Auto-Buy Authors!

autobuy

Everyone that reads has at least one “auto-buy” author. You see their new book just chilling in the shop and boom-
It’s on your shelf.

Great for me!
Less great for my purse…

  1. Rick Riordan

PJO-RR
Look, if I see a book by this guy, I buy it. They have everything: adventure, humour…everything. His recent books are becoming so much more diverse too!!! I am so here for authors growing and changing as they write, and despite the fact that the plots are becoming a lil predictable, I’ll support the representation within them.

Check out Percy Jackson, Magnus Chase or the Kane Chronicles

2) Agatha Christie

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My Queen. I don’t care how old her books are, because every single one keeps me hooked until the end. If you read one and dislike the narrator, then don’t fret! There are plenty more to choose from! I am slowly making my way through the Poirot books (sadly not in order, since I don’t actually have the first one) and finished And Then There Were None last month. (Spoiler: It was awesome.)

Check out And Then There Were None

3) Maggie Stiefvater

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I adore The Raven Boys and own a couple more of her books. I haven’t read all that many of hers, but if I see one of her books on sale at a discount, I tend to pick them up. The Scorpio Races has been on my tbr since FOREVER and one day, I swear, I will read it. Promise.

Check out The Raven Boys

4) Leigh Bardugo

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Let’s be real, the reason I pick up these books is for the Hamilton references. I played a game whilst reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer, to see how many I could find. (The answer was 2 or 3.) I’ve read Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom but not the Grisha trilogy – it’s somewhere on my tbr!

Check out Six of Crows

5) Soman Chainani

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I started reading The School for Good and Evil series when it first came out and just….haven’t stopped. (Okay, so I haven’t made a start on the newest one, but I haven’t been into a bookshop in the past few months…) The first book will remain one of my favourites forever and always, I think. I’ll read virtually anything that this guy writes!

Check out The School for Good and Evil

6) Sarah J Maas

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Okay, so this is a very very new author to me; I only started reading her books last year and *technically* own none of them, BUT I buy them automatically for my sister’s birthday. So it counts. Sort of. Of her two series, I do prefer A Court of Thorns and Roses, because they’re less..filler-y, I guess? Either way, both are interesting enough!

Check out the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series

So who’s on your auto-buy list? Let me know!

Holly xx

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Reading Jar 2017

2017readingjar

Happy New Year!!!

If you’ve been around for a while, you may recall my post this time last year about my reading jar for 2016. If not, do not fret – the idea is very straightforward.

Every book I read in 2017, I wrote down on a slip of paper and put in a jar. The slip usually has the date I finished the book, a star rating and any comments I had about it.

(The comments range from actual critiques of the book to my incessant fangirling. Hey, enthusiasm is enthusiasm, right?)

I didn’t hit my target of 50 this year, instead clocking in at 43. ( I could’ve sworn Goodreads had 44 on it, and that was before I added one in that I’d forgotten. Hmmm.) Hopefully 2018 will prove to be a better year!

Without further ado – Holly’s book read in 2017:
(Any reviews will be linked)

January
1st – Faegotten, Jude Tulli (Novelette)
2nd – Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo
5th – Antigone, Roy Williams (Play)
14th – The Tempest, William Shakespeare (Play)

February
5th – Perchance to Dream, Lisa Mantchev
13th – A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J Maas
17th – A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J Maas
26th – The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black

March
5th – The Angel Experiment, James Patterson
9th – We Come Apart, Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
17th – Kill The Boyband, Goldy Moldavsky

April
9th – Hook, K.R Thompson
13th – Kid Got Shot, Simon Mason
19th – Atonement, Ian McEwan
22nd – The New World, Patrick Ness (Novella)
29th – A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Sara Barnard

May
11th – The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman
17th – The Call, Peadar O’Guilin
28th – Geekerella, Ashley Poston
31st – The Orchid Caper, Connie Dowell

June
2nd – A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J Maas
11th – Peter Darling, Austin Chant
28th – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
30th – Holding Court, KC Held

July
2nd – Murder Most Unladylike, Robin Stevens
9th – Hush Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick
18th – Sword Art Online, Reki Kawahara
26th – The Dark Prophecy, Rick Riordan

August
8th – Oy Yew, Ana Salote
9th – Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
16th – Lord Edgware Dies, Agatha Christie

September
29th – The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
30th – Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Leigh Bardugo

October
13th – Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead, Rick Riordan
21st – A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams (Play)
26th – the princess saves herself in this one, Amanda Lovelace (Poetry)

November
29th – Am I Normal Yet?, Holly Bourne

December
11th – A Girl Called Owl, Amy Wilson
13th – Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
15th – Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyard
19th – Feminine Gospels, Carol Ann Duffy (Poetry)
22nd – Wolf by Wolf, Ryan Graudin
31st – Blood for Blood, Ryan Graudin

And there we have it, dear readers. My 43 book of 2017.

Some stats –
Best Month: December
Worst Month: November
Average Books Per Month: 3.58
Average Book Per Week: 0.82
Favourite Books: A Court of Mist and Fury, Geekerella and Wolf by Wolf/Blood for Blood
Least Favourite Books: Hush Hush and Glass Sword

How did you guys fare this year? My target is, as always, 50 books – you can find me on Goodreads.

Happy reading, and I hope you have a brilliant 2018!

Holly xx

Hamilton Book Tag

hamiltontag

WHAT TIME IS IT??

SHOWTIME!!

HA.
I LISTENED TO IT.

I’m so late to this fandom it’s unreal. I’ve had the album on Spotify for ages and forgot about it until this summer.

…I think I may like it more than Les Mis (and we all know how much I love Les Mis)

So, originally this tag was created by Maureen Keavy on YouTube. I actually found it done by Eve at Twist in the Taile and decided to join in on the fun.

Anyways. LET THE CURTAIN RISE!

*spoilers for Hamilton, The Maze Runner, Harry Potter, Take Back the Skies and Percy Jackson abound btw, read at your own risk*

The Room Where It Happens: Book World You Would Put Yourself In

…literally every single one.
I mean…
That’s so so difficult.
I’d have to go for Neverland.
Just because Peter Pan.
This book is my childhood (and probably my adulthood too, with the way I’m going) and I’ve spent so many years in Neverland, through reading every retelling I can get my hands on, that I’d be right at home.

The Schuyler Sisters: Underrated Female Character

I have to say, the first one that springs to mind is Wendy Darling. She’s not my favourite character by any means; but she looks after the Lost Boys, and her brothers, and puts up with Peter’s ego and Tink’s jealousy so I mean…yeah, she deserves this one.

My Shot: A Character That Goes After What They Want And Doesn’t Let Anything Stop Them

Oooooh…
Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy is actually the first person I think of at this point. For determination, she tops the scale. I don’t ever remember reading a book with such a headstrong character (in the best way possible!).

Stay Alive: A Character You Wish Was Still Alive *SPOILERS*

Aside from Phillip Hamilton??? *cries eternally* (Although to be fair, he’s not actually fictional, which makes it all even worse…)
Uhmm…
That’s actually really difficult, because I have SUCH a long list of dead favourite characters.
My mind automatically jumps to Newt from Maze Runner, because he was my favourite fictional character for a LONG time…
…but my mind is now screaming ‘Fred Weasley’ at me…
Fred it is.

Burn: The Most Heartbreaking End To A Relationship You’ve Ever Read *SPOILERS*

This one is actually from a slightly less well-known book called Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon. The couple was Cat and Fox and I cried so much honestly. I can’t spoil exactly how the relationship ends but…it ended with tears.
(Also Enjolras and Grantaire, but technically they weren’t ‘in’ a relationship so I mean…)

You’ll Be Back: Sassiest Villain

Can I say Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses? (I have read the rest of the trilogy, I know he’s not really a villain, but he kinda fits the criteria so…)
The other one that kind of fits, but again isn’t an actual villain is Gabriel Lightwood from The Infernal Devices – I can’t think of any *actual* villains at this very moment!

The Reynolds Pamphlet: A Book With A Twist That You Didn’t See Coming

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. I remember a twist towards the end and it somehow gave me an actual jump-scare; I genuinely nearly screamed.
(How on earth I got a jump-scare whilst reading, I will never understand)

Non-stop: A Series You Marathoned

The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan – I got the books for Christmas and read one per day; I was actually going to re-read them in the run-up to Christmas last year and never got round to it…maybe I’ll do “The Twelve Days of Olympus” and read PJO, HoO and The Trials of Apollo…who knows?

Satisfied: Favorite Book With Multiple POVs

I don’t read all that many books with multiple POVs, but the Gone series by Michael Grant is one of my favourites because of the diversity of the cast.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: A Book/Series You Feel Like Will Be Remembered Throughout History

I mean, the obvious answer to this is Harry Potter, enough said. It’s like… the series to end all series. The fandom of fandoms.
You see my point.

BONUS QUESTIONS!!!

Helpless: A Relationship You Were Pulling For From The Very Start

Blitzstone. Calling it. If it doesn’t happen in the last book I’m going to be MEGA disappointed. (Magnus Chase series, by the way!)
Also! Elizabeth and Aaron from the Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. It’s one of the only books I’ve ever re-read after being lent it by a friend and it’s like…a rainy afternoon book. I recommend it!!

Ten Duel Commandments: Favorite fight scene

Arghhhh I really have no idea I tend to like…skim fight scenes?
Wait no
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian, like that entire fight at the end of the book (My specific favourite part, from memory, is where Nico shows up and drags his father with him)

Say No To This: Guilty Pleasure Read

Aside from reading and re-reading Peter Pan? Probably the few Jacqueline Wilson books that I still own, like Little Darlings and Midnight, they’re two of my favourite for nostalgia reasons.

What Comes Next: A series you wish had more books

WILDWORLD SERIES BY L.J. SMITH YES PLEASE
Two books is not enough my friends, it’s literally set up for a final one.
The second one was published in 1990.
You see my issue here.

Right Hand Man: Favorite BROTP

…I actually have to say Percy and Jason from HoO. (I didn’t like Jason at first? Why didn’t I like him? He’s so…genuine. Like, I love him. Obviously I love Percy too.)

What’d I Miss: A Book Or Series You Were Late To Reading

Where do I even start with this.
Well, actually, I tend to run into book series just before the last book is out, somehow I get quite lucky with that!
I’d probably have to go with Percy Jackson again, because I started reading the books right after House of Hades came out.

And that is the end of this tag! Not tagging anyone, but if you want to do it feel free – let me know if you do, I’d love to read everyone’s answers!!

I will see you soon, lovely people!

Holly xx

I Write Like…

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Hey hey guys!

Yes, I am still alive. Shocker, I know.

Since I last updated a month ago, I figured that I should make a fun post, rather than my normal book reviews. I was browsing Pinterest earlier and found this website earlier called I Write Like – it basically takes your writing, analyses it and tells you which famous author that your writing style is the most like.

I ran everything through a couple of times, just to make sure that it doesn’t randomize a different answer every time, and it looks like we’re safe!

Now, since I’ve been writing a few years *cough* procrastinating *cough*, I decided to put in some of my writing and see how my style has changed over the years (or not – we’ll see)

Style One: Holly’s Story, age 12

Starting us off, I used a few paragraphs from a story I finished at about the age of 12 (since then, I have never gone back to it…a part of me thinks it’d be better off left buried in my files)

(I’m not showing the actual text that I put in because it’s so shocking…but here’s the result!)

Stephen King

 

So, apparently my writing style at age 12 was that of Stephen King.

SWEET.

Confession: I am yet to read a book of his, but I know that he wrote Under the Dome, which sounds like my kinda thing – I will check it out at some point, promise!

Style Two: Holly’s Fanfiction, age 14

A dark time I’d rather not get into if I’m being honest. I copied and pasted a chapter of the first fic I ever wrote (Yes, it’s still up. No, I’m not telling you what it is.)

Agatha Christie

(Sorry for the bad quality of this one, I had to screenshot it because the code wasn’t working)

Agatha Christie? Yes please!

Confession #2: I actually only read my first Christie book this summer! Of course, it was Murder on the Orient Express and I LOVED it. I also read Lord Edgware Dies – and loved that one even more.

Style Three: Holly’s Fanfiction, age 16

Heh…so maybe I still write the odd piece of Les Mis fanfic…

Anne Rice

I can honestly say, the name Anne Rice is only tickling the back of my mind because I recently watched the trailer for Interview With The Vampire for media.
Although, I think that I will be putting it on my to-read list!

Style Four: Holly’s Literature Essay, Age 16

Hey, essays are very different to prose fiction. I’m curious to see which author I’m channeling when I write essays for class…

Vladimir Nabokov

…fair enough.
(He wrote Lolita. Which I totally knew without having to look at the author bio. Totally.)

Style Five: Holly’s Blog Post, Age 17

do write differently whilst blogging, I must admit. This is from one that I posted quite recently…

David Foster Wallace

…I have genuinely never heard of this guy. He wrote The Infinite Jest and The Pale King, which I have a vague recollection of hearing about.

Fun fact: The Pale King was unfinished in Wallace’s lifetime, so was published posthumously in 2011!

IN CONCLUSION

My writing style has changed significantly over the years, mostly to suit different needs and platforms. It’s interesting to note that I have literally read none of these authors, yet my writing style seems to be like them.

Maybe the authors that I do read take inspiration from them? Who knows.

This wasn’t going to be a tag, but if you want to do it, then go ahead!

See you later with another post!
Have a great summer!!

Holly xx

My Questionable Music Taste

So, I often have my phone on shuffle when I’m working, just for background noise and I don’t tend to click on anything in particular.
I was messing around this morning with making some playlists, and found my ‘Most Played’ list – that led to a bunch of other things, and the long and short of it is that I figured it’d be fun to explore my music taste with you guys!

(All songs are linked to YouTube music videos – as far as possible, I’ve tried to link to the artist’s own videos, but some of them don’t have videos for particular songs, so I’ve linked to a fan-made one)

Starting off:

Top 10 Most Played Songs on Holly’s Phone:
1) Angels Fall by Breaking Benjamin
2) Flares by The Script
3) Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler
4) ABC Café/Red and Black by the Les Mis 2012 Film Cast
5) Lightning by The Wanted
6) Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
7) Top of the World by Greek Fire
8) The Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin
9) Someone You Love by Arshad
10) The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy

Most Played Artist
Breaking Benjamin

Most Played Album
Phobia by Breaking Benjamin

Top 10 Recently Played
1) If Only by Dove Cameron
2) Stars (I have no idea which version this is, but it’s from Les Mis)
3) Empty Chairs at Empty Tables by Rob Houchen
4) Wake Me Up Inside by Evanescence
5) Angels Fall by Breaking Benjamin
6) Agony by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen
7) Demons by Imagine Dragons
8) I Will Follow You Into The Dark by George Blagden
9) Viva la Vida by Coldplay
10) Had Enough by Breaking Benjamin

Most Added Genres
Alternative /Indie
Pop
Rock
R&B/Soul

Personal Favourite Songs on Phone
1) How Far We’ve Come by Matchbox Twenty
2) Arrival at Aslan’s How by Harry Gregson-Williams
3) Unknown Soldier by Breaking Benjamin
4) Lost Boy by Ruth B
5) Waterloo by ABBA
6) Over and Done With (Sunshine on Leith film version)
7) My Immortal by Evanescence
8) The Untitled Waltz by David Arnold
9) Right Place Right Time by Olly Murs
10) Impossible Opening from “Finding Neverland” by Paul Bateman and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

That’s all I’ve got for this post, feel free to take it as a tag if you like!

Does anyone share a similar music taste to me?

Holly xx