What I’ve Been Reading | Week 9

Quick, everyone pretend it’s Monday!

Here’s what I read last week, it’s a mixed bag but overall I had a pretty good reading week. I may have even found a new favourite, ooh mysterious…

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Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

I kicked off my month of Irish reading with a quick illustrated kids book, Imaginary Fred. I’m a recent Eoin Colfer convert having just fallen in love with Artemis Fowl (more on that in a min!) and have always had a deep, deep love for Oliver Jeffers.

Fun fact: Ci and I met him a few years ago and he doodled me a moose, it was an excellent moose.

Pretty much everything about this book had me hugging it to my chest and all but cooing over it. It’s beautiful, a wonderful story with a great message and just so much fun.

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Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Artemis Fowl was super popular when I was a kid. People in my school read and raved about it, it was always waiting on the shelf on my weekly thursday trip to the library and I knew it was about fairies. So even now I’m still confused as to why the heck I never read the series.

It’s by Irish author (and Laureate na nOg!) extraordinaire Eoin Colfer and set largely in Ireland so it seemed like the perfect addition to my March TBR. I was hyped, confident I would love it and more than ready to jump into Artemis’ world when the deal got even sweeter: I found out that the books have been adapted into graphic novels. If you’ve been reading my blog or subbed to my youtube for a while you’ll probably know I love graphic novels. They’re my favourite things to read and collect and I could ramble about them forever. So of course I immediately dove into the first graphic novel and adored it. It’s fun but never patronising, balances the light-hearted and heart-shattering aspects perfectly and features some gorgeous art and colours. And fairies.

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One by Sarah Crossan

One is written in free verse which has a special place in my heart and on my shelves. I love reading and writing free verse and novels written in that style almost always have an emotional and creative impact on me. But One took it a whole new level.

Grace and Tippi are teenage conjoined twins who are starting public school for the first time and have some big decisions to make. The story is told from Grace’s perspective and her voice is so clear and distinctive that it reads like a conversation with a friend. The book deals with tough family life, terminal illnesses, eating disorders and addiction as well as the difficulty of navigating a crush,the importance of friendship and how people can often be more than they first seem. I laughed, cried (a lot) and felt completely changed by the last page.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The only non-Irish book I’ve read so far this month was Fangirl, I started it at the end of February and didn’t finish before March 1st.

I have mixed feelings about Fangirl. On one hand it is incredibly relatable, Cath is starting college and her anxiety is definitely getting in the way. All she really wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfic (and her thousands of fans agree) but life has lots to chuck at her.

The book handled mental health relatively well, although I much preferred and was much more invested in another character’s journey as Cath’s mostly faded away after a few chapters. The fanfic sprinkled between chapters was wonderful, so much fun to read that eventually I mostly looked forward to the end of chapters so I could check in on Simon and Baz.

I was sometimes uncomfortable with how much the book relied on a love of Harry Potter (and really bothered by the mention of Harry Potter…why??) and used the nostalgia and love we already have instead of creating it’s own emotional impact. Basically, I finished Fangirl and immediately watched Harry Potter and had a cry about how much of my heart is in Hogwarts. So while Fangirl did illicit an emotional response, it had very little do with the book itself and everything to do with the dredging up of old Potterhead tendencies. Not that I mind, Potterhead for life.

 

What have you been reading?

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 8

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my weekly reading wrap up which I’ve now officially moved to Mondays. This week was a small one book-wise but I did face, battle and defeat the dreaded flu so I’m letting myself off easy!

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The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

Jasmine’s life revolves around her job and her sister so when she finds herself jobless and stuck on garden leave for a year she doesn’t know what to do with herself.

The Year I Met You has a really interesting narrative style and genuinely compelling characters. I loved the focus and deep study of so many different relationships within one life and the profound differences in the impact they each make. As always Cecelia Ahern’s writing is fluid and beautiful and her characters so layered they feel remarkably real.

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Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

Emi is finally finishing high high school and can focus on doing what she loves, set design for films. She’s talented, driven and has been given her brother’s apartment for the summer so long as she fulfils his one request: she must do something epic.

I literally just finished Everything Leads To You five minutes ago and I’ve already been struck down by every bookworm’s nemesis, the book hang-over. I adored every page, every character, every twist, every detail of this book and wish there were a thousand more pages. It was one of the first times I’ve ever read a YA book about a lesbian character that wasn’t doom, gloom and oh wow doesn’t coming out suck. Emi’s sexuality is handled perfectly and for the first time I could read about someone like me without feeling too aware of how we’re different. As a total lover of contemporary fiction I’ve always wanted a book that I could fully delve into without the awkward disconnect of ‘yes I’m sure he is dreamy but I just don’t care‘.

Emi’s relationships feel real, her passion almost tangible and her flaws realistic and relate-able. She’s talented but not perfect, gifted but still learning. The book handles tough themes with care and a soft touch, it’s never harsh or too painful but always resonates. It discusses privilege, race and class seamlessly.  I could go on and on forever but I’d hate to spoil it so I’ll leave it at this: this is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read.

What have you been reading? Let me know!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 3

This week has been a pretty quiet one reading-wise but a busy-as-heck one otherwise. I haven’t had a ton of time to read (or blog, so this is a little late) but I did get up to some fun stuff I’ll be posting about soon. Here’s what I’ve been reading!

2016-01-19_1453163645Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Early this week I finished Royal Wedding and proceeded to hug it for a while. I mentioned it in last week’s post as well so I won’t ramble too much but I really adored this book. It was such a fun story with a lot going on. Mia is still one of my favourite characters of all time so I’m really hoping this won’t be the last we see of her!

2016-01-19_1453221231.jpgThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass is the first in a series about Celaena Sardothien, an assassin who has been given the opportunity to win her freedom after a year of enslavement. So far I like the flow of the writing, it’s a nice gliding read with a pretty interesting protagonist. I am finding it a little difficult to connect with though, I’m not too sure why so I might just leave it for a bit and try again at some point!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Still not feeling it. If anyone has any words of wisdom for getting through this book, please let me know!

I’ve decided that instead of including comics here I’m going to do a monthly comics wrap up post, so that will be up closer to the end of the month.

What have you guys been reading? Let me know in the comments!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week Two

This week was a pretty good one for reading. It was the last week before life goes back to strict routine and actual productivity. So we read, we were slobs, we ordered too much pizza, we rarely changed out of our pj’s and it was perfect.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week!

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The Marble Collector

I wrote about how much I adore Cecelia Ahern’s books recently and since then I’ve been happily surfing an avalanche of her books. The pile keeps growing and I’m happy to report that they still bring me the same comfort as when I was a teen. The Marble Collector is about a woman named Sabrina who comes across a box of marbles, fancy marbles. Her father, who is suffering from memory loss, had lived a life full of them but had kept it secret. As she goes on a mission to track down missing marbles and memories we learn all about her dad’s forgotten childhood and secret life.

It’s a beautiful book, told from the perspectives of both Sabrina and her dad, that takes you one hell of a journey through the past, present and a whole lot of Irish countryside. The writing is beautiful, the distinctive voices are engaging and the story is captivating. I may have cried a little but I definitely snorted, chuckled and gasped a fair amount too.

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Outlander

Everyone, their mothers, fathers, neighbours and pets are obsessed with Outlander. It’s a beast of a book about time-travel, action and romance and is raved about non-stop. I’ve been battling my way through the pages but so far I just can’t connect. I’m not sure why but I’m hoping that as the time-travel and historical factors really take hold I’ll be able to enjoy the story more. As of right now I haven’t really formed any substantial opinions about any of the characters. Except Frank, screw that guy.

The writing is strong and beautifully descriptive but personally my mind just keeps wandering. I’m only a shamefully tiny portion into this one so hopefully we’ll be friends soon, I’ll keep you posted!

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Royal Wedding

While in one of my cranky “Outlander is being mean to me” moments I decided to hide that monster of a book under my pillow and curl up with the nice safe, never-mean Princess Diaries. Royal Wedding is the first installment in which Mia is an adult and it’s super weird. It takes a while to get used to a 25 year old Mia, 29 year old Michael and an ancient Fat Louie who no longer eats socks. But Meg Cabot knows her characters so well and it’s so obvious, she’s a little older and little wiser but she still sounds like Mia. I grew up with Mia so reading her now as a 24 year old is surprisingly comforting and so, so much fun. I haven’t finished yet so I’ll write a review once I do but right now I’m really, truly loving Royal Wedding, it’s like being reunited with an old friend.

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Deep Dark Fears

Deep Dark Fears started as a webcomic about those odd little monsters our minds make of the most mundane and random things. Artist Fran Krause took inspiration from his and his followers weirdest, most irrational fears and turned them into beautifully illustrated giggle-worthy comics. They now make up one almost annoyingly beautiful book, it’s gorgeous, funny and shockingly relatable. Dealing with agoraphobia means that I have a pretty ridiculous amount of laughably irrational fears but reading what other people are scared of made me feel oddly validated! I could turn the page and see that some of what I would consider to be my least rational and most bonkers fears are shared and maybe I’m not so alone in my fear after all! Plus, it’s just so damn funny.

As for comics, this week was teeny tiny! I only had two books on my new pull – Surviving Megalopolis and Red Sonja. This new limited pull list is definitely going to take some getting used to, this week would have had at least 8 titles before! Both of these issues will be getting their own full reviews so keep an eye out for them next week.

What have you been reading?

Meg

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