it’s low still, but a tiny bit higher than last year.

Within this goal of 25 books, I want to specifically read fiction books by Carrie Fisher. I read her memoir books last year and loved them (for those of you who don’t know, Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia and unfortunately passed away from a heart attack at the end of 2016) and I want to read her fiction books, of which there are 4. I do need to buy these books but I wanted to eventually anyway to complete the collection of her books.

Another bookish goal of mine is to read some classics, and I’m thinking of about 5. I didn’t really read many classics last year apart from for school, and I do enjoy them so I want to actually read some for my own enjoyment, and not have to analyse them or anything.

Another goal is to complete at least 3 series of books. I usually avoid them although owning a fair few unread or half read series, so I really need to get on with completing them.

And my final goal is to read at least 5 non-fiction books. I own books on Jack the Ripper & monarchs throughout history (eg. The Tudor’s and Queen Victoria), so I really want to get around to them to complete them and learn more about history.

So in summary my goals are:

1. Read 25 books

2. Read the fiction books by Carrie Fisher (4 books)

3. Read 5 classics

4. Complete 3 series

5. Read 5 non-fiction books

Please let me know your bookish goals for 2018 and I hope everyone has a fantastic year!

– Laura