How I started blogging…

Hello guys!!!

Hope you are all having a great start to the weekend! This is going to be a long weekend with the bank holiday. This is one of the reasons that I love this time of year, all of the bank holidays in a short space of time!

Today I thought I would write about why I started blogging in the first place. So I guess you are wondering why my @ handle is @allisfairinloveandnails. This is the one I came up with a few years back, as I wanted to blog about books and nails (beauty). However, it never even came to fruition because I didn’t have much to write about and I was not confident enough to begin something.

I loved reading from a young age, it was something to pass the time for me. I was never one of those kids that liked to play outside. This was also the case for me as a teenager and a young adult. I would rather spend a weekend at home reading then go out with friends. I was never happier than I was whilst reading books.

Fast forward a few years, I was really into my reading, I was averaging a few books a month and I was obsessed with booktubers like Hailey In Bookland and Jesse The Reader. I wanted to do what they did, because they were not only reading and talking about reading but they were also receiving books to read and review. It looked like so much fun!

I was even encouraged by a lot of my friends and family to start this blog, but starting anything new is daunting so I did not start anything for a long while. This year though, I took the plunge and started writing a book blog. It started off slow because as I was not so sure what I wanted the blog to be like. I was scouring other people’s book blogs to see what type of content I wanted. What I came up with was to do it all! Bookish blogs and reviews and random posts. So I would say its a mishmash of all sorts about books.

So this is my story, I write because I love reading and I want the world to know! My posts have become infrequent the last few weeks but this is only because I am in a self imposed book slump (I am anticipating the release of ACOWAR). I cannot seem to read anything at the moment until the 2nd May! I am now going to make more of a concerted effort to post more and hopefully you will keep reading my content and take this adventure with me.

Lots of love xx

 

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Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh. A Review. 

Helllllo guys!!!

 I’ve been away for too long I know! I feel like I keep getting back into a reading slump for some reason (I’m sure it’s something to do with ACOWAR’s release date looming!) So I haven’t being reading as much as I’d like to. So far this year I’ve read 10 books, my ideal amount would have been 16 (averaging 4 a month). Oh well! 

Let’s get into this review!! 

4/5 stars from me

Synopsis as in on Google Books: Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored. When she is ambushed by a group of bandits known as the Black Clan enroute to a political marriage to Minamoto Raiden – the emperor’s son – Mariko realises she has two choices: she can wait to be rescued… or she can take matters into her own hands, hunt down the clan and find the person who wants her dead.

Disguising herself as a peasant boy, Mariko infiltrates the Black Clan’s hideout and befriends their leader, the rebel ronin Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, Okami. Ranmaru and Okami warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. But as Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

My review: So this is my first book by this author Renee Ahdieh. I know she’s famous for her other series The Wrath and the Dawn. Which is a retelling of A Thousand And One Nights. I’ve not read this series. I didn’t have any interest for it, before Flame In The Mist. 

As soon as I had heard that there was a Mulan Retelling, I was so excited! I just had to get my hands on this book! As it isn’t out until the 18th May, I requested it from NetGalley and I was approved so thank you to them! 

I was not disappointed. This book was amazing, descriptive and full of Japanese folklore, magic and metaphors. Mariko was really relatable as it reminded me of my younger years. I, too was stubborn and sharp tongued! What I was surprised about is actually liking the co protagonist too! Okami, he was the possible love interest to Mariko but I was finding myself intrigued my his character and his actions! I wouldn’t mind reading a book just based on his history. 

There were many protagonists in this book but not so many that it was confusing to follow. They had a few paragraphs each. It was nice to dip in and out of their stories. The only thing that sorely disappointed me was finding out it was a series! I actually audibly sighed when I finished reading it! How is it I’m going to have to wait a year or so for the next installment?! Argh! 

That’s the thing with authors who captivate you with their stories. They pull you in and you try to get out. You try to act like you don’t care that there isn’t a satisfying conclusion but you do care!!! Excuse me whilst I cry into my pillow in frustration haha. 

All in all the book was great to read. It was nice to have a retelling of a story that doesn’t get spoken about as much as the other Disney fairytales. Mulan is my favourite and always will be. The author did this story justice. 

Ps: The cover is beautiful. Who would have thought that throwing stars fashioned into flowers could look so pretty! 

Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Book and Film adaptation, a comparison. 

Good evening all! Hope you’re all doing well and you enjoyed your bank holiday weekend like I did! Granted, I didn’t get much reading done but I did get lots of relaxing done! 

One of the things I did do was watch lots of films during my time off. One of them was Lady Chatterly’s Lover. I watched this out of pure curiosity since I love this book so much. The book was written by DH Lawrence

The book was quite salacious for its time and was even banned. That’s one of the reasons why I love it. I read it after reading 50 Shades Of Grey. I was in dire need to read actual literature after that! Haha. This is just what I did. It was such a good book. Not only because it was saucy. I also liked the subtext of the mining problems of the time and industrialisation as they occurred. Also there were some slight nods to Marxism in the book. 

Now we all know the old adage, the book is better than the film but what if the film captures something the book couldn’t? For me this was the case for Lady Chatterly. In the book, I didn’t like her much. She didn’t seem nice and came across as quite selfish and subdued (obviously this may not be the case. This is only how I perceived it.). Connie was played by Holliday Grainger. She captured her beautifully. It actually made me feel for her and the situation she’s in during the film. I think it helps that this is a BBC adaptation and there is no one that can do classic adaptations better than the BBC (Obviously opinions may vary. These are just my own.) 

Oliver Mellors was played by the actor Richard Madden, of Rob Stark (Game Of Thrones) fame. He played Mellors well too. I actually believed in the chemistry that Grainger and Madden had. 

Although it’s always going to be the case for me, the book was better than the film. The film though, came pretty close! The only other time this has happened to me was the Hunger Games Series. Again, this was a good adaptation. 

The book always wins! 

This is short and sweet but I wanted to get a conversation going about book adaptations! 

I’m Still Here by Clelie Avit. A review. 

Hi guys! 

Hope you’re all enjoying your Easter weekend! I’m in the midst of a four day weekend, I am sooo happy about this! Imagine all the reading I will do! Haha. 

So I thought I’d review this book I have been reading the last couple of days. This book was sent to me by the publisher after I requested it. Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton publishers. I was entirely enthralled! Here is the synopsis of the book: 

As is on Google books:

Elsa has been in a coma for five months. With all hope of reviving her gone, her family must face the devastating fact that it might be time to turn off her life support.

What they don’t know is that in the past few weeks Elsa has regained partial consciousness – she just has no way of telling them.

Thibault is in the same hospital visiting his brother and, seeking a retreat, finds his way into Elsa’s room. When he begins to talk to her, he doesn’t realise she can hear every word – and that he is giving her a reason to wake up.

And so begins a love story that might just save both their lives…

5 out of 5 stars. 

Where do I begin with this one? With only just over 200 pages, this book is emotionally fueled. Full to bursting with all sorts of emotional turmoil. 

This is Clelie Avit‘s first novel in English. I pray it isn’t her last. Otherwise I’m learning French!! The characters were so beautifully written. 

Thibault is a perfectly imperfect man who wanted to love and be loved. And I loved him for it! Elsa was heartbreaking to read at times because you knew she was in a coma. Although she felt like a friend you cared for. 

This book almost feels fantastical in its story telling because how can two people fall in love without a word spoken to each other? Well, Avit makes you feel like anything is possible. She made me feel hopeful! That’s very rare in books that are so short but she manages it with such care and attention to detail. 

The writing was so beautiful and almost poetic in its deliverance. I couldn’t help but feel engrossed in the story. I felt like I was there whilst it was happening. I couldn’t recommend this book enough! It’s already out in hardback! The paperback is coming out on May 4th! Get reading people! If you’re a fan of JoJo Moyes but prefer a happier ending, then this is your book!

Books I nearly DNF’d* but didn’t… 

*DNF – Did not finish

Good afternoon/evening all!

How’s your week going? I know, I know. It hasn’t technically started yet but still, 2 days down 3 more to go! 

I thought I’d do a little post today about a few books I nearly gave up on and I chose not to. I am so glad that I chose not to because some of them are on my all time favourites list. So here is goes: 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This book was a massive hit a few years ago. Donna Tartt is known for bringing out books at least once a decade because she does extensive research. I believe she puts her heart and soul into it! It’s 880 pages long and it was an epic book! A bit too epic for me at the time, it was so long and I wasn’t used to the length of a book. The story is greatly told but if you have read it; you will know that not a lot went on. It started with a boy who grew into a man and it was his story. I nearly gave up half way. I’m so glad I didn’t because stuff started happening half way through!! I loved it at the end and felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished it.

The other book was also by Donna Tartt, it’s called The Secret History. It’s about a group of kids in college who aren’t really friends but something keeps bringing them together and the consequences of said thing.  I nearly DNF’d this book because, although I love her writing; it was far more sophisticated than my little brain could handle. She wrote in actual Ancient Greek! Thankfully as I read Greek; that part was easy. Understanding it was the difficult part. I persevered though. I didn’t want to be scared of finishing a book. I wanted to at least try. I’m glad I did. This is one of my favourite books in the world now. 

The last book would be 1984 by George Orwell. If you’ve read this blog, you know this is one of my favourite books. I was so close to not finishing it initially, so if I didn’t finish it, it wouldn’t have the special place in my heart. If you’ve read it, then you know it’s a little slow paced and there’s a book within the book explains some rules that is just *yawn*. Again, I persevered!!! I loved the ending. This book stuck with me long after I’d finished it and it is still one of those books that annoy me. In a good way, I can’t give away too much to people that haven’t read it but man, the ending was frustrating (Although I loved it). It also began my love of dystopian novels. As I have said previously. 

What books have you nearly put down but glad you didn’t? 

Until next time, keep reading. 

P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy. A review: 

Hello all!! 

How’s your weekend going? I’ve just finished the book I am about to review. I thought I would do it as soon as I finished so it was fresh in my mind! 

I requested this book from Netgalley and I was approved to read. So thank you! 

This book is PS From Paris by Marc Levy. This is his 17th (?) book. As described on the internet, he is the most read French author alive today. And now I understand why. I go on to explain after the synopsis. 

The novel is out on the 1st September 2017.  

Here is the synopsis for this novel as is on Google Books: 

On the big screen, Mia plays a woman in love. But in real life, she’s an actress in need of a break from her real-life philandering husband—the megastar who plays her romantic interest in the movies. So she heads across the English Channel to hide in Paris behind a new haircut, fake eyeglasses, and a waitressing job at her best friend’s restaurant.

Paul is an American author hoping to recapture the fame of his first novel. When his best friend surreptitiously sets him up with Mia through a dating website, Paul and Mia’s relationship status is “complicated.”

Even though everything about Paris seems to be nudging them together, the two lonely ex-pats resist, concocting increasingly far-fetched strategies to stay “just friends.” A feat easier said than done, as fate has other plans in store. Is true love waiting for them in a postscript?

It’s 4.75/ 5 stars. 

This book was just amazing.  I’m an absolute sucker for a romance story. Especially if they take place in Paris. Sometimes the problem with this type of story can be that its a little cliche and cheesy. 

This story was definitely not!! First of all, it’s a story about a novelist and a film actress, they both quote books and authors. That was really enticing for me! Haha. 

Secondly, there wasn’t just one protagonist, it had co-protagonists. The story flowed so well that the change of characters (every other paragraph or so) was seamless. Although this may be my bias because I loved them from the beginning. 

Thirdly, the story was so funny at times and had me gasping at other times. I found myself actually rooting for these characters to get together! Mia and Paul are so sweet and funny and smart.

The writing was great, I loved that both characters had the weirdest quirks. Including one where they both mutter under their breath. This made for some excellent and comical situations. 

And the writing within the writing? So romantic. It was a sweeping kind of romance that you really don’t get often anymore unless you’re reading Nicholas Sparks novels. But sometimes, those can get tiring! (There is only so much death a girl can endure! Haha) So this book to me was such a breath of fresh air!!

I liked that the characters were fully rounded individuals. They seemed to all fit together. Even Daisy, the best friend and Mustache the restaurant owner, Arthur and  Lauren, the other best friends; were a joy to read. 

I literally cannot express how wonderful this book is without spoiling it. It’s perfect as a cozy read with funny and serious elements. I think when the book comes out it is perfectly timed! The autumn would just be starting and the leaves start fallling…it’s great and sooo romantic.  

I am definitely now  a fan of Marc Levy and although this was my first book by him. It’ll definitely not be my last! 

Being in a book slump. 

Hello all! 

I thought I’d do a slightly different post today. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I haven’t been uploading on my regular days lately. I usually upload on a Saturday and a Tuesday. For me, this is self imposed. It’s supposed to keep me on track with my books and reading. 

Lately, at least the past couple of weeks I have not being able to read. I have picked up and put down a numerous amount of books. Nothing seems to “pull me in” at the moment. This isn’t necessarily the books themselves. It’s what we call a book slump. I hate these. It happened to me towards the latter stage of last year and lasted for absolute months! It’s frustrating because I love reading. 

So what does one do in a slump that they want to get out of? Well I have a few suggestions for you if you’re ever in a bind. 

The first one and probably the most important is to not pressure yourself. You don’t need to be reading X amount of books each month to reach your reading goal. Read at your own pace. I know I’m the worst culprit for this. I have set myself a goal and I’m annoyed that I may not reach it. Thus making myself unnecessarily stressed. 

Secondly, if you’re determined to read. Pick up an old favourite. Something that you’re guaranteed to love. Personally I’ve never re-read a book but I have known people who’ve sworn by it. It’s like watching an old film you love. 

Thirdly, another idea that was recently given to me by one of my bookish friends is to read children’s books. She said that the sense of achievement may start my gears running again to read books. Also, they would count towards my reading goal. 

What I have done personally now is picked up a book from my shelf The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievfater. This is an easy read from what I can tell and a little cheesy. Sometimes you have to have a little bit of cheese in your reading life haha. I will try and read this at a slower pace. If I like it and it gets me excited, I have another three books in the series to continue. At least with this. It’ll feel like an achievement. 

I hate been in a book slump but it’s inevitable sometimes. You can’t stop it. So whilst you’re in it, take some of these steps. Or maybe just not read for a while. It’s ok not to. Maybe catch up on some of your favourite shows. Mine are currently Once Upon A Time and Riverdale. It’s funny because both are based on books in one form or another. 

I hope this helps you a little bit if you’re currently in a book slump! It’s not permanent! Remember that. Now, I’m going to go and watch some tv!