Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Autumnal Reading!


This Autumn I'm in the mood for fantasy. I know I've been in a fantasy kick for a while now, but it's really not letting up, and I feel Autumn is probably the most perfect time for it. There's a slight nip in the air that prevents you from being outside the whole day, you're wearing a warm, cosy jumper... Doesn't it make sense to nestle into the side of the couch and travel into a world you can explore (one where you don't get cold after a few minutes)? Thought so.

Here's the books I'm planning on (hopefully) reading this wonderful season!


I'm currently reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone (after having been wanting to read it for EONS!) and so far, so good. I still don't have a clue what to expect because I'm not that far in, but I'm excited to continue. Who knows, by the time this post is up, I might have finished it. I started reading The Hobbit a while ago but due to life and school and stress, I put it down. I really want to finish it though because I was rather enjoying it and it is, after all, a fantasy classic. I've also had The Kneebone Boy sitting on my shelf collecting dust for quite some time now. It looks so good and I really hope I can get on to it soon!

What genre are you going for this Autumn? Are there any books you particularly want to read?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Deep Blue

Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Edition: Hodder Children's Books Hardback
Released: 1st May 2014
Series: Waterfire Saga #1
Pages: 336 approx.
Links: Author's Website | Goodreads | Buy the book!

On the morning of her betrothal, Seraphina's biggest worry should be about her reunion with Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she is haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and the city is stormed by assassins.

Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to find the army's leader and prevent a war between the mer nations. They must search for four other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas.

Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Mermaids have always held a special place in my imagination. As a child, I loved swimming underwater and pretending I was one. I would basically only ever resurface every few seconds to catch my breath and then I'd be back under. I wished more than anything to be a mermaid and even convinced myself at one point in my teenage years someone would tell me I was (still waiting, human/mermaid hybrid decide-y people, still waiting). So when I read the back of this book, my nostalgia and inner kid kicked in and I was basically sold. To this day, underwater swimming is still my favourite (probably because that was all I ever did).

I can't even put into words how childishly excited I was to start this book. I'd basically fallen in love with the world before even reading the first page. So, though I was pretty much entranced with the world the entire way through, I can see how it could take someone else maybe a little longer to get to that stage. After all, not everybody gets completely obsessed with a book before going into it. *chokes out nervous laughter*

As for the plot, I do admit I didn't feel it was the most solidified. The 'ancient evil' felt a little random and unrealistic - almost as if it didn't fit in with the story and the tone of it, and this is taking into account that this book is a fantasy novel. So I really have no idea why I thought it felt so out of place, considering mostly anything goes in these types of books. But, again, I feel like my obsession with the world pretty much cancelled out this issue. I can't even explain to you (in a coherent manner, anyway) how mesmerised I was with this world. This gif pretty much sums it up well enough though:


I also love how the author has decided friendship will play an important part in the series. Since this is the first book, we don't really see many bonds develop but there's just so much potential and it's looking promising. So much could be done in relation to the 'sisterhood' and I'm sure there will be a few heart warming moments up ahead! The only relationship we ever really see play out in Deep Blue is Sera and Neela's. I really liked Seraphina's character and, though I felt Neela could be a bit superficial at times, I liked seeing the effect she had on Sera.

In conclusion, I ended up really enjoying Deep Blue. The world was fantastic, the characters added different dimensions and the plotline was enjoyable enough, even if it felt a tad weak for my liking. However, there's so much potential for this series so I'm eagerly anticipating the next instalment coming out next year!

FOUR STARS TO DEEP BLUE!

How do you feel about mermaids? Got any favourite mermaid books?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The British Tag!

Okay, so I've been tagged by Amber (The Mile Long Bookshelf) and Holly (Lost in a Library) to do the British tag. Now, we all know how I love my tags, so let's get right down to it!


How many cups of tea do you have a day? How many sugars?

None. I don't like tea. Off to a great start, eh? I've tried a few cuppas, each with a different combination of milk/no milk, sugar/no sugar but, each time, I react the same way:


Favourite part of your roast?

YES, here's a question I like. My favourite part is definitely the mashed potato (especially if it's my mum's homemade)... followed closely by the Yorkshire puddings.

Favourite dunking biscuit?

My favourite biscuit is probably a digestive. The kind with the layer of chocolate on top. But I don't dunk it into anything, I just eat it the way it is in all it's delicious glory.

Favourite quintessentially British pastime?

Reading, probably. If that's quintessentially British, anyway.

Favourite word?

Whimsical (for its meaning), translucent (for its gorgeous 's' sounds) and equinox (cause it sounds so damn magical).

Cockney rhyme slang?

I know none. *headdesk*

Favourite sweet?

I like a lot of sweets. Like, a whole lot. I was a veggie for so long and, even though I don't eat proper meat (and probably never will again), I eat sweets. Yes, it's confusing when I have to tell people this. I've come down to classing myself as a 'non-strict vegetarian' to save everyone the hassle. Anyways, off topic. My favourites include Haribo, fizzy strawberry/apple laces, fun gums, rainbow belts and rainbow twists.

What would your pub be called?

The Dusky Pony. Or The Weeping Dragon. But probably the first one.

No. 1 British person?

Lily Collins (she half counts, right?) and Emma Watson. Lily is just so inspiring and has such a great outlook on life (follow her Instagram, you'll get what I mean) and Emma Watson is just Emma Watson. Any explanation needed?

Favourite shop?

I literally only found out about this shop on a school trip last week. I can't even remember the name of it but it's a little (and when I say little, I mean little) hidden book shop with stacks and stacks and stacks of books, and at really cheap prices. It's actually about full to bursting with books. You can barely make your way through them and, if you pull out one, a whole load are sure to fall on top of you. They're everywhere. On the shelves, stacked in front of the shelves, balancing in piles, stacked on stacks... I love it.

What British song pops into your head?

The only song that literally pops into my head when I think about Britain is Caledonia (the Leon Jackson version). Not as much British-y as it is Scottish-y. But my brain can literally think up nothing else. -.-

Marmite?

Never tried it.

I know I'm pretty late on the band wagon with this, so I'm not going to bother tagging anyone specifically. But if you haven't been tagged yet and want to do this, I tag you!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Book Photography // I'm a Stress Ball




ft. my bestie Cat

I am so sorry. So terribly, terribly sorry. I've been the lousiest of lousiest bloggers. I've not updated or even really been present in the blogosphere for SO long.

I hate excuses, I feel all I ever do is give excuse after excuse after excuse to explain my absences and, the thing is, I'm going to have to use another excuse right now. Things are hectic. I'm back at school (in my last year) and I have some personal shiz going on. I'm not in a routine yet (even though I've been back for a month *facepalm*) and I'm basically just a big stress ball.

I can't even see myself making my return to regular blogging in the near future, but I think I'm going to sit down soon and decide on times on a couple days a week to dedicate to blogging. I'm not promising anything in the next few weeks or so, but let's hope I won't be absent for much longer.

I love you all (you know you're the best, right?) and miss you all and blogging so much. Here's to, hopefully, a speedy return!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: These photos were taken from a photoshoot myself and Cat did today for both of our personal blogs. You can find Cat's blog HERE and mine, HERE. Stay tuned over the next couple days to see the posts! :)