Wednesday, 15 August 2018

I may not have been blogging, but I was reading

May, June and July were strange months for me. I had my final exams for my first semester of university (which overall went really well) in June and then in July I had a whole month of holidays and I did absolutely nothing. I had all these plans for things I wanted to do, including reading, writing, blogging, working etc. but I didn't really do anything except for read a little bit here and there. I didn't even work which at the time was a little bit annoying (I couldn't get anymore shifts at work), but I think in reality that break was exactly what I needed. Now I am back and refreshed, but I did want to catch you all up on what I read during that time!

May, 2018

May was the month of being VERY addicted to this game (I promise I'm over it now... kind of)
1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling - ★★

I was so conflicted about this book (or should I say screenplay script?). I wanted to love it because I (used to) love all things Harry Potter, but I just could not connect with it. I always understood that it would be a little bit different because it's about different characters and also it's going to read differently to the original series because it is just a script BUT it just felt like even the original characters were completely different people. I get that growing up changes people, but Harry was on a sugar free diet? Um what. Harry and Albus both completely irritated me.. The only two characters who were decent and actually seemed to stay true to themselves were Draco and Scorpius. 

Having said all that, there were certain aspects that I enjoyed like seeing the alternate realities of what could have happened if things had gone differently, but the majority of it just didn't seem right. Who knows, maybe it would have been a different story if I had seen the play rather than just reading the script... (petition to have the play come to New Zealand because even though I just wrote a semi-scathing review, I would still love to see it).

2. Fables, Volume Two: Animal Farm, by Bill Willingham - ★★★★★

A solid five stars to this one. Easily. I'm a huge fan of graphic novels (perfect for slumps, busy times and all occasions) and this is the latest graphic novel series I have discovered and plan on devouring. I love the stories, the artwork and all the different dynamics between characters. (It also helps that my library lets me borrow eBook copies of these so I don't even have to leave the house... I promise I do get out and socialise sometimes.)

June, 2018

(I was looking for photos from June of interesting things I did, but it turns out I just played a lot of games of monopoly with my friends so all I could find was videos of us arguing, which while it is funny, isn't really what I was going for with this post)

1. Act Like It, by Lucy Parker - ★★★★★

Lucy Parker. Read one of her books. If you can feel the onset of a slump and need something light and easy to pull you back out of it then her books are perfect... Actually they're perfect for anytime. It was light and funny, but the characters also had depth and the storyline was interesting. I have a pretty angsty relationship with romance books and we don’t always get on well, but Lucy Parker has changed my mind about the genre. Thank you to Shanti and Ella for (not-so-gently) pushing me to read this. You guys have the best recommendations!

2. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas - ★★★★★

Such an overwhelmingly important read that everybody needs to experience! I can't believe it took me joining a book club to actually read it (I'm a huge anti-hype person sometimes and I need to change that about myself because hype is not a bad thing). I wrote a full review on THUG here so pleeeease check that out and reeeeaaaaddd the book!!

3. Pretty Face, by Lucy Parker - ★★★★★

Aaaaaand another Lucy Parker book because her cute and fluffy romances are my latest obsession. I don't often binge series, but ohmygosh these books are too good. Now I just have to get hold of the rest of the series.

July, 2018

I joined the tramping club at uni and climbed a mountain
1. The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon - ★★★★★

Somewhere above I talked about how I tend to avoid books that are overhyped... This is another example of this... and yet again, I regret putting it off for as long as I did. What an amazing book. I can already feel that it's going to be one of my favourites of 2018. AAAAAAAHHHHH! I just want to flail and fangirl about it so if you've read it let me know! And if you haven't then close this post and go find a copy... somewhere... anywhere... You. Have. To. Read. It.

2. The Two Lolitas, by Michael Maar - ★★★

I read Lolita aaages ago and it was a strange read for sure, but I think I enjoyed it? Anyway! This a non-fic about whether or not Lolita was truly an original as there is evidence that a short story under the same name and with a VERY similar story line was published in a journal not long before Nabakov wrote his Lolita. The Two Lolita's wasn't exactly an easy read (it was super dense) which is why it took me soooo long to read, but it was also a really interesting concept and I don't really know what to think about Lolita's originality now. Would recommend to people who have already read Lolita and want to know more about the novels origin.

3. The Pale Dreamer, by Samantha Shannon - ★★★

Loved The Bone Season, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed by this. It felt like a lot of telling of things that I already knew (having read The Bone Season) and in comparison with The Bone Season, it just felt clunky and unnatural. Would still recommend it to those who have read The Bone Season as it is only a short read, but don't go into it with huge expectations like I did.

4. On the Merits of Unnaturalness, by Samantha Shannon - ★★★★

So it seems like this was the month of Samantha Shannon. This was a cute wee read that just informed the reader more on the different levels of 'unnaturalness' from The Bone Season. Nothing too fancy, but it was interesting enough and a nice small companion novel to sneak a couple of pages of when I was supposed to be studying.

What books have you read recently? Tell me you absolute favourite from the last few months! Have you read any of the books that I talked about here? And can someone pleeeeaaase talk to me about The Bone Season?!


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas || This Book Was Banned?!

The Hate U Give
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

A couple of months ago, I joined The Banned Book Club, hosted by Shruti @ This is Lit and one of the first books we read as a group was The Hate U Give. Now, I've been a very slack blogger lately and this review is suuuuuper late, but better late than never! If you want to check out Shruti's review it's here.

Why/where was this book banned?

The Hate U Give wasn't a widely banned book, but it was banned by a school district in Texas for the drug use and explicit language in it.

Was the banning warranted?

In general I don't think books should be banned. Of course there are cases where the content may be so awful that younger readers should not be allowed to read it, but generally it seems that all banning does is encourage people to read a book*.

As for whether THUG should have been banned? It's a big no from me. I think that this is a book that people should be encouraged to read. It has so many important themes relating to discrimination and racism and it highlights things that are actually still happening in the world right now. If you're going to ban this book then you might as well ban the news too. The news has more horrific things happening everyday. And sure there's drug use, and some explicit language, but the drug use isn't romanticised or portrayed in any sort of positive light, it's just part of these teens lives. That's reality for them.

I just hope that the schools who banned this book found that it had the opposite effect and suddenly everyone wanted to read it.

*Sidenote: When I was in primary school, Twilight was banned and suddenly everyone wanted to read it. I don't think I've ever seen so many people interested in a book, even people that you would NEVER have seen reading before. We traded around copies like it was some sort of bookish black market and some people even went as far as to hide them in the jackets of other books... it was great!

My thoughts

This tweet basically sums up my thoughts for The Hate U Give:

I loved it and I think it is such an important story. I don't know what else to say other than READ THIS! (and if you already have then talk to me about it).

Have you read THUG? Did you love it as much as I did? Also, what do you think of banning books... Would it just make you more eager to read it?


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Some Bookish Things About Me

I haven't written a blog post in a while, but recently Ella (from Novelly Ella) wrote a post with 19 bookish facts about herself and suggested that I do the same, but I don't currently have the brain capacity to come up with 19 facts (uni takes most of my brain power) so ten will have to do! You can check out Ella's post here.

1. I'm a HUGE mood reader. If I'm not in the mood for a certain genre and I try to force my way through it then I promise you, I will fall into a slump. (I'm currently in the mood for intense fantasies so recommendations are welcome).

2. For some reason, lately I've been finding it so much easier to read books on my phone than anywhere else... I'm not sure what it is, it just feels like less effort than a physical book or an ebook on kindle. Please tell me I'm not the only one!

3. I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo last year and actually finished it! But since then I've never looked at it again. It was a very messy first draft and I don't know if I can read it again without cringing.

4. Recently I've found that there is so much time in my day during which I can listen to audiobooks. Driving somewhere? Audiobook time. Going for a run? Audiobook time. On a break at work? Audiobook time. Can't sleep? Audiobook time. Sooooo many hidden minutes in the day.

5. The Harry Potter series will always be one of my favourite series of all time. I don't even know how many times I've read it, but I'm currently reading the fifth one again (definitely a fav).

6. I have this pirate story idea in my head that I really, really want to write, but for some reason I just don't know how to start it. I basically have a group of characters running around in my head and not a lot of storyline. I'll get there though!

7. I've been blogging on and off for a VERY long time. I think I first started when I was thirteen and had a blog called Tangled in Words and then I went from that to The Paperback Palace and then Word Elixirs and now here I am at Words With Lara. It has been a journey, but I'm glad I'm still here in this bookish community.

8. I will either sit down and read a book in one or two sittings... OR it will take me months to get through it. There is no in between.

9. I am a serial procrastinator when it comes to EVERYTHING (including reading, writing and blogging). Even if I have an idea for a post and I have the time to write and schedule it, I probably won't do it until the night before.

10. One day I hope to publish my own novel... I have so many ideas and so little time at the moment, but it's one of my biggest goals in life and I will do it! I will!!

Tell me an interesting fact about yourself! It doesn't have to be bookish. Or even just tell me if you can relate to any of my facts :)