I decided to read more than one book at a time…

…For the first time!

Yes I’m one of them people that only ever reads one book at a time because I like to have my complete attention on that one story I’m reading. However, for the first time in my life I have decided to read two books at a time and I know you’re probably thinking that this isn’t a big deal but to me in kind of is.


Filth by Irvine Welsh20170915_100224

As you know if you read my last post, this is the book I started reading after I DNF’d my reread of Heart-Shaped Box. My only issue is, I’m also finding it difficult to read this book as well, not because it’s a bad book, it’s actually quite good (unless you’re easily offended) and I want to keep reading. The problem is quite a lot of the book is written in a thick Scottish accent which makes it hard for me to read given I’m not Scottish. I may understand some Scottish phrases and pronunciations but that doesn’t mean I can easily read it. It makes it difficult which means it could take me almost a hour just to read a twenty page chapter.

The Solution

Given I still want to read Filth and actually finish I’ve decided that I’m going to read another book at the same time so I don’t fall into a slump. How will this help? Well, while I’m reading the second book that should help me start interested in reading and stop me going into the dreaded reading slump. In regards to Filth, I’m going to aim to read at least on chapter a day until I finish it. I now have 293 pages left of Filth which would usually take me about  two or three days to read but this time it’ll take me maybe a fortnight so long as I stick to my target and get at least one chapter of Filth read a day. It is a good book, it’s gritty and hard hitting but it’s good as long as you like that kind of thing. It’s also incredibly problematic but that’s what Irvine Welsh does, he writes about the worst kinds of people just like in Trainspotting, there’s drugs and sex and misogyny. Just all round debauchery but this time to main character is a cop.


The Girl Of Ink And Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave20170918_093407

This is the book I’ll be reading along with Filth. It’s the complete polar opposite. A middle grade book that been described as fairytale like and is an adventure book. It’s a short book so if I finish this before I finish Filth then I’ll find another book to read with it instead but for now this is the other book I’ll be reading. Apparently it’s a quick read and while I’ve only read the first chapter so far I can tell I’ll be able to read it fairly quickly so long as I don’t start slipping into a slump again. Only time will tell and I’ll keep you all undated on my progress (you can check out my Goodreads for regular updates too if you like, the link is in the sidebar) and of course write a review when I finish it.


Wish me look with this challenging reading time for me!

Until next time, happy reading guys!

Rachel x

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Why I Don’t Reread

Hello guys, I don’t have a book to review again today so I decided to just talk about why I’ve decided not to do rereads anymore. This post probably won’t be long so I’ll make up for it with a few pretty pictures. Well I say pretty but I took them so I’m probably being a bit bias!


Why don’t I reread?

IMG_20170821_105436_513So the first book I ever reread was City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare earlier this year. It took me just over a week to read it which is actually slow for me even though I’m a fairly slow reader but I can usually read a book in about 3 days unless it’s over about 500 pages then it may take a little longer. The other week I also started to reread Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. This is a book I loved when I originally read it about a year ago and I still love it now but I ended up going into a slump so it took me ages to get through even 100 pages.

IMG_20170902_104539_653I rarely DNF books because I’m one of them people who will keep reading even if the book feels like it’s tearing out your soul. Although I did DNF Heart-Shaped Box less than 100 pages into my reread because it was taking so long to read so I decided to read something else instead. I’m not going to lie, I still love Heart-Shaped Box, it has a great story and great characters but I just don’t think I’m the kind of person to reread books. I read them once and can remember the plot for a very long time, it can take years for me to forget a plot, I can still remember the plot to the book that made me start to read with a passion and I read that over 6 years ago now.

IMG_20170915_105209_174Anyway, given I’ve now decided that I probably won’t reread a book again unless I’ve actually completely forgotten the plot and want to be reminded of it and what the book was like when I originally read it that I’m going to read something else so instead I’m reading Filth by Irvine Welsh. It’s an incredibly Scottish book and I’ve found myself reading it in a (bad) Scottish accent just to be able to actually understand some of it. It is good though and seems to be bringing me back out of my slump so that’s good.

So yeah, that’s why I’ve decided not to reread anymore.


Until next time guys, happy reading!

Rachel x

Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

Hello guys, I don’t have a recent read to review at the moment because I’m in a little bit of a reading slump so I’m going to review a book from a few months ago.


The Sun Is Also A Star – Nicola YoonIMG_20170716_102947_635

Synopsis

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

My Thoughts

I loved this book. Okay I get that it could be a little problematic at times but it was a really good read. A story about a Jamaican girl and a Korean boy both living in America only one is about to be deported. Natasha is a girl from Jamaican living illegally in America who faces deportation after he father is caught drink driving. Daniel is an American born to Korean parents who want him to succeed after his older brother drops out of college. The Universe seems to want the two to meet and so they do in New York city where the two live.

In the story Daniel is convinced that he can make Natasha fall in love with him in a day. Throughout the book Natasha and Daniel ask each other questions that are meant to make them fall in love with each other. As the book goes on you can see how their relationship grows even though it’s only over one single day. The character development is good too given you go from people who don’t think much of themselves and slowly learn that they mean more than they think they do. Though the idea of falling in love in a day may be a bit hard to believe for some this actually makes you think that maybe it is possible.

The two main characters are very likeable and you really feel for the two. One facing being forced to leave the place she sees as home and one having to face controlling parents. You want the two fall in love or at least become great friends just so they have something they can be happy about in that day that could be one of the worst days of their lives. They’re only young and have already had their lives written out for them but family and government. Maybe this is the only thing that they have control over even though falling in love is usually something you can’t control.

Awarded: 5 Stars


I definitely recommend this book especially if you’re looking for a book with a minority MC. Hope you liked the review and I hope to have an actual recent read for my next review.

Until next time guys, happy reading!

Rachel x

Review: Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe – Benjamin Alire SáenzIMG_20170829_113058_988

Synopsis

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship–the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves–and about the kind of people they want to be.

My Thoughts

This book is utterly delightful. I loved it so much and I am so glad because of how many times I was recommended it by my friend who absolutely adores it. The main reason I love this book is because it focuses on the character instead of having a major plot to it. Ari is my favourite character of two although I do love Dante’s utter quirkiness view on life. While one is a pessimist the other is a optimist but as we know opposites attract. The story is a lovely adventure in finding out the truths you never knew in life including the ones about yourself while you grow up from teen to adult.

The best part about this book though could most definitely be that instead of it being set in the present day in it set in the late 70’s when being gay was still seen as a bad thing even though it had been decriminalised in most parts of the western world. This is just a lovely story of growing up, learning and experiencing new things and finding the real you. And joining Ari on his adventure to find the secrets of the universe with Dante is wonderful, especially as you watch him grow and understand that he’s falling in love for the first time.

I whole heartedly recommend this book, especially to those struggling with coming to terms with their own sexuality or just because it such a sweet story, of course there are bad moments, but it’s still heart warming and the dialogue is both quirky and amusing while still being emotional and intelligent. Please, do go read this book.

Awarded: 5 Stars


Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my review and now you can check out my Film Review blog. The link to it is on my blog along with my other social networking links.

Until next time, happy reading guys!

Rachel x

Review: Girl Unknown

Girl Unknown – Karen PerryIMG_20170819_112810_679

Synopsis

‘I think you might be my father . . .’

When first-year student Zoë Barry walks into Professor David Connolly’s office and tentatively says these words, he is left reeling. But it is the lives of his family – particularly his wife Caroline – which are turned upside down by the arrival of this stranger.

A daughter, a sister, a friend . . . an enemy?

Though no one knows quite who Zoë is, she is soon entangled in their lives. Yet her stories don’t ring true and Caroline is determined to learn if the girl is the unlucky innocent she claims to be or someone with a far darker agenda.

A deadly cuckoo in the nest . . .Because by letting Zoë in, David and Caroline aren’t just leaving themselves vulnerable. They’re risking the most precious thing in the world – the lives of their children . . .

My Thoughts

This book was okay. The plot idea sounds really interesting when you read the blurb but that’s pretty much where it ends. I found this book just a little dull. The writing was decent enough for me to actually finish it instead of DNF it but it was still a little bit of struggle and the plot was dragged out and very little happened until the last 50 or so pages. All that really happened in the actual book was a teenage girl running hot and cold with her newly found biological father and his wife and kids. There’s very little threatening or tense about it and it just makes for one hell of a dull read. The characters are also a bit boring and mundane, the most exciting part about the characters is that the wife and an affair once and nothing really happened besides a kiss.

The only real praise I have for this book is the writing itself which was good, it flowed which made it far easier to finish this book so if the book lacked the writing skill it had and I am almost definite that this book would have been DNFed because it was just so boring. Oh yes, and it was predictable except for the very ending which genuinely surprised me but wasn’t so big a plot twist to actually shock me. So yes, this book is okay.

Awarded: 3 Stars


Thanks for reading and if you do ever read this book I hope you enjoy it more than me. If you have already read this book, what did you think?

Until next time, happy reading guys!

Rachel x

August Book Haul and Wrap Up

Hello guys, I decided to do my Book Haul and August Wrap Up in the same post this month because if I’m honest, I just completely forgot to take a picture of my book haul yesterday to be able to do my August Book Haul!


Book Haul20170830_170351

This month I didn’t buy many books again, only 3 but I did buy a few bits of bookish merch so it’s all good.

Books:

  • Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • One Man Guy – Michael Barakiva
  • Openly Straight – Bill Konigsberg

I bought these because I decided I wanted to expand my queer lit collection but sadly I can’t find many books in the genre (any recommendations are welcome) so I now have 3 gay books and 2 trans books which I don’t think is too bad.

Bookish Merch:

  • Skull And Cross Bones (Large) Book Buddy that fits standard hardbacks such as Caraval from Melvis Makes (Can be found on Etsy)
  • Zombie (Small) Book Buddy that fits standard paperbacks from Melvis Makes (Can be found on Etsy)
  • Harry Potter 2oz Candle Starter Set (Scents: Slytherin, Neville and Butter Beer), also came with a free 1oz YA Obsessed sampler.

Honestly my book buddies are my favourite things I got this month, they are just so well made and the people who make them are some of the sweetest people!

This month I also ordered a Book Dragon Candle from Paper Flames Candle Co (Can be found on Etsy) which I hope will arrive today, 2 candles from Fiction Wicks (Can be found on Etsy) and I also won a giveaway but I only found out about that yesterday so that probably won’t arrive until next month! Anyway, I am really in love with all of these wonderful things!


August Wrap Up20170830_171058

This month I managed to read a grand total of 4 books, finished 1 and started another!

  • City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare (reread) – 4 Stars
  • Eeny Meany by M J Alridge – 5 Stars
  • Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland – 5 Stars
  • Girl Unknown by Karen Perry – 3 Stars
  • Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – 5 Stars

I also started to reread Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill which is the first book I read of him and now he’s one of my favourite Authors alongside James Herbert.


I actually managed to read a fair bit this month so I’m kind of proud of myself and I can’t wait to read more in September!

Until next time, have a great month of reading in September guys!

Rachel x

TBR Top 5 – Contemporary YA

Thanks to Bookstagram I got introduced to Contemporary YA which I don’t think I would have ever read without it. Now I have a few books in the genre and more that I want to get but haven’t had chance to yet. so, here is my TBR Top 5 of Contemporary YA books!

Note: Some of these may not be strictly YA but I added them because of the themes rather than the reading age.


1 – Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe20170828_100932[1]

Synopsis

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship–the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves–and about the kind of people they want to be.

Expectations

So I decided to read this book because whenever I ask for Book Recommendations one of my friends ALWAYS recommends me this one, she absolutely adores it so I hope I do too so I can talk about it with her.

I’m not exactly sure what to expect except a very heartwarming and funny book that may be sad at times (it is YA after all). I know this is meant to be a queer lit book so I hope there’s a cute romance of some sort between Ari and Dante although I wouldn’t still love it even if it just turns out to be a really nice and strong friendship between the two of them. In short, I just hope for some cute and funny queer lit romance as this will be the first book I read in the queer lit genre (they’re really hard to find for me, recommendations are welcome) and I honestly cannot wait to get stuck into it!


2 – The Art Of Being NormalIMG_20170628_133547_186[1]

Synopsis

Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

Expectations

From this book except to learn more about transgenders if I’m honest. Obviously most people know what transgender is but I don’t think people are honestly willing to learn about it in more depth and actually open their minds to the fact that people aren’t happy when the gender they’re assigned at birth.

Note: Sex is biological, you are born either male or female. Gender is a social construct, you are assigned a gender at birth, either boy or girl, but this can be easily changed. Even if you are born female that may not mean you identify as a girl. (I know this seems a little patronising but some people still don’t seem to know the difference.

I digress, this book seems sweet on the surface but also tackles serious issues like fitting in, coming to terms with things you may have been told are wrong or unnatural (which they most certainly are not) and of course changing yourself from your assigned gender into the one you are actually comfortable in. Myself, I am female and identify as such so I have never had to go through anything like transgender people may have which makes me want to read this, to understand even slightly what they may go through.


3 – FangirlIMG_20170822_103829_785[1]

Synopsis

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible…

Expectations

What do I expect from Fangirl? A massive insight into the world of a fangirl, not that I need one! This book has had massive hype since it came out I eventually bought it to see what all the hype was about although I still haven’t got to reading it yet. It seems like a interesting story, a sister having to go it alone for the first time when she goes to uni, an introvert who learns to open up to others and go it on her own in the big bad world. I’m looking forward to reading this even though I’m not too sure about all the hype.


4 – Wonder20170828_100748[1]

Synopsis

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Expectations

I’m not entirely sure whether Wonder actually classes as a Contemporary YA but I added it anyway because it just seems like such a heartwarming story. I can’t wait to find out how Auggie manages to cope with bullies and gaining new friends and just generally learning about his condition and how he copes with it. It sounds like a beautiful story! Obviously this is a story about growing up with a disfigurement that means people can cruel but this book seems like one about friendship as well all the malice in the world that can be directed at an innocent child so I am looking forward to reading this to see how it is approached and dealt with.


5 – One Man Guy20170828_100443[1]

Synopsis

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Why bother, when their home cooking is far superior to anything “these Americans” could come up with? Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshmen year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.
Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. When Ethan gets Alek to cut school and go to a Rufus Wainwright concert in New York City’s Central Park, Alek embarks on his first adventure outside the confines of his suburban New Jersey existence. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend–he’s barely ever had a girlfriend–but maybe it’s time to think again.

Expectations

This book seems to be very little known but to me it sounds really good so I decided to buy it to read. A boy goes to summer camp and upon meeting another boy there realised me may actually be gay. It seems like a book that will show struggles within the person and the family, especially given Alek’s family Armenian. But it all it seems like another heartwarming story that I can’t wait to read and join Alek and Ethan in there journey at summer camp.


That’s my Contemporary YA top 5 TBR and I can’t wait to read them all, hopefully very soon!

Until next time, happy reading guys!

Rachel x