Monday, 14 December 2015

October / November Reading Wrap Up

I feel like I need to start with an apology. I've been MIA for a while now and haven't managed to get much posted to you guys in the last month or so. Sorry about that! I'm going to try to make it up to you now by giving you my two missing wrap-ups for the last couple of months, all tied together in this huge wrap-up post for October AND November!!!

 Here goes...

Let's start with October. So, I managed to get through a total of 7 books in October, which, while isn't amazing, is still pretty decent.
Here are the October books!!
I didn't manage to get through quite as many books as I had initially hoped in October, but  it still wasn't too bad! In total, I read 3206, which averages out to 103 pages per day, so it's not terrible and is still over my daily target.
I only actually read three new books this month; I have already read the whole of The Infernal Devices trilogy and I have also already read Fangirl before, but I still really enjoyed rereading them all, and, to be honest, I seemed to enjoy them even more than when I read them before!

Right, before I get into some mini-reviews, let's go to November.

As many of you will be aware, November is Mockingjay month. For the past three Novembers, I've always marathoned The Hunger Games trilogy, so this November was no different!! It was tough-and-go to whether I would actually make it all the way through Mockingjay before watching Part 2 on its opening night, however I somehow managed to read the whole of the book in under 3 and a half hours, which I think is definitely some kind of an achievement!!

Anyway, here are my November books...
So, that's still only a total of 7 books - not my best, I must say - but it's still an alright number, and the HUGE number of pages in Winter has made it so that my page number count-up for November is 3291, averaging out at 110 pages per day, which is a good number!
Again, I only actually read three new books this month, having read Eleanor & Park before, and having read The Hunger Games trilogy more times than I'd care to admit! So, my new books were Landline, Red Queen and Winter. I will be writing about Winter in a post of its own since it was so incredible, so stick around for that!!

Anyway, let's go talk about some books!!!

The Game of Love and Death really blew me away as a book. To tell the truth, I didn't actually read the blurb of this book before I bought it; the cover alone sold it for me - isn't it gorgeous? But even after reading the blurb, I went into it having no idea what it would be about, and I don't think I came out of it much-the-wiser! But, it was a completely original story and the writing was just spectacular.

The basic premise for this story is that Love and Death are people and play their game with humans. They each pick a player, destined to fall in love with each other. The rules are set like this; if love wins the game, they can live. However, if their love is not strong enough, death will win and both players will join her.
There have been many famous players; Antony and Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Paris, Romeo and Juliette. Clearly, Love has never won the game.
Henry, a wealthy adoptive with a fancy scholarship, and Flora, an African-American who sings for money in jazz clubs, are the new players. Set in the Great Depression in America, they're not the most likely couple, but that doesn't mean that Love won't fight for them.

Despite this being quite a complicated plotline, I felt that it really was a gorgeous story and wasn't your everyday romance novel. I would recommend this to so many people. Fans of romance and historical fiction would love this book, I think, but I feel that everyone should give it a try! I gave it 4 stars overall and would love to read it again sometime.

Here's another book that drew me in by its beautiful cover. I'm not really too sure how to describe Love Letters to the Dead without giving too much away, but I did think it was very similar to another of my favourite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Laurel is our main character in Love Letters. Introverted and still mourning over the death of her sister, she writes a letter for a school assignment. The letter is to Kurt Cobain. Like her sister, he died young, so Laurel thinks he'll understand her. Soon, the letter becomes bigger than just a school assignment and Laurel is writing letters to Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, Judy Garland and Janis Joplin. She tells them everything she can't talk about - about her school, her friends, falling in love... and her sister, May. However, as she explores her past with her sister, she begins to remember.
Things are, and never were, all they seem.

I did actually really enjoy this book. I ended up giving it 4 stars overall, and while it really did strongly remind me of Perks, there were still a lot of differences and I think this book will be able to stand on its own without just being a complete copy of Perks. It was quite an emotional and touching book, with beautiful writing at times. I would recommend this to people with an open mind, who would be willing to read to the end despite a few dull sections near the beginning. I wouldn't recommend this book to younger people or anyone who doesn't like to read about sensitive topics. This was a great and touching book but may be deemed as inappropriate for some people depending on maturity levels.

Landline was another book with a slightly strange concept. I wasn't too sure whether it would be my kind of book, but I absolutely love Rainbow Rowell's writing and stories so I thought I'd better give it a go.

Georgie McCool knows that her marriage is in trouble. Things with Neal haven't been good for some time. She's been really busy at work and rarely has time for her husband or her children. Yes, of course she loves her husband still, and he loves her just as much, but maybe there's more to a marriage than love.
When Georgie's TV Show has some big and exciting news, it means more work and tighter deadlines, and also means that she'll have to stay in LA for Christmas instead of visiting her in-laws with Neal and the kids. And they're not happy about it.
As she watches the rest of her family drive away to the airport without her, Georgie thinks it's over. But that same night, Georgie finds a way to contact Neal in a way she never thought she could. Over her landline phone, she can talk to Neal, but it's not the Neal she knows. It's the Neal from the past; from her past.
Soon, an opportunity arises for Georgie to fix her marriage before it has even begun. But she faces the question of would Neal have been better off without her in his life. Only she can decide.

I really did enjoy this book. It took a while for me to get into as it was a little slow to begin with, but overall I found it to be a great read and gave it 4 stars. The writing, as always from Rainbow Rowell, was beautiful and entrancing and the plot, while a little confusing to begin with, was actually a lot of fun and really put me in a Christmassy mood! I would recommend it to fans of Rainbow's other books or anyone who enjoys a light-hearted contemporary read!

Red Queen really appealed to me as a book I would really enjoy reading. I don't read fantasy books often as they tend to take me double the time I would spend on books in other genres. Nevertheless, I was really taken in by the plot line and amazing reviews and talk about this book.

The world is divided by blood.
Red - the cheap, common and poverty-stricken 
Silver - the powerful, elitist warriors with incredible powers
Our leading lady, Mare, is a red, but finds her world is turned upside down when she becomes a servant to the people she despises the most. However, Mare soon realises that even though her blood is not Silver, she has her own power. A power so deadly it threatens to destroy the Silver control...

I enjoyed the concept of this book, I really did. It was a sort of cross between fantasy and dystopian. However, after reading this book, I came to realise that maybe I don't like the fantasy-writing-style as much as I had initially though. I really enjoyed this book at the start, but it did have the feel of loads of other book incorporated into one. I ended up giving Red Queen 3 stars in total, however I'm still including it in this wrap up because I don't believe it to be a bad book. The writing was great and the story line had parts that really captivated me. I just think that maybe fantasy in general isn't really my thing. I would, however, still recommend it to lovers of this genre because, as books go, this was a decent one.

Well, that's it for now! Hope you guys have had a good couple of months of reading too!!

I hope to be posting reviews a little more regularly now so I will be back for more as soon as I can!!

Much love

Charlotte  xxx

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