November Wrap Up

It’s been a quiet reading and blogging month as I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo… and I completed it! It’s the second time I’ve done it and it’s really motivated me to keep writing. I planned it a lot better this year and think my manuscript really benefited from it.

What I Read

Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman

Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell

Wild Fire by Anna McKerrow

Book Post

I’ve had some really exciting book post this month and need to get back into reading so I can get through them all!

Final 7 by Kerry Drewery

(Thanks Hot Key books!)

Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland

(Thanks Walker Books!)

What I Wrote:

As I said, I’m now an official NaNoWriMo winner. I think I owe the success in part to M. G. Leonard: I started listening to her podcasts on writing and was inspired to get up early to write instead of trying to do it after work when I’m exhausted. So I got up at 5:30 most days in November and it’s done wonders for my writing routine! I’d really recommend checking them out.

What I watched:

TV

This month we’ve  watched the latest series of American Horror Story, and it was a struggle. I really wanted to like the series but it just didn’t do anything for me. We’ve moved on to Electric Dreams now and that’s really interesting.

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore has had two trips to the transport museum this month and has really loved it. He just wanders around pointing and saying ‘Car! Wow! Brummm!’ So cute!

Book Review: Wild Fire (Anna McKerrow)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Format: Kindle Edition

Pages: 530

Release Date: November 14th 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

The last book in the Greenworld trilogy follows Sadie, Roach’s daughter and Danny’s former girlfriend, as she finds a new identity as the third branded witch along with Danny and Melz. Sadie, a natural healer, is training to be a witch in Tintagel, Cornwall, as well as trying to deal with her own difficult past. Plus, she’s fallen in love with Melz, but Demelza Hawthorne is a tortured soul. Can Sadie’s love bring Melz back into the light, or will she be lost altogether?

Meanwhile, a global network of resistance is forming against the corrupt, dystopian Redworld governments. Sadie travels by accident through the portal to Mount Shasta, home to a Native American tribe, who indicate that they too are holding out against the Redworld. The war for fuel is over, and new solutions have to be found fast. But in Tintagel, Lowenna Hawthorne, Head Witch of the Greenworld, is in denial about the need for change.

In the final dramatic climax to the trilogy, the Greenworld witches have to do something more difficult than they ever have, but saving the world means refusing to be separate anymore. Can they join with others, despite their differences, and usher in a brave new world? Or will the Greenworld disappear altogether?

Review:

I remember finishing Red Witch and being so excited for the next book, and theorising who would be telling the final part of the story. I can now confirm that – hey, I was right, it’s Sadie’s turn!

Sadie is the third branded witch, along with Danny and Melz and this new generation has plenty to deal with. As well as dealing with the fallout of the actions of their parents, the Greenworld is filling with refugees from the Redworld. The war is over there but the troubles are far from solved. To add to all that, Sadie has to deal with massive crush she’s developed on Melz.

I loved seeing Sadie’s story. I don’t think we’ve seen much of her yet, and it was great to get to know a new witch, especially one who wasn’t as born into it as Danny and Melz were. She has a lot of bottled up emotions from her past – the actions of her abusive father, Roach, the terrible act her mother committed in the previous book – and it’s interesting to see how she deals with them as the book progresses.

The situation with the Greenworld and Redworld is fascinating. While at first glance the Greenworld might seem like a protected utopia, it soon becomes clear that separation is not sustainable and another solution will need to be found. Not everyone is open to change though, and Sadie and Melz have to make some tough decisions in the interest of the Greenworld.

I still have a soft spot for Melz and it was great to see a resolution of her story. Hers has definitely been the most complex and emotional across the three books and she’s got a special place in my heart now. I loved the relationship that slowly blossomed between her and Sadie and it was great to see her finally let herself be loved and be happy.

This didn’t go the way I expected to and I was happily surprised with the progression of events. The ending is beautifully hopeful and gave me an embarrassingly gooey feeling inside, without being too twee. This is a fantastic trilogy and I’d really recommend picking it up if you haven’t yet.

4

Book Review: Chasing the Stars (Malorie Blackman)

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Pages: 496

Release Date: April 21st 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Olivia and her twin brother Aidan are heading alone back to Earth following the virus that wiped out the rest of their crew, and their family, in its entirety.

Nathan is part of a community heading in the opposite direction. But on their journey, Nathan’s ship is attacked and most of the community killed. Only a few survive.

Their lives unexpectedly collided, Nathan and Olivia are instantly attracted to each other, deeply, head-over-heels – like nothing they have ever experienced. But not everyone is pleased.

Surrounded by rumours, deception, even murder, is it possible to live out a happy ever after . . . ?

 

Review:

I was so excited when I heard about this and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read it. I read an amazing space YA in The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and had high expectations for this.

Unfortunately, I found this a bit of a letdown.

The characters felt rather one dimensional and it committed one of my biggest book faux-pas:  insta-love. Pretty much as soon as Vee and Nathan saw each other they were in love and their relationship went hurtling at light speed. And I just couldn’t buy it. No matter how many moments or nice conversations they had, no matter how lonely Vee had been before, I couldn’t see their relationship as real.

I called the big twist pretty early on too, and although I felt it was obvious, it was quite a cool idea. I liked the world building and was intrigued by the Mazons and the Authority and wished I could have a story about them rather than a space romance.

Then came the inevitable relationship breakdown as Vee succumbs to suggestions that Nathan is unfaithful and grows paranoid about his actions. I just couldn’t bring myself to care at this point. None of it was subtle and I lost respect for Vee for falling for it all so easily.

I understand this is a retelling of Othello so that’s where the basis of the plot came from but I don’t think the romance was strong enough to hang it all on. It’s hard to say I’m disappointed by a Malorie Blackman book but it just didn’t live up to expectations. I still enjoyed some aspects of it but I don’t think it’s one I’ll be re-visiting.

I’m off to re-read Noughts and Crosses to remind myself how wonderful Malorie Blackman is.

 

October Wrap Up

I feel like I’ve managed to read a lot more this month, and I think that’s because I’m blogging less. I’m not worried about writing reviews for books, just trying to enjoy them. I’m trying to get through all the books I got last Christmas which are shamefully still sitting on my TBR (ready for a new bunch in a couple of months!)

What I Read

Another Beginning by Lauren James

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (Audio Books) by Suzanne Collins

Monster by Michael Grant

The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich

Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick

Book Post

After being really good last month and not requesting any books, I went on a little spree this month. I just couldn’t resist!

Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

(Thanks Electric Monkey)

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

I Am Thunder by Muhammas Khan

Renegades by Merissa Meyer

(Thanks Macmillan Children’s Books!)

Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

(Thanks Puffin!)

Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

(Thanks Gollancz!)

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Luedecke

(Competition win – thanks Lisa Luedecke!)

A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen

(Comeptition win – thanks Walker Books!)

I also had my beautiful, limited edition of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage arrive. I can’t bring myself to start it yet, it feels it needs a special occasion/hours to sit down and binge read!

What I Wrote:

I slacked off a bit on the writing front at the beginning of the month and slowly brought myself back into it by deciding to do NaNoWriMo again this year. So I’ve planned in detail and am hoping to get the bulk of the novel written in November (fingers crossed) So if it’s a bit quiet on here in November then that’s why!

What I watched:

TV

This month has been all about Louis Theroux. We started off watching his new series on the BBC, and then binged some of his older ones on Netflix and Prime. I could watch him go just about anywhere, I love all his shows.

Films/What I Did

This month we watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe which was super creepy and fun – I’d definitely recommend it. We also got my sister to babysit and had our first date night in months. We went to see It and loved it – that perfect mix of creepiness and gore and laughs. I need to rewatch the original now, as I only have vague memories of being terrified of that when I was a tween!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore is growing far too fast! He’s really into speaking at the moment and his vocabulary is growing by the day. He loves to say ‘car’ still, and now has a wide range of animal noises he can do, from camel to elephant to giraffe! He’s teething at the moment, which seems to be a never-ending trauma – I can’t wait for him to finally have his full set of teeth!