Middlemarch: the Webseries and Novel

Hey everyone! I hope you’re doing well. Exams are really taking it out of me at the moment, to be honest, so I decided to do something fun which is just going to be lots of talking about a thing I’m into recently! And that’s the webseries (and also novel) Middlemarch.

I don’t normally read classic books, particularly ones that were written before the 20th century. In fact, the only other ones I can remember reading are a few Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I can name a few more books that might be considered ‘modern classics’ but in general I do stick to YA and comics.

My love for Les Miserables and Middlemarch have one a lot in common — and one big thing is that I was inspired to read both of them after become a fan of an adaptation. For Les Mis, as you might have guessed, this was the musical adaptation. I love musicals, and I love that musical a lot, but the book was a pretty different experience! In a good way. I don’t think I’d ever have had the motivation to continue reading through these (frankly rather long) books if I wasn’t already invested in seeing more of the characters. I usually fall in love with things for the characters, and that was no exception here.

I decided to read Middlemarch because I had begun watching the wonderful webseries adaptation, Middlemarch: The Series. It’s a super queer modern adaptation set in college which is told through vlogs. You can absolutely watch it without reading the book (as I did for about the first half) and I’d highly recommend it! It gives me SO MANY FEELINGS and it’s now complete if you don’t want to wait around for updates. You can find it here and watch the trailer below.

Having previous knowledge of an adaptation also helps me to get a better understanding of the overall plot and characters. It allows me to pick up on more subtle characterisations which I might have missed or to go ‘ohh, I see which bit this is!’ when I realise what it corresponds to in the adaptation. It makes it just SO for me to connect with the characters I’m reading about.

To be honest, I found the novel rather slow and difficult at the beginning. I missed the queer characters from the webseries and I found the language hard to understand. However, I think a big reason I started enjoying it more is that I put more into the reading. I’m a pretty bad skim reader and especially during books with small writing I find myself turning page after page only to realise I’ve been absorbing absolutely nothing. THIS DOES NOT WORK FOR ME WITH BOOKS LIKE THIS.

Once I made myself read more slowly, take stuff in, and actually think about how that section resonated with me, it worked a lot better, and by the end I was invested and feeling for the characters all over again.

Reading classics is a very different experience for me from reading YA. (Well, I’m sure it is for many people haha.) Some people try to give the sense that you’re only a “proper reader” if you read classics or whatever but that is TOTALLY INCORRECT and you should read whatever you want! Or even not read at all! Personally, I don’t see myself reading lots more classics in the future, but I found reading Middlemarch to be a rewarding and different experience to my normal reading fare. Now I’m back to catching up on the webseries. 😀

As I said, mock exams have been pretty tough for me, so please forgive me for posting with less frequency than usual. I send you good vibes from this rainy day where I am. ❤

do you enjoy classics? what do you think of modern adaptations? have you watched any webseries?

 

New Years Resolutions Book Tag

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to be talking books in this book tag which I saw on Lia’s blog Lost in a Story — thanks Lia for letting me do this! I believe this tag was created by Charr Frears on Youtube but the video has been deleted, so I don’t actually know. That was what I found anyways!

1. An Author You’d Like To Read That You’ve Never Read

I really want to read Muhammad Khan’s debut book, I Am Thunder! It’s released at the end of this month and it sounds like it’s going to be amazing.

Cover of I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan. Red, puple and blue illustration of a girl's face inside a lightning bolt shape. The words 'I am thunder and I won't keep quiet' beside.

2. A Book You’d Like To Read

Hahaha… SO MANY BOOKS. How could I choose! But I just bought Indigo Donut and Autoboyography with my Christmas book token so I’m planning to read those soon.

3. A Classic You’d Like To Read

I hope to read Pride and Prejudice at long last; it’s one of my mum’s favourite books ever and she’s desperate for me to discuss it with her. I’ve been meaning to read it for so long but I just…haven’t quite got round to it. I need to get it out from the library instead of reading my badly formatted digital version haha.

4. A Book You’d Like To Re-Read

Oh gosh! So many options! I’ve been saying this for a while now but I do want to re-read Les Miserables (especially in preparation for the BBC tv show which FINALLY HAS SOME NEWS HECK YEAH). In particular I’d like to try a different translation, if I can find it.

5. A Book You’ve Had For Ages and Want To Read

I picked up an ARC of The Fandom by Anna Day at YALC, but it got buried in my room and I never got round to it. I’ve been hearing positive things though so I look forward to it.Cover of Middlemarch by George Eliot. Painting of an old-timey British countryside and village with two people in the foreground. A black panel at the bottom with the title and author.

6. A Big Book You’d Like To Read

Hmm, this might be cheating a tiny bit, but I’ve almost finished Middlemarch by George Eliot which is almost 900 pages and I am very excited to finish it (although I enjoyed it a lot).

7. An Author You’ve Previously Read and Would Like To Read More Of

Alice Oseman — I adore her book Radio Silence and I am desperate to read her 3rd book, I Was Born For This, which is due to release in spring. I NEED IT SO BADLY.

Cover of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. A wet kitten meowing on a bright yellow background.

8. A Book You Got For Christmas and Would Like To Read 

I’m so excited to read We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. It’s a non-fiction book which is a bit unusual for me, but I’d like to read more essay collections and non-fiction this year.

9. A Series You Want To Read From Start to Finish 

To be honest I don’t really know anything about the Australia trilogy but I can’t actually think of any other series at this time…? Also, I won the 3rd book in this series so I already have it! Which is useful!

10. A Series You Want To Finish That You’ve Already Started

*sweats* I obviously am not reading many series at the moment as I can barely think of any that aren’t still in progress. Perhaps The Young Elites by Marie Lu? I preferred Warcross but I still enjoyed the first two books in this series and would like to complete it.

11. Do You Set Reading Goals? If So, How Many Books Do You Want To Read in 2018?

Yes, I do, but I try to keep them achievable — I’ve set my Goodreads goal at 100 books again, which I’m usually able to finish without too much stress.

12. Any Other Reading Goals?

To prioritise reading more books by authors of colour, in particular reading more UKYA books by PoC. I can do a lot more to support and uplift these authors and I know I’m missing out on so many great stories. If you haven’t already, do check out the UKYA novels by British PoC being published in 2018 in this list by Mariam Khan!

I’m not tagging anyone, but if you fancy doing this tag please do go ahead! I have mock exams right now so I’m rather behind on commenting back, but I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are. ❤

do you have any 2018 reading goals? any books you’re excited for? are you reading anything at the moment?

2017: Year in Review

Photo of a hand holding a lit sparkler, with the words '2017 year in review'

It’s that time again when everyone posts their yearly round-ups… That’s right folks, I am here with yet ANOTHER new year themed post! And slightly late! Oh well. 2017 has been a weird one for me. Even Photoshop was being weird whilst I was trying to make this picture, so clearly it agrees.

Looking back at 2017

  • To  begin with, I want to recap my goals from 2016… Firstly, I think I’ve definitely succeeded at doing more LGBTQ+ related things! I can see this concretely in that: I attended my first ever Pride parade, starting going to school LGBTQ+ society, and generally just felt a lot more positive in my queer identity. 2016 was a year of discovering myself, and I feel that 2017 has been me actually kind of living that. I mean, I still have a LOT of stuff going on (especially re: my gender which is CONFUSING) but, yeah. I’m so happy about this.
  • Secondly, I feel that have made some strides forward in making positive changes in the world. This year the podcasts Witch Please and Secret Feminist Agenda were SUPER important to me; I really do feel that they have given me hope and inspired me to strive to be a better person and ally. I also continued with my Action for Change project on LGBTQ+ history which I enjoyed a lot. 🙂 I still have a long way to go (I mean it’s kind of an eternal process) in being a good ally but I hope that I’ve educated myself more this year.
  • In terms of self-care and mental health, this year has been pretty rocky. To be frank, I’ve experienced some of my biggest lows ever in 2017. I’ve had several breakdowns and even this holiday I’ve been feeling very sad. I’ve tried to take care of myself, but I want to do this even more going forward in 2017.
  • Blogging has also been patchy. Year 11 has been hitting me harder than I’d thought, leading to me taking a hiatus, and I also haven’t been great at commenting. But you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes we don’t achieve our goals, because things change, and it doesn’t make us terrible people.
  • My most popular posts this year were LGBTQ+ History in Schools, Yes, I Love YA, and The Spring Has Sprung book tag. My collab post Les Mis v Hamilton (with Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages) from last year was also pretty popular, which is cool to see. Bonus posts: queer girl media recs and 7 #relatable clarinet things.
  • However! I have consumed some WONDERFUL art this year: I’ve continued to read many great books, got way more into podcasts, also got into comics, and of course kept listening to rad music. I am so grateful for all this art because, honestly…it keeps me going. I need art so much.

Looking forward to 2018

  • I want to do things with love. I don’t want to do some crappy ‘love saves everything’ thing because that’s just wrong, but personally I want to bring more love and care into my life. By this I mean: bringing a sense of love to caring for myself, putting in time and effort in my relationships, criticising things I love because I love them and not in spite of it.
  • Further elaborating on the theme of self care, I want to look after myself better. The next year is going to be hard and I need to practise self care ESPECIALLY when I feel bad to stop me spiralling into terribleness. I’ve designated specific phone-free times because constantly scrolling through social media does not really help me. But at the same time I don’t want self care to be a chore, so. UGH it’s hard!
  • I want to keep enjoying art! I’m super excited to be able to experience new things in 2018 — I’m seeing both Hamilton and the Cursed Child which I am EXTREMELY excited and grateful for. I hope to read some wonderful books — I am currently very excited for Alice Oseman’s book 3, hopefully out in spring — as well as comics, movies, podcasts, music, TV and so on. This also includes making my own art, which has rather been put to the back burner due to school & mental health, but nevertheless I hope to continue with it.
  • I want to make new friends & meet old ones. I hope to be attending YA Shot and YALC in 2018 and I want to meet up with bookish friends! I’d also love to make some new friends, and if possible meet some internet friends in real life because I think that’d be super cool. 🙂
  • This one is rather vague, but I want to experience new things. I have a lot of ~new and exciting~ things coming up in the future, like going to sixth form, big exams, prom, a bunch of people leaving school, my trip to Ecuador with Guides (!!), turning 17… It’s gonna be a WILD TIME, y’all.

wow that was a deep dive into my brain! how was your 2017? do you have any goals for 2018?

My 2017 in Books

Background of many open books, with the title 'My 2017 in Books' written on a banner.

Hey everyone! I enjoyed doing my 2016 in books post so much last year that I am VERY excited to be doing my yearly bookish wrap-up here today. 😀 I feel like I’ve read so many great books this year, as well as getting more into comics which I’ve been wanting to do for AGES.

overall summary

According to Goodreads, this year I read 134 books at the time of writing, which is the highest number since I started using Goodreads. However, I think this might be due to the aforementioned fact that I read way more comics this year which are faster than books! (Especially if it’s a single issue.) I completed my reading challenge of 100 and then later 125 books which I’m really happy about.

Diagram showing all the books read in 2017, arranged by star rating, with a pie chart of shelf names at the side.

I didn’t rate a bunch of books this year because I’ve sort of been feeling a bit ‘meh’ about rating… I dunno. I went through a phase of that, anyway. I can’t quite decide where I stand now — I feel like it would be best for me to write a short review for every book but that’s probably never going to happen so, who knows.

In terms of genres, Young Adult is still my most popular shelf — no surprises there for me. Within that contemporary actually rates ahead of fantasy, with comics right after, which I was a little surprised by. Although I’ve read some excellent contemporary and comics so maybe I shouldn’t be.

favourite books

I am a little nervous about saying this since I am indeed planning to read more books before the end of the year, but, alas, this has to be posted at some point. I can always add them to next year’s. 😛 These are the ten books I read this year which I feel I enjoyed the most, and gained the most from. I haven’t put comics in here, but you can check out all my posts about comics here.

 

 

I love Everything Leads to You so much! It’s such a cute soft queer girl read and it REALLY  needs to be a movie okay. I love the Shades of Magic series so A Conjuring of Light is probably no surprise here; it was such a thrilling conclusion. I don’t read much non-fiction but The Good Immigrant, an anthology of essays by BAME writers, has really stayed with me. Strange the Dreamer took a little while to get into — I was intimidated to begin with — but then suddenly I was utterly absorbed. The Hate U Give truly deserves all the success it has had; it was one of the most beautifully written and powerful books I have read, like, EVER.

 

 

 

Oops, two VE Schwab books in here? What can I say. Our Dark Duet dazzled and destroyed me. Release is one of my favourite Patrick Ness books; he’s one of the only (mainstream published) authors I’ve read who can ROCK third person present tense. Wild Beauty’s beautiful magical realism & sisters was SO SO GOOD; Anna Marie-McLemore is one of my favourite authors writing today. I read all three of Adam Silvera’s books this year (he’s excellent) but History is All You Left me struck me most in the heart. Finally, The Loneliest Girl was a pacy, gripping read with lots of science and space and a twist I totally didn’t see coming.

hidden gems

These books are lesser-known ones which I’d love to see people discussing more, or in a genre/style which was new and exciting to me.

 

 

Openly Straight is an awesome book set in boarding school which is super cute and also looks at the pressures of being openly gay as a young person. I really think that I should read more m/m books by actual queer men, and this is a great one!

Margot & Me surprised me as I sped through it way faster than I thought I would; it’s a wonderful story about the power of women and family. Also some history! See, I read historical fiction too, promise…

Wild is a Deaf/hearing romance which features lots of running. (Yikes. As in, I could never do that much running. But a great book.) Hannah Moskowitz continues to be excellent and in my opinion very underrated.

Truth or Dare was such a cool concept and beautiful physical design, but that’s not all — I adore Non Pratt and she’s written another gripping story here.

The Diviners is a mash-up of fantasy, mystery and the occult in 20s New York — and I can’t wait to read the next book! It’s super cool and I love everyone in it.

Y’ALL, I JUST READ SO MANY GOOD BOOKS THIS YEAR. I can’t wait for all exciting books out next year! (Maybe that’s a post idea. *winks*)

were your top books of 2017? have you read any of these? what books are you excited for in 2018?

 

7 Beautiful New Book Covers

Two hardback books, Release and Wild Beauty, on a stripey blue blanket, with the words '7 beautiful new book covers'

I just adore talking about book covers, and it’s that time again y’all! I am here to flail about 7 wonderful covers of recent or upcoming YA books, and I am so excited. (Also, all these are either cool books I’ve read or cool books I would like to read.) It was super difficult for me to pick just 7 because uGHH SO MANY. But, you know, I’ve got to keep that brand consistency of lists with 7. The things I do for you. *shakes head*

Cover of Release by Patrick Ness. An illustration of a figure walking down a blue river among darker silhouettes of trees, which when viewed from afar are the profiles of two heads.

1. Release by Patrick Ness It took me several months of looking at the poster I have of this cover on my wall to realise that the river also outlines two faces looking at each other. I know, right?!? IT’S AN OPTICAL ILLUSION. Anyway, yeah, the shades of green are great, I love that it’s so clean and just, mmm. Such a good cover. (I managed to find a nearly-new hardback in the charity shop and IT WAS SO EXCITING. Hardbacks are just so pretty.)

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. A smiling Indian girl holds a plastic cup of coffee with the title written on it in pen.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon I sometimes dislike covers which use photos, especially of faces, but this one is SUPER COOL. It’s so aesthetic, it’s cool to see Dimple on the cover (and yes for more PoC on book covers because we need that!!) and also that writing on the coffee cup combined with the font of the author’s name? So great. I love me some good fonts.

Cover of We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. Illustration of a girl standing on a bed, both coloured pink, who looks into a blue lake whilst snow falls. width=

3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour This book always looks so beautiful in photos. *heart eyes* The colour combination of the blue and pink in the illustration is so nice, and the drawing itself is kind of surreal but also cool; I love the drawing style. It makes me so curious about this book!

Cover of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Photo of a young man wearing old fashioned clothes, with the title in hand-doodled font and smaller doodles of a ship, a music note, playing cards, a violin, and a top hat around.

4. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Hey, those doodles and doodle-y font? I LOVE THEM. MY ACTUAL FAVOURITE. Such a good font choice. Everything works well. Gives off a teen movie-vibe. Honestly, when will I get round to reading this book. (Answer: probably when it comes out in paperback.)

Cover of Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. The title in gold, fairytale-esque font in the centre with lush flowers all around, and a gold outline of a girl reaching out to the title.

5. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore I feel so lucky to own this hardback because IT. IS. GORGEOUS. Props to whoever designed this — not only is the actual cover image  beautiful, but it has such nice phsyicality. Impressions of the flowers on the dustjacket! Gold foil title underneath! The end-papers are such nice paper! The font for the chapter titles! To be honest, it’s just beautiful to fit such a beautiful book.

Cover of Want by Cindy Pon. Illustration of a young person with short dark hair wearing a glass helmet. The blurred bright lights of a city shine behind and the title text glows.

6. Want by Cindy Pon Firstly, this book sounds super awesome and it’s terrible that I haven’t read it yet. Time to go bug the library more to reserve it. Anyway, this illustration is so beautiful; I love the glowy neon title and general vibe and also the reflected lights just asdfjkl awesome.

Cover of History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Illustration of light and dark blue stripes lines which look like waves, with each word of the title on a different wave.

7. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera For once I…like the UK cover more, I think? The illustrations of water are so effective, and also reflects the story without being super spoilery if you get me. Plus, I believe I’ve seen a special shiny WH Smith edition which is cool.

I hope you enjoyed my rambling about the pretty covers! It’s nice to be writing about books again. 🙂 At the moment I’m hoping to keep up the Wednesday posting schedule I have going on, so stay tuned for another post here this time next week. *nods*

what are your favourite covers? have i missed any out?? (probably!) do you have a favourite book you own?

A Life Update

Hey everyone. So…you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. (Or maybe not. I don’t know.) I haven’t written a post for today. I wanted to, but I just didn’t get the time. I don’t know when I’m going to have the time. Hopefully this weekend, but I’ll see.

It’s pretty frustrating for me to have to do this again, since keeping up a regular blog is something I’m really proud of. It doesn’t make me feel good to watch my stats go down whenever I don’t post. To my brain, my productivity is so tied up with my self worth, which means that when I stop being productive I feel worthless. Which is a REALLY crappy way of thinking, and also harms others.

Anyway. So. I’m trying to say: it’s okay for me to not do this. I don’t have the time or the energy right now. School is really taking it out of me, frankly; I thought I wasn’t getting as much work but I’m kind of exhausted every day which suggests otherwise.

Yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown which was probably a combination of hormones and like…other stuff mounting up. Anyway, we had a discussion about sex in biology which was basically just only about cis people and making out that chromosomes = gender. And it sucked to see my teacher do that because like, I respect her? I dunno. I’m kind of terrified that everyone will always see me as a girl because of all my Guides stuff, even though I’d like to quit it soon, but I can’t because I’d have to explain to my parents and yeah. UGHH it’s all so confusing and I am just kind of hating my body right now.

ANYWAY. As I said: I hope to write more posts soon but I don’t want to promise stuff. However! I’ve currently been enjoying some great media, like:

  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore Aah this was one of my most anticipated books this year and I love it so far aah!! It’s so beautiful and great! And also the book itself is so beautiful! I’d recommend it SO HIGHLY.
  • Wonderful! podcast I really enjoy listening to this as I get ready for bed in the evening… I’ve learnt some excellent trivia and also the hosts Rachel and Griffin McElroy are super cute together. It’s just, dare I say it — wonderful?
  • Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast I think Witch, Please has set the Harry Potter podcast barrier so high for me that nothing will quite achieve its greatness, but this seems super interesting so far.
  • Lumberjanes I am super behind in reading this comic but, hi, I still love it? Mal is my inspiration in life? When can I get her haircut?

Friends, I hope you’re well, and if not please do talk to me, and know that I am supporting you. If you fancy sending me cute cat pictures/hugs/positive queer media recs then I’d really appreciate that right now. See you soon. ❤

 

October Favourites!

The words September Favourites over a purple watercolour splash.

Can you believe it’s November already?!? ME NEITHER. HOW IS IT EVEN AUTUMN YET. We are creeping towards the end of the year… And I am here with a monthly wrap up, actually kind of on time!

ink swash divider

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera I’d been wanting to read this book for SO LONG and it finally came into my school library! I was pretty excited and it lived up to that — just, like. WOAH. The writing is so good and it was very gripping and also I cried a bunch of times which doesn’t normally happen to me. One of my favourite recent reads.

Middlemarch: The Show This webseries is a modern adaptation of Middlemarch by george Eliot and OH MY GOODNESS IT IS AMAZING. I’m not very far through yet but I LOVE IT and I love everyone! Especially Dot and Fred! And also Max and Celia and Jamie and Billie actually okay I kind of love everyone. My queer heart cannot take it. I’d highly recommend it, and you can watch from the start here!

Warcross by Marie Lu I already did a mini review of this here, but I thought I’d give it a mention here too! I loved the world, it was super enjoyable, and I just couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait for the sequel!

Woke Doctor Who This podcast is, in its own words, a podcast about race and representation with an Asian lady from DC and a Black lady from Baltimore. I’ve only just discovered it but I’m already loving it SO MUCH. I’m a pretty new Doctor Who fan & I’m hoping to take this opportunity to watch over some of the episodes I haven’t yet seen! You can check it out here.

The Great British Bake Off Okay, I was pretty sad when I heard Mary Berry, Mel and Sue were leaving, and I didn’t watch it for the first few weeks because I kept forgetting, but… I admit that I succumbed and now I am very excited by it. (We try to watch it recorded so the ads can be skipped.) All my favourites were out before the final which is unusual and kind of sucked, but I’m still looking forward to the final this evening. I guess I’ll have watched it by the time this comes out? Oh well.

stuff from around the internet:

in the diary:

  • I…was not very good at storing up blog links this month, oops. Or really reading blog posts at all. I’ve been kind of stressed out with school to be honest. This seems to be something that I’m saying often this term, and sadly I’m not sure it’s going to get better. I might even have to take a hiatus here which sucks but at the moment I’m struggling to write blog posts as frequently as I used to.
  • I attended the region selection for international Girlguiding trips — and I got on a trip, yay! I’m still figuring out my gender and I’m not sure if I actually am a girl, so I’m not sure that I should be spending much more time in Guides. But I haven’t come out to my parents yet and I don’t know how to quit otherwise, so for the moment I’m still there. I also didn’t want to quit something I enjoy if I change my mind about gender stuff later? So yeah, I dunno.
  • It was Halloween! I went over to my friend’s house where we played games and ate lots of food which was super fun. My costume was kind of…queer witch? To be honest I don’t know. Just generic witchiness. Also a long ginger wig. Here’s my face, because I’m pleased with this look:

A person with pale skin and long, wavy ginger hair. They wear glasses, dark purple eye makeup and dark lipstick.

how has your month been? done anything nice? what are your plans for november?

 

 

 

 

Reading Recap // three mini reviews

The words 'reading recap' in a white brush script over a blue patterned background, with the words 'at twist in the taile' and an illustration of an open book below.

I confess: I haven’t had much blogging inspiration lately. My brain is very much filled with school and then — well, yeah. School. So I have a LOT of school-related things to say but not much of anything else, oops! However, I’ve been reading some great books lately so I thought it would be fun to, you know, actually do a bit of book blogging and have a bit of a chat about them.

warcross by marie lu

Cover of Warcross by Marie Lu. The word 'Warcross' on each side of a metallic rainbow cube on a white background, with 'Marie Lu' in rainbow at the top and the words 'player hunter hacker pawn' below.

I barely ever buy hardbacks for myself, but one of my friends gifted this to me for my birthday and I feel SUPER BLESSED. I absolutely raced through this, which was something I hadn’t done in a while. I was gripped by the plot, and I think that was helped by the fact that it was such a neat premise with a clear end point that propelled it forwards. (If that makes sense? Friends, I haven’t written a review in like a year, please don’t be too harsh on me.)

In particular, I enjoyed the detail of the technology of Warcross; I don’t play many video games, but the technology seemed really thought out and innovative. I know a bunch of people have been talking about the end, and I definitely did not predict The Thing so THAT WAS EXCITING. I can’t wait to read the sequel! (Although I initially thought it was a standalone, so it was great to discover that actually there’s another book to come haha.)

little & lion by brandy colbert

Cover of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. The words 'Little & Lion' over a flat line illustration of a palm tree, a magazine, a flower, a coffee cup, and a book.

This book was in fact also a gift from a friend, but it was in so many ways completely different to Warcross. It’s a contemporary, character-driven book which looks much more at the changing relationships between the characters rather than a lot of action. However, I still finished this really fast! I do love me a character-driven plot, and this had such a good cast of  interesting and diverse characters, and also characters who really screwed up and said crappy things. Because, you know, people are often crappy. It discusses racism, particularly casual racism, figuring your sexuality, and what it means to be family, among other themes. (I…probably am going to forget something important.)

Personally, whilst I was reading this I strongly connected with Suzette’s experience of exploring her sexuality (because I am a person who often finds many people of different genders cute!!!), and I also enjoyed the romance. However, on reflection some parts could be read as a love triangle/emotional cheating kind of thing, which you might be frustrated with. To be frank: I don’t quite know! I need to do some more thinking about that. I’m looking forward to rereading this more slowly because I’d like the time to discover and consider the stuff I missed the first time round.

the diviners & lair of dreams by libba bray

I’ve put these two books together because I did actually read them one after the other, despite my best efforts to save Lair of Dreams for a little later. I was super excited to find these in my school library (I think they’ve got some new books this year and it’s amazing?!?) even though I didn’t know what to expect apart from the blurb.

WELL, FOLKS. I loved them a lot! They’re a super weird mix of magic & the occult & 20s New York, with many characters that I adored. I haven’t read long fantasy book in a while, but it didn’t feel like a drag — both of these were relatively easy reads for me. I liked that I got to see Henry, one of my favourite side characters from the first book, become one of the mains in Lair of Dreams, but we also got way less narration from Memphis which made me sad.  I haven’t read a combination of genres like this before so it was exciting for me! (However: the covers for the UK paperbacks are definitely not my favourites. I feel like there is so much potential there, argh.)

Can you believe it I’ve made it to three reviews? To be honest, ME NEITHER. A little cheer for me. Truly, I haven’t written reviews in so long and it was actually pretty nice… Perhaps I shall make this a feature? But, who knows, I’m not very good at keeping up with those haha.

have you read any books recently? do you prefer getting hardbacks or paperbacks? what books are on your tbr list?

Note: I’m away until the 29th, and I probably won’t be able to reply to comments. Thanks for your patience! Also, sorry to those of you waiting on the giveaway; I will be contacting and announcing the winner upon return.

 

Fantastic Four // blog birthday+ giveaway

A photo of dozens of balloons in a blue sky, with the words 'Twist in the Taile blog birthday + giveaway' on top.

That’s right, folks, it’s that time of year again: PARTY TIME! *dances* I mean, one might say that party time is all year round, but the only time you can truly have a party is obviously on my blog birthday. No other parties count. (I joke. Please feel free to party whenever you like.)

Further down in this post I’m holding a bookish giveaway, but before I get onto that I’d like to say a little something about the last four years. (Do imagine that I’ve done that thing  where you tap the champagne glass to announce a speech, or something else equally fun.)

I’m pretty sure that I’ve said this before, but when I started this blog I really didn’t think I’d still be blogging four years later. I’d already had several failed attempts at a blog and I didn’t see why this would be any different. But! As you can see, here I am. I’ve gone through many reincarnations over here at Twist in the Taile, and of course I’m still evolving, but mostly I AM STILL WRITING THINGS. I am still talking to you all!

There is so much that I love about blogging — from writing funny posts to making pretty graphics — but I do still think that above all, my favourite thing is being able to connect with other awesome people. Although perhaps this blog might not be the fastest-growing it has given me a special and important place to share my thoughts, and some amazing friends. This wouldn’t be a blog if you readers weren’t here reading it. Thank you so much for supporting and educating me. ❤

Here are some things I have done over the last year:

  • Started listening to podcasts! Now they’re such an important part of the things I love & I can’t imagine what I’d do without them. It feels super weird that I only started them last year… (Among my favourites are Witch Please, The Adventure Zone, and The Penumbra Podcast.)
  • Started reading more comics which is very fun!
  • Actually, I’ve just read a lot of great books like When the Moon Was Ours (which I just reread, maybe even more woah that the first time), The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Hate U Give, Release, Queens of Geek, A Conjuring of Light… and SO MANY MORE. Y’all, I just really love books.
  • Went to my first Pride parade, which was kind of scary but also very cool. I’m so glad I went.
  • Also probably a lot of other stuff. But I am itching to get onto the giveaway and I know you are too, so LET US GO THERE.

ink swash divider

giveaway time!

To celebrate my 4th blog birthday, I am giving away one YA book from the following selection:

The winner of the giveaway will be able to pick any one from these six books, which are either a) books I have read and loved or b) books I think sound great and would very much like to read. You can click on the titles for more info. The giveaway is open to any country The Book Depository ships to; hopefully that includes you, but please check their list here.

Enter the giveaway HERE

The giveaway will end at midnight on 25th October (that’s two weeks’ time) so make sure you enter now! I wish you luck, and thanks for celebrating my blog birthday here with me today. If you have any memories or thoughts about my blog you’d like to share, then I’d love to here them. (And with your permission, I might include them in a follow-up post!)

which book would you pick? if you’re blogger, what’s your favourite thing about blogging? any thoughts about my blog?

September Favourites!

The words September Favourites over a purple watercolour background

That’s right, folks, I’m back for monthly favourites! Maybe I’ll keep up with them, maybe not. Who knows?

ink squiggle divider

Rainbow by Kesha I saw a bunch of people listening to this album and I AM SO GLAD I LISTENED TO IT TOO. It’s not perfect but there are so many songs I loved — from jams like Woman to songs such as Rainbow and Spaceship which do make me a bit teary.

Young Avengers I finally picked up the last volume in this series and I’M SO SAD THAT WAS THE END because I enjoyed it so much! It’s one of the first superhero comics that I’ve really got into and I’m very much looking forward to reading more about these characters in the future. (Miss America has a solo series. And I think there are the previous Young Avengers comics too. But I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to these things.)

Brooklyn 99 I feel like I might have talked about this before on my faves? WHO KNOWS ANYMORE, NOT ME.  I’ve just about finished the first series which is an amazing show of commitment for me when it comes to a TV show (I can barely make it through 8 40-minute episodes) and AAH! I I love that everyone loves and supports each other and it’s very wonderful to watch. However, in the last episode I watched Gina talks about her ‘spirit animal’ which is a Super Not Okay thing to do and it wasn’t at all called out, so, that really sucks. :/

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat Another EXCELLENT comic here. It’s super cute, features a bunch of LGBTQ+ characters, and friends being wonderful with each other. Just, yeah. So wonderful. Though again I’m sad that this wraps up after a few volumes since it got cancelled. 😦 Is there a theme with the comics I’m talking about…?

Yerma I saw the Young Vic production of this with Billie Piper broadcast live at the cinema and WOW. I didn’t really know what I was getting into beforehand so it was quite hard-hitting but I thought it was such a great piece of theatre.

The Diviners by Libba Bray Well, it’s October and I still haven’t quite finished this, but I’m loving it so far — which is cool since I wasn’t really expecting that? (To be fair, I don’t quite know what I was expecting. But not magic and murder in 20s New York. THE COVER I HAVE MISLED ME, OKAY?) Plus, I’ve just found out that the sequel includes more of one of my favourite side characters, Henry, so yay for that.

stuff from around the internet:

  • Well, er, my stats were a bit up from the rock bottom of August when I barely posted? I talked about going back to school, comics I’m loving, and shared some cat photography in the What Cats Do book tag.
  • I started following the newsletter Two Bossy Dames when one of my favourite podcasts Witch Please how many times can I fit it into this post did a guest letter and I’m loving it! I’m new to newsletters (haha, amazing joke, I know right) so I didn’t really know what to expect but I just adore having all these links and things to go read… If you have any recommendations for newsletters I’d love to hear them!
  • I’ve definitely read some great posts, but…I’m kind of tired right now and I don’t want to miss any out. Hopefully I’ll be better at keeping track of them over October, my apologies.

in the diary:

  • Well, school started? It feels like I’ve been back for ages. We’ve packed so much in. Year 11 is…alright so far. A bit stressful, especially since it feels like everyone is always talking about A levels and careers whilst I freak out internally but, there we go.
  • Can I think about anything that’s not school…uh…
  • WAIT it was my birthday! Yay! I’m now 16 which feels very weird. But, it’s cool, I guess, and I’m looking forward to having my friends over for some fun. *nods* I have been kind of ill over my birthday though which sucks.
  • I went to the book launch It’s Only in the Movies by Holly Bourne! I was a big fan of the free content, especially the popcorn. Maybe a hint to other book events…? I can’t decide if I should do a recap of it so let me know what you think.
  • It was my school House music competition, which was pretty stressful since we had rehearsals almost every day for two weeks, but also SUPER fun and rewarding. (I am lucky in that I do love the people in my house and also I love singing in choirs.) Unfortunately we didn’t place but I’m still super proud of us.

how has your september been? did you return to education like me? have you read any good books?