Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Last year I took part in a local book/writing conference thing and I got the opportunity to sit in on a whole bunch of lectures and workshops by people who write and publish. It was pretty amazing.

One workshop that stood out to me was about writing urban fantasy. The teacher was a young woman who was so totally awesome and she talked about the book she was writing as well as her love for a particular author: Holly Black.

Until this point I was vaguely aware of the name, and not at all aware of her work, but the name stuck with me. When I realized this beautiful book was written by Holly Black and it was all over Instagram, I went and grabbed it up.

Before even starting this book I flipped to the back and ended up reading an excerpt of another one of her books. Right from the start, after only about a page and a half, I was hooked on her writing style.

I ate this book up quite quickly and got my hands on another of her books before I was even done this one. I really liked it. It was something different and awesome.

I love fairy tales, especially the ones that are actually about the fae. The fact that this book meshed the real world we live in with the fairy world was so cool and really well done. It had fairies, royalty, death, destruction, and the race to save the ones you love. It was magical.

The only problem I had with this one was the bits about high school. I'm a little over the other side of the hill in age and reading about kids in school was harder to connect with, but I didn't let that little detail bug me too much.

I loved the characters, I loved the relationships, and I loved the realness. There's a real human quality to this book that can sometimes gets a little lost once you delve into the world of fantasy.

Recommendation: For fantasy lovers, for young adult fantasy lovers, and for the lovers of fairies who wish they too can go and rescue the fairy prince in his glass coffin.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H Watson by Lyndsay Faye

This was really cool book! The important details of this book are right there in the title. Ripper killings being investigated by Sherlock Holmes!?

Could this be any more perfect!?

I've never met a Sherlock Holmes book yet that I haven't liked and I am happy this book didn't break that streak.

This book was "written" by Dr. Watson, so we had is point of view on the whole situation from his eyes, which I loved. After all, he always wrote about Sherlock exploits!

There was a couple interesting characters that showed up that gave this book a different feel than the traditional Holmes story, but I was totally okay with that.

I've always been interesting in the Ripper killings and I was totally engrossed in the story right from the start. It's possible my love might be a little biased because there was virtually no way I wasn't going to love this book!

I really loved how the book ended, as well as the explanation of who the Ripper in this book was. It feels almost like it could have been a possible explanation of who the real Ripper was.

I've already loaned this book out and talked about it quite a bit. It's something that murder mystery and Sherlock Holmes lovers need to read!

Recommendation: Don't miss this one. It's great. 100% for the lovers of Sherlock Holmes and those curious about the Jack the Ripper murders!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Looking Back & Looking Forward

Hello dear readers,

Once upon a time I did monthly wrap ups, and I had bigdreams about doing more than just reviews on this little corner of the internet. Things have been sporadic here but I haven't given up on these dreams. I am trying to do like the lovely Leigh Bardugo says and "begin as you mean to go on". Nothing like the new year to reflect back, and make bigger and better plans for the future!

Let's start with my review of 2017. It was one heck of a year, but it came and went faster than I thought possible. 

I set my Goodreads challenge to 60 books last year and I made my goal with still a couple days to spare! A couple years ago when I started doing the yearly challenge, I set myself a goal of 100 books because I was sure I read that much normally and it would be a super easy thing to do. It wasn't and the first year I only made it to 50 books. Last year I set it a little higher at 60 and I made it. 

This year, I am going for 75. 

The goal of 100 is still in my mind but I am allowing myself a little grace and I am aiming for what *should* be reasonably within my reach. Whatever number I reach is still just a number, and I don't think that it really matters whatever number I or anyone else reach as long as we are doing it for the right reasons. I am going into this challenge with a happy heart and a goal simply to read as much as I possibly can because it feeds my soul. 

I did the nanowrimo challenge as well and failed miserably. Writing is still where my heart lives, but for some reason (actually a whole host of reasons that I don't want to admit to) I have a hard time throwing myself fully into my writing. It's what I want to do, but instead I turn to scrolling through Instagram or journalling, dreaming about that life when I am a full time writer. 

A big thing for 2018 is to live my life more intentionally. I have a full time day job that isn't all that and I want to spend my free time doing things that make me happy, like reading, writing, blogging, and paper crafts. Instead I do the things that simply make me feel good in the moment, but actually make me feel terrible about wasting my precious time off after I've done them. (I'm looking at you scrolling, mindless daytime tv, games on my phone, and living on my couch in pj's). It's time for a change. 

I've been trying to think of a word for the year for days now and I couldn't really come up with something I liked beyond "intentional", which is probably the most perfect word of the year for me. I think I am feeling uneasy about it because it means I actually have to do something. It's not just a pretty word that can be applied to situations where I'm sitting on my butt and hiding away. It means I have to think, and I have to do things, and I have to do them with a purpose. 

Baby steps, of course. 

Speaking of being intentional, my plans for this little corner of the internet is to post different kinds of content along with reviews, catch up with my reviews, reach more people, and get involved more in the book loving community in any way I can! 

I enjoy nattering on about books which is the whole reason I started this blog and the bookstagram account (@pamela.reads) a couple years ago, and I want to see them both flourish...intentionally!

Here's to a new year and a new start! Thanks for reading!