My Shadowhunter Journey

Just after Christmas 2016, not too long ago, I decided a book buying spree was in order. I had a small amount of Christmas money that needed to be well spent on stocking up books on my TBR, ready for my hefty 2017 reading challenge of 55 books. I put in a few online orders, but I really wanted to get out and about and see what good post-Christmas deals the bookshops had (because supporting physical bookstores is very important!).

So I drove the short distance to the shopping centre slightly larger than the one in my home town, and after a short while, I found a gem! The Mortal Instruments series, all boxed up and wrapped in shiny plastic, the price label staring right at me. £49 reduced to £12! TWELVE POUNDS! I just could not leave it there! I had heard so much about the series, and knew of the Netflix series through my sister, and my interest had been sparked. I knew very little about the series beyond the fact that there was a group of people who hunt demons, but there was something deep inside me that wanted to know more. I’m always slightly skeptical about buying an entire series before knowing if I will like it, but if the worst came, eBay exists!  

I didn’t start City of Bones straight away, as there were other books I was desperate to get to. However, once I started it, there was no tearing me away. Oh my gosh, I was hooked!! I hadn’t experienced anything like this since Harry Potter. Of course, I immediately fell for Jace Wayland (and to this day, nothing has changed!), and found the characters and the entire Shadowhunter world to be so rich and well-written. 

I whizzed through the first 3 books, and thanks to a few Book-tube videos and Goodreads, I found out about The Infernal Devices. There are different ways you can read these 2 series (well, series and a trilogy), but those who had followed CassandraClare’s writing from the beginning had of course read them in publication order, whichis how I decided was the best way to proceed to get the most out of my experience with the story. So my reading order was as follows…

  • City of Bones
  • City of Ashes
  • City of Glass
  • Clockwork Angel
  • City of Fallen Angels
  • Clockwork Prince
  • City of Lost Souls
  • Clockwork Princess
  • City of Heavenly Fire

I definitely found the story flowed really well reading them this way, and recommend anyone who is thinking of reading them to read in this order. Another reason being City of Heavenly Fire contains some spoilers for The Infernal Devices trilogy!

Around about half way through City of Heavenly Fire, I decided that nothing I would see in the Shadowhunters show on Netflix would ruin the little I had left to read, so I had a few days of binge-watching Series 1 and 2A in preparation for Series 2B being released really soon! The TV show does have it’s differences, but when is an adatation of a book ever really that accurate?!

I took a bit of a break after finishing City of Heavenly Fire. I don’t consider myself much of a fantasy reader anyway, so after 9 books of the high fantasy genre, I wanted a bit of time out before moving on to more of Clare’s writing. I read Thirteen Reasons Why (by this time, the hype around the Netflix show was massive, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about!) and Fangirl, which were both fairly quick reads for me, and allowed me to return to known territory for a bit. But not for long!

By the time I had finished Fangirl, it was May 11th, and book 2 of The Dark Artifices (Clare’s 3rd Shadowhunter series) was being released on May 23rd. Had I started book 1, Lady Midnight, by then? No! I thought the size of City of Heavenly Fire was daunting, but blimey Lady Midnight was a big book! I started on May 11th, and it took me a while to get through, because reality started to catch up with me. Work, friends, family, life in general just took over and I found barely anytime to read. As the release date for Lord of Shadows drew closer, I knew I had to factor in more time for reading. I must have whizzed through the kast half of the book in about 3 days! I didn’t quite manageto finish before Lord of Shadows was released, but I was not far behind.

So this story ends in the present day. I’ve been reading Lord of Shadows for 3 days, and I’m about 150 pages in. It is already just as exciting as Lady Midnight was, and I have heard it will break my heart at the end… I look forward to it!

I hope you enjoyed this short story about how Shadowhunters came to be such a big part of my life, and if you haven’t read them already, I seriously recommended you give them a try! Oh, and maybe watch the Netflix show as well…

Until next time,

Jade 🙂

2016 Book Roundup

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Hi! It’s been a while hasn’t it. I’m really sorry for not posting for the last part of 2016, but I have started my partial blogging hiatus! However, I thought I shouldn’t deny you the small excitement of seeing what I read in 2016, so here is my (slightly late) 2016 book roundup! I really like these kind of posts because I get to reflect on my reading year, and plan ahead for next year too!

My 2015 book list:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Soul Reapers by Shay West (5 stars)
  • What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor (3 stars)
  • Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell (4 stars)
  • Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten (4 stars)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (textbook) by Newt Scamander (5 stars)
  • Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson (1 star)
  • The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan (2 stars)
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (4 stars)
  • Beside Myself by Ann Morgan (4.5 stars)
  • Hesitation Wounds by Amy Koppelman (3 stars)
  • Shtum by Jem Lester (4 stars)
  • Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (4 stars)
  • The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (4 stars)
  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (4 stars)
  • The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan (4 stars)
  • The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza (4.5 stars)
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (4 stars)
  • Homecoming by Tanya Bullock (3 stars)
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (5 stars)
  • After You by Jojo Moyes (5 stars)
  • Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin (5 stars)
  • All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (4.5 stars)
  • Subject 375 by Nikki Owen (4 stars)
  • The Fault in Our Stars (reread) by John Green (5 stars)
  • The Killing Files by Nikki Owen (5 stars)
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (5 stars)
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (4.5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne & JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (4.5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Flawless by Sara Shepard (3 stars)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (4.5 stars)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (4 stars)
  • Her by Harriet Lane (3.5 stars)
  • Sister by Rosamund Lupton (5 stars)
  • The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood (4 stars)
  • Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson (5 stars)
  • Atomic Number Sixty by Dave Johnston (4 stars)
  • Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson (5 stars)
  • Confessions: The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson (5 stars)
  • Confessions: The Murder of an Angel by James Patterson (5 stars)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay) by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (3.5 stars)
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (5 stars)
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass (5 stars)
  • stared The Elite by Kiera Cass (4.5 stars)

Which brings me to a total of 51 books this year!! I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 50 books, so I did well to maintain a good reading speed! In 2017, I aim to read 55, and I have plenty of books lined up to satisfy whatever cravings I have! I’m now going to go through which books were my top 5, my bottom 5 and the authors I plan on reading again next year…

Top 5 books (in order):

5. The Girl In The Ice

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4. Confessions of a Murder Suspect

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3. Black Eyed Susans

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2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay)

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and the winner is…

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Least Favourite 5 books (in order):

5. Her

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4. The Last Days of Summer

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3. Hesitation Wounds

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2. Homecoming

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and the loser is…

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Top 5 authors I enjoyed so much I want to read them again:

5. Kiera Cass

4. Robert Bryndza

3. Julia Heaberlin

2. Nicola Yoon

and… James Patterson

So that was my 2016 year of books! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year, and here’s to another amazing and positively bookish 2017!

Happy New Year and Happy Blogging!

Until next year…

Jade 🙂

 

Book Tag: 3 Days, 3 Quotes

Thank you to Bre from Forgotten Pumpkin Pie for tagging me to do this really lovely tag! If you know me or have been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I love a good quote so here is my first quote of three:

What’s comin’ will come, and we will meet it when it does.

– Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This could possibly be my favourite quote from Harry Potter (but don’t quote me on that haha!)

I look forward to sharing more quotes with you over the next few days

Happy Wednesday and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

Book Tag: 3 Days, 3 Quotes

Thank you to Bre from Forgotten Pumpkin Pie for tagging me to do this really lovely tag! If you know me or have been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I love a good quote so here is my first quote of three:

It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.

– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I look forward to sharing more quotes with you over the next few days
Happy Thursday and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

2015 Book Roundup

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Hello fellow bookworms! I would firstly like to apologise for no post yesterday, but I’m hoping this one off post will make up for it. I’m going to be looking at the books I read in 2015, which I liked the best, which ones I didn’t enjoy so much and all the books I actually managed to read. I’m so pleased with my reading accomplishments in 2015, and the start of my blog has just been an extra addition that has made this year extra special. I’m looking forward to a full year of blogging and reading (hopefully minus any reading slumps!) and get a lot of books read! With no more babbling on, I’ll get on with my roundup!

My 2015 book list:

  • The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (5 stars)
  • The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (3 stars)
  • The Well by Catherine Chanter (3 stars)
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth (5 stars)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (5 stars)
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (5 stars)
  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (5 stars) x2
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (5 stars) x2
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (5 stars) x2
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (5 stars) x2
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (5 stars) x1.5 <I almost finished it twice but I’m only about 30% through!
  • Fifty Shades Freed by EL James (3 stars)
  • Saving London by Taylor Dawn (4 stars)
  • The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett (5 stars)
  • All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (5 stars)
  • Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz (5 stars)
  • The Flip by Michael Phillip Cash (3 stars)
  • Organ Reapers by Shay West (4.5 stars)
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (3.5 stars)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (5 stars)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (5 stars)
  • Awake by Melanie Surani (4.5 stars)
  • Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee (3 stars)
  • The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson (4 stars)
  • The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger (1 star)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (3 stars)
  • The Boy In The Mirror by Tom Preston (5 stars)
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (5 stars)
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (3 stars)
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (4 stars)
  • Wake Up by Claire Colley (5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (4.5 stars)
  • Outspoken by Lora Richardson (3.5 stars)
  • It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden (5 stars)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (5 stars)
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (3.5 stars)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (5 stars)
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (3 stars)
  • and hopefully I will finish Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…

Which brings me to a total of 44 books this year!! I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 35 books, so I well and truly smashed that! I’m now going to go through which books were my top 5, my bottom 5 and the authors I plan on reading again next year…

Top 5 books (in order):

5. The Husband’s Secret

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4. Gone Girl

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3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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2. Me Before You

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and the winner is…

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Least Favourite 5 books (in order):

5. Go Set A Watchman

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4. Fifty Shades Freed

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3. The Well

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2. The Bell Jar

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and the loser is…

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Top 5 authors I enjoyed so much I want to read them again:

5. Laura Barnett

4. Liane Moriarty

3. Markus Zusak

2. Gillian Flynn

and… Jojo Moyes

 

So that was my 2015 year of books! I hope you all have a happy new year and make it until midnight wherever you are in the world, and here’s to another amazing and positively bookish 2016!

Happy New Year and Happy Blogging!

Until next year…

Jade 🙂

 

How do books make you feel?

Well…

I have recently just finished reading Me Before You (read my review here) and it was extremely sad. It made me feel an array of emotions throughout it’s entirety. The strange thing is, after reading some reviews of this book, I picked it up 1) because the story actually appealed to me and 2) because people had said it would make me cry. Why? Why would you pick up a book that you know is going to make you cry. I picked up The Fault In Our Stars because of the emotional aspects involved with reading it, yet I still read it, and I still cried.

So why do we put ourselves through this? Why do we read books we know are going to make us cry? Well, if you really think about it, although crying is sad, it is still an emotion, as is, for example, laughing. Why do we pick up books that we know are going to make us laugh? Usually because we want to feel good, right? So I think the real question here is, why do we read books we know are going to make us emotional? By emotional, I don’t just mean sad, I mean any emotion; happy, sad, tearful, thoughtful, whatever.

Personally, I like a book that is going to make me feel things. I know I have picked up the wrong book if I don’t feel anything through reading it, and the author has not done his/her job in captivating the reader to feel a certain way for the characters. Books are written in a certain way, so the author wants you to feel those things; they want you to cry, or laugh, or think about the narrative. When I’m crying over a book, it means I have completely engaged with the characters and that makes me feel so good, because it makes me want to read more of the author’s work, as I know that they can write a good story!

What about you? If you know a book is going to be sad, would you pick it up? What would make you want to read a book that you know is going to make you cry? Or laugh? Or think? Do you have any examples? Comment below what you think 🙂

The Classics… Are They Overrated?

I started reading classic books from quite a young age, although they were few and far between, and they were obviously children’s classics. I was bought The Secret Garden, my first classic read, and I absolutely loved it! My grandparents then bought me Alice In Wonderland, which I thoroughly enjoyed as well. I then went years without reading classic books, not really finding any to take my fancy. I then decided to download Little Women on my Kindle (for free) after hearing it mentioned in a Friends episode. I really got into the first half of the book, then I put it down, and haven’t started it up again since (although I really should because I so want to find out what happens to Beth and whether Laurie ends up with any other March sisters)! I also had to read the traditional Watering Heights by Emily Brontë for my English exam at GCSE, which I loathed! As you may know, I am half way through To Kill A Mockingbird, which has been recommended to me several times, and I am really liking it at the moment. I also have The Great Gatsby, The Catcher In The Rye and The Bell Jar (recently added) on my TBR list.

The point of this post, however, was not to tell you about the classic books I have read or plan to read, but mainly to ask my readers what you think about the power of the classics? Do you think it is bad people think you have to read the classics to be classed as a ‘hard-core bookworm’. Do you think it really matters if you are massive fan of Austen or Brontë, or if you have a copy of every single Vintage possible to collect? Do you enjoy reading classics? Do you find them hard to read, and find you have to really concentrate to understand the story? Or do you prefer more contemporary books, and have never picked a classic up in your life? The main question here is: are classics overrated? By overrated, I more mean do you think people are pressured into reading them because they think it will make them a better reader, writer, or more respected in the world of books?

Post you opinion in the comments below. I am curious to see what everyone thinks about the wonderful/terrifying world of classics!