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Top Ten Tuesday: Best character names

Top Ten Tuesday: Best character names

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  I have a really terrible memory, so this topic has been a nightmare. Some days I struggle to remember my name, so how am I supposed to […]

Alyce, where have you been?

Alyce, where have you been?

Hey guys! I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks, so I thought it was time to write an update and let you all know what’s been going on. You’ll probably remember that I had a baby towards the end of March. She is […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I hated but I’m glad I read

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I hated but I’m glad I read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You read a book and absolutely hate it, but you can’t keep telling people that you read it. It’s the only thing you can talk about. You’re obsessed.

This happens to me far more regularly than I’m willing to admit to. These ten books are ones that I hated but I’m really glad I read, because I feel like they make me a proper book blogger.

10) Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

I’m glad I read Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You because the idea is so brilliant, and if I hadn’t read it I would still be wondering if it would become one of my favourite books of all time. The answer? No. A story told through lists is a cool idea, but the execution is dreadful (and the main character is a total ass).

9) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I had wanted to read The Age of Innocence since watching an episode of Gossip Girl which paid homage to it. I’m not sure if it’s the way I read the book – through an app which sent me a chapter a day – or the story itself, but something about it was awful. It definitely gave me a deeper appreciation of Gossip Girl, though.

8) Flight to Eternity by J.R. Harrison

Flight to Eternity by J.R. Harrison

When I started working in the library, people could not stop talking about local author J.R. Harrison and his book, Flight To Eternity. It’s… Trippy. I’m glad I read it, because it means that there’s a real review of it available on Goodreads (it has three ratings: my 2 stars, and two accounts which the author created to give his novel two 5 star ratings) but my brain still hurts when I think about this book too closely.

7) There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

I loved Whisper To Me, and although There Will Be Lies wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I could appreciate the fact that Nick Lake featured a protagonist who was hard of hearing. It made the book a little disorienting because it constantly felt as though I was missing bits, but that’s a realistic portrayal of the experience of people who are hard of hearing. I’ve even recommended it to a couple of friends who are hard of hearing since, and they really enjoyed it.

6) Ferryman by Claire McFall

Ferryman by Claire McFall

Ferryman was the first book which I gave a bad review, so I’m grateful that I read this one because it tested how brutally honest I wanted my blog to be. It’s gone on to be one of my most popular posts of all time, so it’s proof that honesty pays off!

5) Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone was one of the strongest series starters I’d ever read, and the story vastly improved during Siege and Storm. Sadly the third volume disappointed me, but I’m glad that I finished the series because I adored the first two.

4) Panther by David Owen

Panther by David Owen

Panther is one of the books which has disappointed me the most. I’d heard amazing things about it and was really excited to read a YA book which featured a male protagonist with an eating disorder, but I ended up hating Derrick because he’s a very creepy character. The eating disorder was handled sensitively, it was just the rest of Derrick’s personality that was problematic.

3) Girl Online by Zoella

Girl Online by Zoella

I only read Girl Online so that I could make an informed judgement regarding the ghostwriting drama and Zoe Sugg’s merits as an author. For some reason I decided to carry on reading the series and I enjoyed the third installment so much that I gave it 4 stars: if I hadn’t forced myself to plough through her first book, I wouldn’t have gotten the enjoyment that I did from the third.

2) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Everyone should read The Fault in Our Stars, but it really does seem to be the YA community’s version of Marmite. It’s either someone’s favourite book of all time EVER or the worst book they’ve ever read which they’re tempted to throw in the bin. I’m firmly part of the latter camp: I genuinely think this wouldn’t have been published if it didn’t have John Green’s name on the cover.

1) The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling is on this list for the same reason as Ruin and Rising. I hated The Queen of the Tearling and thought The Invasion of the Tearling was one of the best books I’d ever read, but the third installment was utterly disappointing. It feels as though Erika Johansen changed her mind halfway through writing the book and chickened out, which still really annoys me.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.

 

Are there any books which you hated but you’re glad you read anyway?

Alyce

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Review: Nowhere Else But Here by Rachel Cotton

Review: Nowhere Else But Here by Rachel Cotton

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Nowhere Else But Here blog tour! First things first, I’d like to say a huge thanks to Ink Road for allowing me to get involved in the tour for this exciting contemporary debut from a very promising young author. […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Purple books

Top Ten Tuesday: Purple books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.    For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we have to showcase ten book covers which have our favourite colour on them. My favourite colour is undoubtedly purple, […]

Review: All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

‘We don’t quite understand miracles. This is the way of most divine things; saints and miracles belong to a different world and use a different set of rules.’ 

All The Crooked Saints doesn’t make a lick of sense.

The Soria family cause miracles. These miracles involve the darkness inside a person leaving their body and physically manifesting, so that the sufferer can figure out how to deal with it and dispel the darkness by themselves.

It takes a bloody long time to get your head around that, though, as Maggie Stiefvater employs so many convoluted metaphors on every dang page. Some people might interpret that as whimsical and inspiring, but in my opinion it was downright aggravating.

I’m not automatically opposed to magical realism, but I do think that there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. Sadly, All The Crooked Saints falls into the latter camp. It’s difficult to find the words to describe how I felt about this book. I flew through it which is normally a sign that I’m really enjoying the writing/plot/characters, but just a couple of days after finishing it I’ve already forgotten basically everything that happened. It’s not a memorable book, and it’s hard to take anything in because it’s so hard to get your head around what’s happening.

Maggie Stiefvater has a dedicated fanbase who I’m sure adored this standalone release, but it wasn’t for me. If you’re not a fan of magical realism, avoid this book. If you enjoy fantasy and being mildly-to-extremely befuddled, give it a go.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about All The Crooked Saints, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d slay a lion to get early

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d slay a lion to get early

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  One of the best parts of being a book blogger is having my finger on the pulse when it comes to book announcements. I get upcoming releases […]

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

I’ve read a few of Sarah Crossan’s novels now, and I’ve had the same problem with a couple of them. There’s no reason for this story to be told in verse. It made sense to have One told in verse – the subject lends itself to the style, […]

Review: The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

Review: The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

‘When people declare “You can’t say that!”, what they really mean is “You can think it, but you mustn’t say it.” I don’t think keeping thoughts to yourself makes them any less real.’

I started reading The Unmumsy Mum while I was pregnant and was planning on finishing it before my due date, but with baby arriving ten days early I had to put it off. I’m so grateful that I did, because reading this as a new mum is a reassuring experience.

My first couple of weeks as a new parent were unbelievably easy, which is why it was a massive shock to the system between weeks two and three when my daughter went through a growth spurt. She was already a hungry baby, but suddenly she was feeding nonstop and it was mentally and physically draining. My days were filled with crying, and I’m not talking about baby’s!

During one of these manic feeding sessions I used my free hand to continue reading The Unmumsy Mum and suddenly I was crying tears of laughter rather than pain. Not only is Sarah Turner easy to relate to, she’s also hilarious: she can get a laugh out of the most horrendous experiences, and she had me giggling uncontrollably during one of the hardest days of my life (the hardest day of my life as a parent – so far!)

One of the most comforting sections of The Unmumsy Mum comes when Turner discusses the heat of the moment comments that she’s made, and the fact that it’s completely fine to say those things when it’s obvious that you don’t mean them. This dispelled a lot of the guilt I’d been feeling. During the toughest moments I’d asked my partner if we’d really made the right decision keeping our baby (duh, of course we have!) while sobbing my heart out because I felt like the scum of the earth for even entertaining such a notion.

Turner helps you feel like you’re not alone, and that’s one of the things that makes this book so important. She’s so unflinchingly honest about the pros and cons of parenthood, so every single mother, father or parent-to-be is bound to relate to at least one of her stories. In fact, it’s even worth reading if you don’t have kids: you’ll be able to laugh at all of the crazy people who decide to embark on this ridiculously impractical journey!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about The Unmumsy Mum, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

Alyce

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Blog tour: Daughter of War by S.J.A. Turney

Blog tour: Daughter of War by S.J.A. Turney

Today I’m working with Canelo to welcome S.J.A. Turney to The Bumbling Blogger to share some advice on reviving ancient locations in your writing. I’m so excited to be participating in the Daughter of War blog blitz and I’m so grateful to Turney for writing such […]