The Spooky Book Tag

Happy Halloween!!

I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, I don’t like scary stuff and honestly for me the only good about Halloween is knowing Christmas is just a couple of months away.

But saying that, I can’t not celebrate Halloween in some way on this blog, so today I am going to do the Spooky Book Tag which was created by Rose from Rose Books.  The questions are inspired by all the things that creep me out the most so I hope you appreciate the torture I am putting myself through to write this (JK.)

With no further ado, let’s get on with the questions.

1. Corn Maze – what book had you confused and lost from the very beginning?

I normally give up on books I don’t understand. But I do remember being really confused with Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman because I had already watched the movie and when I started reading the book I was so confused because it was so different and I couldn’t get a grasp on the world. I’m definitely going to have to give that a reread.

2. Haunted house – what book has the creepiest setting?

This has got to be And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Being trapped on this tiny island in a house with a bunch of strangers who are getting killed one by one is the worst nightmare imaginable.

3. Ghost Boyfriend – who is your eternal book boyfriend?

I’m not really one to ship myself with fictional characters (I know, I’m missing out on all the fun). But Peter Mallark from The Hunger Games will forever own my heart.

4. Caramel Apple Suckers – best dang Halloween book ever.

Right now I’m reading Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar and the pictures are creeping me out so much. Yet I’m still enjoying it, so that one.

5. “Vampires in Everything” – what is your least favourite Halloween trope?

Frankenstein. I just don’t find the story interesting and it’s been adapted so many times into shitty films that barely even follow the story line. Blugh.

5. “Pumpkin in Everything” – what is your favourite Halloween trope?

I love murder mysteries and witches.

6. Evil Incarnate – The most evil villain

At the moment, Negan trumps them all. Fucking hate that guy.

7. Oujji Board – a book that messes with things that you don’t want to be involved in!

The Bone Season. The characters job is to enter the ‘aether’ which is basically where dead peoples souls exist. Just, nope, I can’t be doing that.

8. Full Moon – What character do you turn into on the full moon?

Anna from Anna and the French Kiss. She has the coolest life and honestly if I can’t go to Hogwarts Paris is the next best thing. 

9. All Hallows Eve – the other world and this world have meshed for one night; what book world would you love to be swept up in?

To be honest most of the book worlds I read are pretty messed up with people getting killed every five minutes. But I don’t think I could ever pass up the opportunity to walk through Diagon Alley, hop on the Hogwarts Express, have a butterbear in the Three Broomsticks and then have a tour through Hogwarts itself. It would be hard to squeeze all this in one night but I’d make it work.

10. Voodoo Doll – what author would you love to take control of and make them write you anything you want?

*Slight Spoilers for TOG/Assassins Blade* I would take control of Sarah J Maas and make her bring Sam back. 

11. Black Cat – what red flags do you look for when first starting out a book?

Instalove. Blugh.

12. Witches Brew – A book that had a lot of different components thrown in but the result was magical.

Miss Peregrines. Time travel, kids with cool abilities, an aspiring writer, creepy monsters, creepy pictures, romance, mystery… need I go on. 

13. TAG PEOPLE!!

Whoever want’s do this. I’m the worst at tagging people, I know. 

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

Autumn Reading Tag

Hello Guys!

Autumn has finally arrived in the UK. The leaves have turned, the air is crisp and fresh and there are pumpkins everywhere. So, I think it’s about time to do the Autumn Reading Tag which was created by booktuber Amy Jane Smith.

1) Are there any books you plan on reading over the Autumn season? 

I have already made a lot of progress with my tbr but I still have to read Mansfield Park and The Miniaturist, hopefully I’ll get to them in November. 

2) September brings back to school memories: what book did you most enjoy studying? And what were your favourite and least favourite school subjects?

My least favourite subject in school was science. I had the worst teacher and I was forced to take triple science with her, meaning I had a science lesson everyday, except for one day, when I had it twice in one day. Eugh. 

My favourite book to study was Handmaids Tale in A level literature but I also loved Shadow Forest by Matt Haig which was a group read in Primary School for the Nestle Smarties Book Awards because it was such a fun book to read. 

3) October means Halloween: do you enjoy scary books and films? If so what are some of your favourites?

I have never enjoyed scary films. But there are some ghosty/witchy childhood classics that I can tolerate like Halloween Town, Hocus Pocus and The Haunted Mansion. I’ve also recently watched Corpse Bride which is a great non-scary Halloween film. 

4) With November it’s time for bonfire night & firework displays. What’s the most exciting book you’ve read that really kept you gripped?

Recently I finally got to Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and loved it. It’s so tense and dramatic and I loved it so much. If you haven’t read it, you should give it a go. 

5) What book is your favourite cosy comfort read?

Harry Potter. Always Harry Potter. Nothing makes me feel more comforted than Harry Potter. 

6) Curled up with a good book, what is your hot drink of choice?

I like a good old cuppa rosie lee, tea (that’s some cockney rhyming slang for all you non-brits.) Specifically typhoo with 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and just a splash of milk. Mmm. 

7) Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

I have a lot of movies I want to watch this Halloween, so it’s going to be a lot of nights in with my journal and maybe some popcorn. 

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

Halloween & Deweys TBR

Hello Guys!

It is October which means two things, Halloween and Dewey’s 24hour readathon! I want to do TBR’s for both but I feel like I’m mostly just going to wing it for the readathon so there’s no point in doing a whole blog post on it. 

So, here are my two tbr’s for the upcoming weeks. 

Spooky TBR

Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – I did DNF this last year but I’ve decided I want to give it another go. As far as I can remember it’s about a baby who somehow sneaks out of his home and makes his way down to the graveyard where a bunch of ghosts find him and decide to raise him. 

Miss Peregrines Home of Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – The movie just came out for this and I wanted to read this soon anyway so what better time than now? Apparently it’s not that creepy so it’ll be a nice break from the scary stuff. 

Carrie by Stephen King – I can not believe I want to read this book. I have it in my mind that I’m not going to find it that scary but I know one thing, I am not reading this while it’s dark. 

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson – This sounds so creepy and involves kidnaps and predators. Who doesn’t love a good phsycholoical thriller this time of year. 

Horns by Joe Hill – I think this is more fantasy than scary but apparently it has some gothic elements in it and Danial Radcliffe is in the movie adaption. Can’t wait. 

Dewey’s 24hr readathon TBR

If you don’t know what dewey is I’ll leave a link here to the website. 

I always fail at this so this year I’m just going to go with the flow and read whatever I want to read whenever I feel like it. But here’s a general idea of what I’m planning.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (maybe.)

Miss Peregrines by Ransom Riggs.

A Sherlock Holmes book from my bind-up. 

Possibly a Agatha Christie book. 

So those are my tbrs. Let me know what spooky books you’re reading in honour of Halloween and whether you’re  participating in deweys!

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

Little Things To Love About Autumn

Hello Guys

If you follow social media at all you’ll have become aware that Autumn is a very well loved season by basically everyone, including me. So, in case you don’t share the same enthusiasm and are mourning the end of Summer,  I’m going to share with you the reasons why you should also feel this love for Autumn.

The Fashion

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Yes, it does get a little chilly in the Autumn. And after a summer of bikinis and sun-bathing this can come as a little bit of a shock, it’s understandable to therefore hold a grudge over Autumn.

But I see this as the perfect opportunity to break out my favourite fashion items, ankle boots, woolly jumpers, chequered scarves and my faithful leather jacket. So chic. ;P

The Leaves Turning

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Autumn has taken a long time to get going this year in the UK, but the leaves have slowly started turning into beautiful shades of reds, yellows, oranges and even purples. 

Spooky Reads

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What kind of book blogger would I be if I didn’t mention books at least once? While I do love reading in the hot sun there is something so special about reading in the autumn wearing one of those snuggely jumpers.

The best books to read in Autumn are spooky, unsettling and paranormal books (especially with Halloween on the horizon) so these are a few recommendations for you. 

Jane Eyre: An unlikely recommendation but this book is full of eerie locations, spooky mysteries and… a ghost?

And Then There Were None: This had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Frightening situation and the best ‘who did it’ I’ve ever read. 

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer: Girl wakes up from an accident she has no memory of to learn all her friends are dead. Now that’s spooky. 

Before I Go To Sleep: Psychological thriller with crazy twists and a unreliable narrative sounds perfect for Halloween, am I right?

Half Bad: If you like witches, here they are but with a twist. Think Wicked, now imagine what would happen if Elphaba and Glinda had a child. That is this book. 

Chamber of Secrets: Harry Potter is a perfect read for Halloween (any excuse lets be honest) and this one happens to have a death day party on Halloween. A room full of ghosts is my boggart. 

Halloween Movies

I have never been the biggest fan of scary movies. In fact the only one I’ve watched is Women In Black (because Danial Radcliffe) and I screamed out loud watching it and still jump when there’s a noise in the night.

So, I’ll stick to my old childhood favourites I think.

Hot Chocolate

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Side Note: Not my picture^^^^^

I like my hot chocolate with whipped cream and mini marsh mellows and I normally use Galaxy Ripple chocolate powder because I’m all about the simple life. This and a book. Heaven!

Candles img_0712

A jumper, spooky book and mug of hot chocolate sounds good but is incomplete. Add a pumpkin spiced candle and abracadabra, instant coziness. You will be winning at Autumn.

So those are the things I love about Autumn. What do you love most about this season? 

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

T5W: Books That Took The Longest To Read.

t5wHello Guys.

This month I thought I’d jump back into the action of Top 5 Wednesday which was created by Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted over on goodreads by Samantha from ThoughtsonThomes.

I used to do these a lot but then I just got out of the swing of it, so I’m going to take part in all of the October t5w and see if I still enjoy it.

This weeks topic: Books that took me the longest to read

When it takes me a long time to read the book it means I’m not enjoying it, so I normally end up DNF-ing the book because I don’t like wasting time on books I’m not interested in. However there are some books that I seriously struggled with but felt like I had to finish. So, here they are.

1- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: A year. This took me an entire year to read. I started it February 2015 and finished it February 2016. I just did not enjoy this book. I disliked the majority of the characters and found 2/3’s of it boring. Yet everyone loves it so I felt obligated to finish it. 

2- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: To be honest I didn’t want to read this book (and the films didn’t help) but I felt like I had to read it before I started the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is the reason it took me so long to get to that series. 

3- The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern: I think this might have taken over a year as well. I see why people love it but I struggled big time with it. I just don’t think whimsical magician books are for me. 

4- Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken: To be honest I am so done with YA dystopia’s like these. But I felt like I had to read this book because they were a christmas gift from my parents. It took me ages to get through this one and I still haven’t read the last one. Opps.

5- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: I really wish I had held off watching the show and read this first because I genuinely think I wouldn’t have struggled with it otherwise. I just had an internal battle with myself the entire time of whether I should  bother reading these or should just watch it like everyone else. I also blame Martin for not finishing the next book before the new season came out. 

So that is this weeks top 5 Wednesday! Let me know if you also take part. 

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

A Month of Reading: September

Hello guys

I can not believe it is October already. I’m getting some serious Halloween (and even Christmas) feels right now.

But before we start thinking about that, let’s get into what I read in September. September was a pretty good month of reading, although I wish I’d done more of it. I ended up reading 7 books (and starting another one) and none of them were huge disappointments, result.

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Heart of Betrayal and Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson: I actually listened to the audiobook of Beauty of Darkness so it’s not in the picture, but I finally finished this trilogy. I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed by it in the end. I just found that the story was driven more by a love triangle I didn’t care for more than the threat Lia and her kingdom was facing. It could also be partly to do with the fact that I just don’t feel like reading fantasy atm but I just lost interest in this.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I loved this story so much. It follows three women in a time when segregation and inequality of black and white people was still prominent. Two of the women are maids who are constantly facing prejudice and violence, and the third is a wannabe writer who decides she wants to write the stories of black women in service. This is one of those books that had me fist-bumping thin air for the small victories the main characters won and I just love how much I came to care for them. If you haven’t already, please read this.

12 Years a Slave by Soloman Northup: It was really difficult to read this because it is a man recounting his time of being forced into slavery in a country he had grown a life and a family in. It’s so hard to read him being taken from his family but I’m glad that I did read it as even though it’s hard, it’s important this history isn’t forgotten.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman: This is basically a dystopia novel that switches up history. It has the usual elements of a YA dystopia trilogy; corrupt government, rebel group trying to take it down, romance, etc. But in this the social inequalities are based on the colour of peoples skin, blacks are the crosses who live in wealth and privilege and the whites are noughts who are born to and die with nothing. Through a lot of this book I thought it relied a bit too heavily on the forbidden romance between a nought and a cross (although I did of course enjoy that aspect of it) but after finishing it I am really excited to continue the series.

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson: That’s right guys. I’ve read it. I have finally read it. And it was good. Not ‘amazing,’ ‘oh my god the best thing ever,’ but it certainly wasn’t disappointing. This follows a women who, due to a terrible ‘accident’ has trouble retaining memory and therefore wakes up everyday confused and wondering where she is. She keeps a journal which her doctor reminds her about everyday and the first thing she reads in it is to not trust her husband. This of course immediately gripped me and it was a whirlwind of crazy shocks and surprises, exactly what I was expecting. But it did get a little dull for me around the middle which is why I can’t say this is the best book I ever read, but I do recommend you read it. Especially if you’re a fan of Gone Girl.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I did struggle with this book even though it’s only 80 pages but this is the only Sherlock story that I actually knew/remembered the conclusion of so I feel like that put it at a disadvantage before I even started it. Hopefully I’ll be able to read more Sherlock books this month and hopefully I enjoy them more.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: I have only just started this but that is the most progress I have made with this book since I got it 3 years ago so I think I’m actually going to get this off my tbr very soon. HALLELUJAH!

So that’s what I read in September. I am in such a ‘I need to read ALL the books’ mood right now and I am using that to drive me to read rather than… I don’t know, watch tv/youtube. So hopefully I’m going to get a lot of books read in October.

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx

Long Overdue Book Haul

Hello Guys!

Todays blog post is going to be a combined June/July/August/September because it has been ages since I’ve done one of these and I have accumulated a lot of new books since then, seeing as it has also been my birthday since I last did one.

June/July

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Miss Peregrine Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I feel like everybody and their mother has read this and the movie was just released so I want to read this really soon. Hopefully it will be a perfect read leading up to Halloween.

A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler: I’ve actually already read this one, *pats self on back.* This follows a family through three generations and while I found the end a little disappointing I did love how Anne Tyler captured real life. It was a nice summer read.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: I actually have two blog posts on this already, a non spoiler review and spoiler discussion. But basically after reading this I found I could’ve lived without it. In fact, I kinda wish this was even a thing.

August

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Hamilton The Revolution by Lin Manuel Mirander: August was my birthday month and for my birthday I got this beautiful thing. I love hamilton and I love reading about the songs and what inspired Hamilton, but I will admit I found some parts a little boring.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: For my birthday I got a whsmith gift voucher from my grandparents so I finally got my hands on the barnes and noble leatherbound bind-up of all of the sherlock holmes novels and stories. I have wanted to read the sherlock stories for ages and now I finally can.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This is actually my second copy of this book but I love it so much that I when I saw it in a charity shop for £1 I decided to get it so I could write and draw in it. So far I’ve really enjoyed doing this and it’s making me want to write in books more #theshame.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: This is another book I got with a voucher from my birthday. I will admit I was really disappointed by this book.

Half Of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie: I’ve only read her speech ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ so I’m excited to get to her fictional stories because I’ve heard great things about her storytelling.

September

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11:22:63 by Stephen King: I have never read a Stephen King book before and this one sounds really interesting (and not so scary.)

Empire Of Storms by Sarah J Maas: This is another one I got with a giftcard but to be honest now that I have it I can’t see myself reading this in the near future (or ever.) I’m just not interested in this series anymore.

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt: Really creepy cover so possibly a halloween read?

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: I’ve wanted to read something by her for ages so when I saw this in a charity shop I snatched it up. It’s really short so hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez: A classic I’ve heard so many good things about. I don’t know when I’ll get to this but I’m glad I have it.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: This book sounds like something you’d see in downton abbey (which I love.)

So those are the books I got in the last 4 months.

Thanks for reading

Jess xxx