The Shakespeare Series || The Tempest

* The Shakespeare Series is a new series I’ll be doing here on Reading in the Rain and will involve my good self looking at Shakespeare plays, telling you why you might like to read said play, and then briefly reviewing them! I hope you enjoy 😊 *

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The Tempest

What’s it about?
Prospero – the magician, rightful Duke of Milan, and father to Miranda – employs his spirit Ariel to bring on a tempest in order to gather the men who betrayed him onto his island, to seek revenge for himself and a love for his daughter.  We follow the character’s as they set out on their respective journeys of punishment, love, forgiveness and the fantastical.

Why should you read it?
○ It is beautifully lyrical – Not only does Shakespeare create a vivid image of the island through reported speech but also the recurring references to the environment, the metaphysical, and the mythological are wonderful to read.

The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.      

Continue reading

Book Slip In ||BookTube-A-Thon Day #3

It’s Day #3 of the BookTube-a-thon 🎉…

…and although I haven’t managed to read all that much since I last updated you guys regarding my reading for the BookTube-A-Thon, I did get round to making a video for today’s Video Challenge! I’m quite proud of the little story that I managed to create through different book titles and I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to let me know what you think of it!

Hopefully I’ll finish my current read tonight and get started on my third book by the morning. How is everyone getting on with their readings? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear how you’re all getting on!

Location Recreation || BookTube-A-Thon Day #2

 

Day #2 of the BookTube-A-Thon started well for me; the sun was shining, I had a cup of tea by my side and I was already a good way through my current read. After watching the video for the next video challenge by The Little Book Owl I was very excited!

But I actually found the challenge to be a little difficult for me; I’m blaming the heat for making all my creative juices evaporate! But nevertheless I decided to give it my best shot and so here is my feeble attempt to recreate the Hogwarts Castle!

25 Bookish Facts About Me

 

I thought I would jump on the proverbial booktube bandwagon and share with you guys 25 bookish facts about myself! These are just a random selection – it was surprisingly hard thinking of 25 – but I hope you enjoy hearing a little bit more about me.

Let me know some facts about you in the comments below!

Q&A with Lisa Golding from City Of YA Books

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I think it’s well known how much I love the fantastic creative platform that is YouTube. I love to watch a whole range of things. But there are only a handful of creators on YouTube who I watch religiously and today I’m sharing a Q&A with one of them: Lisa from City of YA Books! I have to again thank the #UKYAChat for inadvertently introducing me to her, I’ve been subscribed to her channel since we first shared book recommendations. Back in September I got to met her IRL at the Birmingham Book Blogger Bonanza and she is just the nicest! So when she agreed to answer some questions from me I was thrilled. Lisa is honestly one of the loveliest and funniest people you will ever meet. And so without further ado let’s get on to the Q&A!

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Tell us a bit about yourself, what made you start your booktube channel? 

The story of my channel is quite the tale! In 2013 I learnt that my favourite author was coming to Brighton, a place hours away from me. I made my first long journey on my own to meet her and and at the end of meeting Jana (The Author) she told me I should blog. She planted the seed in my mind and I decided that I would love to become a blogger. Several months later I thought about blogging seriously and encountered a problem. I have Elhers-Danlos syndrome, which I don’t discuss too much on my channel but it means that the collagen in my joints is breaking down so typing is something I struggle with, even writing a few lines could be too painful! (Now I’m lucky enough to have voice soft wear that types for me!) At the time though, it was a real issue and it made me feel extremely low at times because my medical state was holding me back.

Then I discovered Booktube. I suddenly realised that this was something I could actually do without my illness limiting myself. I immediately threw myself into making videos, there was a lot of trial and error. The quality of my videos and my editing skills have increased immensely since I started. I met amazing people through booktube and I have also met a lot of friends in the Blogging community which feel so amazing because I originally wanted to be part of the blogger community.

What are your favourite types of video to film and do you have a favourite video on your channel?

Collabs! I have been lucky enough to film collabs with some amazing booktubers including Sarah Jane from TheBookLife and Lucy and Veronica from The Bookish Best Friends. Filming with these people who I have become great friends with is a treat! There is a lot of laughter, bloopers and memories made while filming those videos. 

I would have to say my ‘React’ videos are my favourites on my channel right now, I find they are slightly different to most videos on Booktube and they are a perfect way to display my odd personality! They are also the hardest to prepare, film and edit but I feel it is completely worth it!

Who are your favourite authors and who are your favourite other booktubers?

Authors are easy! Jana Oliver, Marie Rutkoski and Leigh Bardugo. These women manage to weave some of the most intriguing worlds that suck me in. I could live my life with my head firmly planted in these worlds. As for Booktubers, I love watching all my friends, Whitey from the channel Accio Books. Megan Oliver. Witty Novels and plenty more!

Has booktubing changed your reading habits at all?

I still read just as much as I did before I started uploading videos but I think I now read more eclectically. I have loads of friends recommending and sending me books I would never usually read and I have been pleasantly surprised by several of them! I’ve even read and enjoyed a few contemporary books! (Which I NEVER would have done before I started booktube!)

What opportunities have you been presented with because of your channel and is there anything you’d really like to do? 

I have been stupidly lucky. In the last year I have done media and press work at several of the biggest UK book events. Some have put me in touch with amazing authors who I have interviewed for my channel including Lauren James and Lisa Heathfeild. I am also holding a workshop at a large book event later this year (I can’t disclose which one yet though!) I’ve also hosted a twitter interview with my favourite author Jana Oliver and Lauren Kate! That interview was insane… I’m pretty sure half of Brazil tuned in! Looking back on the last year it’s been pretty epic, and I’m looking forward to more!

How would you like to see your channel grow in the future? 

All I can hope for is that I continue to love doing this and it grants me more opportunities as time passes. I would love chances to work with some more authors that I adore, any chances to work with fellow book minded people. I have no goals in terms of subscribers, views or anything to do with YouTube analytics – they’re not important, what matters to me is the experiences. Staying up late to film a collab with a friend and re-enacting scenes from supernatural. Getting tipsy with bloggers and having loud conversations on what bookish boys we would date. Deciding at the drop of a hat to travel half way across the country just to meet a fellow booktuber and ride a Ferris wheel. Doing shots with blogger friends and using fries to give ourselves fangs (There are pictures of that particular instance…) These are the memories which are truly amazing and make everything I do worth it!

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A huge thank you to Lisa for answering my questions, it’s been wonderful having you here on my blog! You can find Lisa on her YouTube Channel, TwitterInstagram and Goodreads!

5 Graphic Novels You Should be Reading

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I have loved graphic novels, comics, and manga ever since I can remember. My childish enjoyment of picture-books has stuck with me and has since developed as I’ve got older. There are so many brilliant things about graphic novels; the main for me being how easy they are to read without sacrificing a decent story. In recent years there has been a sort of boom in the popularity of graphic novels which is so pleasing to me! So I thought I would share some of my favourite graphic novels!

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1. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

This quirky debut graphic novel started out as a web-comic and since it’s physical publication has gained masses of praise, and rightly so! The art is gorgeous, the colours work so well with the story and the plot is utterly gripping. Not to mention it’s also bad-ass, feminist and absolutely hilarious!

2. Anya’s Ghost by Vero Brosgol

This ghoulish graphic novel takes some really interesting twists and turns. Following Anya, a girl just trying to get through high school, meeting and befriending Emily, a ghost. The friendship takes a darker road and yet Brosgol takes the story in such interesting directions and pretty much avoids all the clichés!

3. Saga by Brian K Vaughan

I think this graphic novel series is a perfect example of how far my graphic novel journey has come! This series is utterly mind-blowing. Targeted at young adults+ these graphic novels contain everything you might want from a Sci-Fi / war / love series. There are hardcore fights (involving a lot of blood!), pretty strong language and nudity!

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4. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll 

Now this one is definitely darker; in both the graphics and the story. I should really say stories as this graphic novel actually contains five different bone-chilling stories all based around the woods. The stories are all so distinct from one and other so there will definitely be personal preference. The art style is really unique and the colour palate of darker shades with the occasional pop of blood red is so creepy!

5. Beautiful Creatures: The Manga by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl and Cassandra Jean

I’ve never read any of the Caster Chronicles books but this graphic novel is absolutely fantastic! It has a wonderful manga art style and there’s a sort of beautiful roughness to it that mimics a sketchbook. The story is very gripping but the art is definitely the stand-out aspect of this graphic novel!

 

UKYA In the Rain: Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

This is UKYA in the Rain’s first meeting in which we discuss Holly Bourne’s Am I Normal Yet?  We talk about the fabulous book, feminism, mental health and a whole bunch of other random things!

Next time there will be more people joining the discussion, and you can too!
To find out more about the book club you can click on the ‘Book Club: UKYA in the Rain‘ page above!

Check out the wonderful Kiara at her (amazing) Instagram and blog, A Nerd and her Books!

Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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‘But death was her curse and her gift, and death had been her good friend these long, long years.’ 

Thanks to some lovely people on Instagram (namely @aarifahk ! )  I was extremely excited to read Crown of Midnight  and to continue on with the story of Adarlan’s Assassin! Let’s just say I was not disappointed.

In this book we got to see Celeana in all her glory; whereas in Throne of Glass her skills were slightly held back due to her time in Endovier. Here we saw Celeana really kicking butt and not holding herself back at all. The action was more detailed allowing for more brutality that was absolutely brilliant. Thankfully it wasn’t excessively detailed, I’m way to squeamish for that. The development and use of the Wrydmarks allowed for more exciting action sequences. These wrydmarks also helped in the world building throughout the story. On that note I was so glad to see more of Rifthold, it really did sound beautiful.

The character development was superb. With Celeana we got an insight into her backstory with the main ‘reveal’ occurring right at the end which is fantastic – and I actually managed to guess what it was! Also as I said before seeing her as more of an assassin than a competitor was great. I enjoyed watching Chaol grow into more of a main character as compared to in the first book; he had real desires, motives and thoughts. The relationship between him and Celeana was both adorable and very frustrating: I will always be Team Dorian!  Speaking of which, something happens with Dorian’s character which left me very very happy, sadly I can’t say what, you’re just going to have to trust me. I think the thing I loved the most about him during Crown of Midnight was the fact he had pragmatic emotions. I really felt for him despite him having a smaller role in the story.  There was one event in the story that I couldn’t cope with – there is a death. I didn’t like it. Well it was very good for the plot…but still!

The writing was consistent and entertaining. I really enjoy Maas’ style – it’s a good balance of easy reading and more complexity. Yes I realise that sentence doesn’t make much sense! For each point of view Maas made use of specific flairs that both aided in characterisation and story telling. For example Celeana’s tone had a slight air of self-importance, Chaol’s a constant worry and Dorian’s a persistent fear.

The ending leads on to the next book so well; I can’t wait to see more of the world. This book was non-stop and I’m thoroughly excited for the next one !

‘He had no idea what sort of darkness lurked inside her, or what sort of monster she was willing to become in order to make things right.’

Book Review: How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

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‘That is the work of your teenage years – to build up and tear it down and build up again, over and over endlessly…’

I asked for How to Build a Girl for Christmas last year for two reasons: 1) the cover has Docs on – I literally only ever wear Docs ! And 2) a story based on teenage self discovery  is always a story that will intrigue me! Finally I got round to reading it and honestly I do not know how I feel about it.

Don’t get me wrong it is a good book; however I don’t necessarily think it was the book for me. If you were to ask my friends they’d tell you I’m that prim and proper young lady, so reading some of the… smutty content I was a bit taken back. I had expected some of these ‘mature themes’ because I had done my research on Moran but sometimes it felt like there wasn’t a chapter in which a vividly rude and sexual joke couldn’t be found multiple times. This also meant that I felt like I couldn’t  relate to her as well, which was emphasised by the references to the time which – although I found really interesting, like looking in a history textbook – I had no idea what the majority were.  Again I’m just going to say that this doesn’t make it a bad book – it’s just my own personal opinion and how my brain worked with the story.

The writing style was really good and appropriate to the story and setting – probably due to the fact Moran had grown up in a similar place! Part Three -Rip It Up and Start Again- I really enjoyed. In this final part our protagonist Johanna / Dolly decides who she really is and what she needs in order to be happy. It’s about how she learns from her mistakes and realises that she’s ‘built [her]self with the wrong things’ and attempts to make amends.  This part was just so good. It was moving and inspiring and awesome! In particular Chapter 24 – yes I know that it’s weird to be reviewing a chapter! Chapter 24 felt like a letter from Moran directly to me; a life lesson straight to me. Johanna / Dolly is reflecting on what it is to build a girl and how in your teenage years you’re supposed to re-invent yourself again and again until you just so happen to stumble upon the person that you’re meant to be. See, it is a very good chapter!

The character of Johanna / Dolly was definitely… illuminating. I wish we had spent more time with Johanna as she was very much overshadowed by her counterpart Dolly. The only times I was really fond of Dolly’s character was when she was with John Kite. They really did bring out the best in each other; it was almost like John was the door that Dolly could pass through to return to Johanna and when her character felt totally honest. Another character who I loved was Krissi – Johanna’s brother. He was so lovely and his relationship with his sister was the perfect balance of love and annoyance! I would have loved for him to have played a larger role in the story.   *SPOILER ALERT*  To anybody who has read this please can somebody tell me if I missed the part when we’re told Krissi is gay? I guessed that he was but there wasn’t really any obvious mention of it until the final chapter.

So overall, I have very mixed opinions on this book. If this is the sort of thing that you might like then I’m glad I have been of use! If it’s not, well I’m glad that I’ve been able to steer you away and hopefully onto a better book!

Book Review: Mobile Library by David Whitehouse

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“Family is only where there is love enough. For them it was there, in that unlikeliest group of people . . .” 

I was lucky enough to hear David Whitehouse talk about his new book Mobile Library and writing in general at an event held by Booka Bookshop – my favourite local bookshop – along with two other authors from Picador:  Rebecca Wait and Sarah Butler who both have books that I am desperate to read! It was an amazing evening filled with interesting questions and answers from the authors, some readings from their new books and also some pizza, which always makes everything better! Whitehouse said something about writing which I thought was incredibly true and it really resonated with me:

“Writing is an act of suspended madness”

After hearing that and realising I could only afford one of the three books at the time I knew I had to go for Mobile Library. Also I knew I had to buy it just down to the fact that it was set around a mobile library and used the love of books to convey a vast number of wonderful messages. What’s not to love?

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The characters were very diverse and complex which provided them the depth needed to help make the plot feasible. On that note I have to admit I loved how Whitehouse wrote to make the most bizarre situations totally believable; it reminded me a little of Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. For example the story of Sunny and Bobby’s attempt to “create a cyborg”.  This storyline would sound absolutely insane to most people but seemed utterly normal in the head of these two twelve years olds desperate to help one and other. This continued throughout the novel and really proves just how good a writer Whitehouse is.

Now, the characters. Bobby Nusku was exactly how I wanted him to be; starting off as a terrified and abused child and developing into a caring and imaginative – and surprisingly philosophical –   young boy who no longer needed to be afraid but had in fact found his family.  He was just so sweet! One of my other favourite characters was actually Joe, sadly he’s introduced quite far into the book so I don’t want to say much just in case of spoilers. But his integration into their peculiar family was really enjoyable to read. I think this was because his character slightly reflected that of Bobby’s father, except their relationship was much more loving and both relied on each other, it wasn’t a case of one being more important that the other. The references to Of Mice and Men there was just superb!

The plot as a whole contained a lot of twists and exciting moments. But it was the scenes of normality that I think had the real impact. When they were sat around the fire telling stories, when they were sneaking out to pubs whilst fully aware that the police were looking for them, when they were driving in a Mobile Library admiring the light of the day. Mobile Library is about finding your family, and in these moments of normality you could see that. These random people had come together and – as cheesy as this sounds – completed one and other. And maybe you don’t have to own a mobile library to find that family of your own.