Monthly Archives

August 2020

Books

The Books I Loved Reading (July 2020)

July

July has actually been one of my best reading months this year.

For the first 6 months, I just couldn’t get myself to pick up many books. I was lucky if I could finish one at that point so this made me super happy! Some of the books I’ve read this July were a mix of new that much or a few months old. I had catching up to do!

Another thing I loved about last month was that I also wrote more reviews! People seem to really enjoy them and the book blogger community have been super welcoming. I love them!

Loveless (Alice Oseman – 9th July)

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.

As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.

But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

The first book that I picked up in July was Loveless and I’d pre-ordered in advance!! I absolutely adore Alice Oseman as both an author and an illustrator. She has a way of bringing her characters to life with both flaws and achievements! You can’t help but feel connected with them instantly. As someone who is ace, this book was something I really needed right then!

The book follows Georgia and her friend Jason during their first year at Durham University. Ever since she was at school Georgia had loved love. She had loved the romance in the Disney films and read slash fanfictions like Draco/Harry and Korra/Asami. The idea of loving someone and dating them seemed amazing to her, but the reality of it was that it grossed her out.

Full review is here!

Solitaire (Alice Oseman)

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.
I really don’t.

This was Alice’s debut novel and it was where I fell in love with Tori as a character! If you’re familiar with Heartstopper, then you will have seen both her and her brother Charlie! She’s sassy but clearly cares for her little brother a lot.

I do remember picking this book up from my library back in 2014 but I couldn’t remember all the details. I figured that since I was already having an Alice year that I may as well pick this up! Actually, someone bought this off my Amazon wishlist! Remember when we were all doing this at the start of lockdown? I bought something for other people and they were gracious enough to return!

I’m slowly going to collect the rest of these books including the printed version of ‘Nick and Charlie’ which came out yesterday!! Hurry up, payday!

What I loved about Solitaire is that it showed the reality of growing up and how quickly things changed. One minute you could have a bunch of friends and the next you don’t. You develop crushes on the most unlikeliest of people and have to navigate both school and being a teenager. This was such a rollercoaster of a book and I loved every second of it!

Alice Oseman

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency (L.D Lapinski)

When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime: join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds.

But, unknown to Flick, the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Buildings and even streets are mysteriously disappearing. Once Flick realizes what’s happening she must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, seeking a way to fix Five Lights before it collapses into nothingness – and takes our world with it.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that I had books I wanted to read but didn’t have the motivation?

This was one of the books that I had ordered back in April and had been sitting on my TBR pile. It was one of the bunch I had that I didn’t want to touch until my mood let me. Too much was going on and, while reading about traveling to other worlds was convinient, it wasn’t the best timing. That said, I’m so glad that I waited!

I’ve been following L.D Lapinski for a little while before her book came out as she was a localish author! She’s a Nottinghamshire lass and I’m a Derbyshire one! We’re practically neighbours!

It’s no surprise that I’m addicted to other worlds. Whether it be Narnia, Gallifrey or even Camelot, I will go there! When I first read Flick, she reminded me of a little Doctor Who meets Newt Scamander! She got to visit a lot of different worlds by using a suitcase! Two of my favourite loves bundled into one!

Something that I loved was how Flick came from such a normal background. So many fantasy books started somewhere just as magical and this didn’t. It was more relatable to me! I adored learning about all the different characters especially Jonathan! He was such a sarcastic kid but still a great friend to Flick! I cannot wait to read the sequel coming out in April next year!!

RWBY: Before the Dawn (E.C Myers – 21st July)

A storm is coming…

After their strange mission in the desert, Coco, Fox, Velvet and Yatsuhashi are back at Shade Academy, doing some “extracurricular” work to track down The Crown, a mysterious force that’s snatching up people with powerful semblances. The job should be easier with Team SSSN by their side, but The Crown continues to evade them. Out of options and worried that a bigger plot is in motion, CFVY and SSSN notify Theodore, the Headmaster of Shade Academy, but Theodore has problems of his own.

Troubled by the disasters at Beacon and Haven Academies and struggling to support the flood of refugee students, Theodore declares a new initiation – including the formation of new teams to better unite the student body. Amid mounting tension at the school, CFVY and SSSN must contend with unfamiliar teammates and uneasy rivalries, all while The Crown plots their next move.

The eagle-eyed of you who liked RWBY too may have noticed the little RWBY reference in my blog header! I had to find a way to include the series somehow! I have a late review coming out soon for this, but I’ll give you some thoughts anyway!

This book continues after the events that occured in RWBY: After the Fall. We’re still following Team CFVY who have been attending Shade Academy with some other Beacon students while still trying to get information. There is so much I could say about this book but they would either not make sense or spoilers!

If you love modern fantasy mixing with fairytales, then you will love this! I’d advise watching the show before reading so you can get an idea! You watch them either on Youtube, Amazon Prime or the Rooster Teeth website!

The Times I Knew I Was Gay (Eleanor Crewes – 16th July)

Ellie always knew she was different. Contrary and creative, she wore black, obsessed over Willow in Buffy and somehow never really liked boys. As she grew, so did her fears and a deep sense of unbelonging. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, awkward encounters and everyday courage, Ellie’s journey is told through tender and funny illustrations – a self-portrait sketched out from the heart.

The Times I Knew I Was Gay reminds us that sexuality is not often determined by falling in love with others, but by coming to terms with oneself; that people must come out not just once but again and again. Full of vitality and love, it will ring true for anyone who took time to discover who they truly are.

Where do I start with this amazing book?

I guess the first thing that I immediately loved was Ellie’s illustrations. They reminded me a little of Nick Sharratt (the guy who illustrates a lot of Jacqueline Wilson’s covers) and I loved that so much! The amount of detail that she put into her drawings is so cool!

I really adore reading LGBTQ+ books! They’re one of my favourite genres to read in YA but I also love reading them in fiction too! You get more of an idea of a person’s situation if you read about it. Though I kind of love seeing them illustrated with text along with it. It kept my brain engaged instead of trying to decipher a lot of text.

Just because I love books doesn’t mean my brain always wants to!

Full review is here!

The Paper & Hearts Society: Read with Pride (Lucy Powrie)

Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.

Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you

When I said that I love reading LGBTQ+, I wasn’t lying! Haha!

Now I could go into a bunch of detail here about what I thought about this! This was another late review but the review for this was my last post so, if you;ve got time, I’d love for you to check it out! You won’t be disappointed I swear!

Or at least I hope you won’t be!

Full review is here!

What books did you read in July?

Books

Review | The Paper & Hearts Society: Read With Pride (Lucy Powrie)

Pride

MY RATING: 5 Stars

This is a review that I’ve been so excited to write! My review for The Paper and Hearts Society: Read With Pride is finally here! Ever since Lucy announced that she was doing a sequel to her successful debut book The Paper and Hearts Society, I’ve been waiting. I have been sitting on this book for a few months due to Covid and wanting to be in the right frame of mind to read.

I’m so glad that I did!!

If you haven’t read Lucy’s first book, then check it out! It’s a must-read for all book lovers out there.

What drew me to this next book?

There are multiple reasons, honestly. The fact I’m a big fan of Lucy Powrie, along with the book chatting about LGBTQ+ representation and, of course, the cover! It’s so pretty and colourful. I love it! With all of those reasons, let’s crack on with the review!

Synopsis

Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.

Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you

Review

The Paper and Hearts Society: Read With Pride follows Olivia Santos, the creator of the society and future book editor. She is literally obsessed with all books and, now that she is starting her GCSEs, she is reunited with the school library and her best friends. All should be great for her, right?

Wrong. The start of Year 11 starts off very badly for her.

She discovers that due to a complaint from a parent and a new school policy, all the library books with LGBTQ+ content now have a warning on the front. The students even have to get a permission slip signed by a parent. For those of you who don’t, Olivia is demi-sexual and also has a girlfriend called Cassie. You can imagine how horrified and upset she was hearing about this.

Of course, Olivia being Olivia, she doesn’t want to sit down and take this quietly.

She finds that there are others in the school who are LGBTQ+ and they secretly join together to take on this policy. They create posters, chat with each other in the library and do a couple of other things. I adored seeing this defiant side of Olivia! She’s often compared to Hermione for being studious and bookish, but this shows she is so much more than that!!

We have all the other members of the society: Henry is still being cute with Tabby, Tabby is trying to figure out this new school with her anxiety, Ed is trying to take on the job market (and failing) and Cassie is struggling with her mum. Lucy truly knows how to create a bunch of characters that you can relate. I felt so connected with Cassie after being a young carer for my mum as well. Don’t I know what it’s like to put my mum’s health before I want!

She has also introduced a bunch of brand new characters for me to love: Nell, Saffy, Oscar, Alf, Rocky and Morgan!

You really feel for all the struggles that they are going through and anyone in the community will find someone that understands them here. My favourites had to be Saffy (she’s adorable!) and Rocky! They really embrace being part of the Pride community and help to reach others through the hashtag #ReadWithPride! It’s incredible to see and for them to fight!

Unfortunately Pride is not the only thing Olivia has to work on.

What happens to her and her friends? You’ll have to buy the book yourself and see!

Have you read The Paper and Hearts Society: Read with Pride?

Fandom

Spiderman vs Spiderman: Which Versions Are Better?

SpidermanPhoto by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Did you know that August 1st is not only the beginning of a new month but also Spiderman Day? It’s true! Today is when we celebrate our favourite neighbourhood spiderman! Why do we celebrate him today? Well, Stan Lee first created Peter Parker back in August 1962 and he first appears in a comic as a supporting character.

Since this web-slinger is one of my favourite characters in the Marvel Universe, I wanted to decide once and for all who the best Spiderman was. These will only be my opinions and everyone will have different faves! Let’s start a Number 10, shall we?

Number 10: Spider-Man (1994)

This version of him was my first ever glimpse of Peter Parker! I had never heard of him before this but 7-year-old Daisy was hooked! There was something super cool about his adventures and learning all about his struggles. I didn’t always understand what the heck was going on but I still enjoyed it! The reason why the 1994 version is at the bottom is because he traumatised me!!

If you’ve seen the series, then you’ll remember the time when Peter was turned into an actual spider. It was so gross and I still can’t watch clips of it to this day!

Number 9: Josh Keaton (Spectacular Spider-Man)

I’ll be honest that I didn’t really remember Josh’s version before this post, but I did go and rewatch a few clips to jog my memory.

He was cool, though his voice was pretty darn deep!

Number 8: Tobey Maguire

Our first ever movie Peter!!

It was beyond exciting to see him on the big screen and I couldn’t wait to see a real person portraying him! I’d only seen him in animation so yeah!!

Don’t get me wrong…there was so many great scenes when Tobey really showed a depth to Petter, but…I just didn’t really connect. I think it was to do with some of the facial expressions he gave sometimes and because he was a little too old to be a teenager!

Be gentle!

Number 7: Peter Parker (Into The Spider-Verse)

Awww…this Peter gave me feels!! Jake Johnson really brought something new to the universe and that was Peter had a lot of flaws. He may have been a superhero but he was still human to a degree.

He made mistakes.

What I adored about the version was he really taught anyone who watched that you can learn from your mistakes and change. He was overweight and grieving the loss of M.J but he still sacrificed himself for Miles and it was beautiful! *sob*

Number 6: Miles Morales (Ultimate Spider-Man)

Okay…so technically he wasn’t so much a Spiderman lead in this show, but he still stuck out to me!

I hadn’t heard about Miles before this. Not much was ever shown of his character and that bugged me. I feel like I connected a little more with him because he was struggling with his identity and his place in the world.

Every teenager knows what this is like!

Ogie Banks just made him memorable! I think I’m going to have to re-watch the series to see all of Miles’ scenes! That little sass-pot!

Photo by Марьян Блан | @marjanblan on Unsplash

Number 5: Robbie Daymond (Marvel’s Spiderman)

Okay…I may be a little bias with this pick because I was already a fan of Robbie’s work before I saw him as Spiderman! You guys already know that I’m a part of many fandoms and anime is one of them! He’s been in so many of those and video games like Persona 5!

Why is he in my top 5?

He’s here because he made Peter a teen! Oh my days! I actually believed that Peter was still at school trying to get through his life there while being a superhero. He was sweet!

Number 4: Yuri Lowenthal (Spider-Man PS4)

Another voice actor who I adored!! This guy is basically a voice actor legend! He has been in everything you can think of such as Sasuke in Naruto, Ben in Ben 10, Mercury in RWBY and more!

I hadn’t seen Spiderman in a video game before. I know there had been a bunch all ready but this one seemed special. It was so detailed and his Peter made me cry!! If you’ve played the game, then you will know the moment! *sniff*

He might not have felt like a teenager but he still had those human flaws with MJ.

Number 3: Andrew Garfield

Our next movie Spiderman and he was British!!

I remember there was a lot of buzz over the fact that they’d chosen a British actor to play him. It just made me happy! Before he was Peter, he was in Doctor Who!! Who else remembers him as the guy who was turned into a pig-man! At least he had the accent down!!

Never realised he was actually born in LA! Haha!

His Peter felt real. He wasn’t a superhero. He was just a teenager playing what he thought a superhero was. Some of my favourite moments with him were when he took down the car thief! I loved that he was super sarcastic with him and played with the thief! He was like a cat playing with its prey! The other was when he saved a kid in a falling car. He was so sweet with Jack who was so scared!

He let him put on the mask and everything! Even though he was exposing his identity, he still saved him.

Tied for Number 1: Tom Holland & Shameik Moore

I couldn’t seperate these guys!! I just couldn’t put either of them at Number 2! They’re just too good for so many different reasons!!

Let’s start with Tom! Tom is Peter Parker!! He felt like a true kid in Spiderman: Homecoming! He was doing classes at school with his friends, taking part in a debate team and even building Lego with his friend Ned!! He was the youngest out of all the Spidermen to date and that really added to his role! You could feel how awkward he was with life and how he just wanted to be a hero like the Avengers.

I loved the moments when he was honestly being a ‘neighbourhood Spiderman’. Helping people with their shopping and stopping someone stealing a bike. Everything he has done with Peter has felt true. That heart-breaking moment when he is stuck under rubble and crying out for help. MY HEART!!! That poor boy! It was then he realised that Spiderman was him! Let’s not talk about ‘I don’t feel so good, Mr Stark!’.

As for Shameik as Miles Morales….again, perfect!! He’s only a year older than Tom and that helped too! He knew what it was like to be a kid! Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse was just an overall masterpiece! The designs, the music and the cast…*chef kiss*

He was taking over the Spiderman mantle from Peter and making it his own! He had the same uncertainity that Peter had at the beginning and obviously had a tragic moment happen to him! All heroes have to have tragedy!! Haha! I can’t wait to see what Miles does next in the sequel in 2022!

Who is your favourite Spiderman?