Why have I changed how I review?

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 0 comments
Hey guys, it feels like it's been a while! 

Recently, you may have noticed that my review styles have changed from what they used to be. After finishing a book, I would sit down at my desk and write long-winded, lengthy reviews that detailed each element I felt I needed to talk about. Now, for some reviewers that works wonderfully for them, but over time I felt that I couldn't fully commit to writing full reviews on the books I had read - especially if I had received books from publishers in exchange for honest reviews. Honestly, it was tiring, and I started to feel as if I was failing as a book blogger...

I felt like I was letting people down. Not just the publishers, or my readers, but also myself. Then, work started getting in the way...

It's no mystery that blogging becomes more than just a hobby or passion for some people - it's almost a part-time job! For those of you who weren't aware, I'm a teacher by trade, so therefore a lot of my time is spent either in the classroom educating the young minds of tomorrow, or it is spent marking and assessing and assessing and planning, not to mention all of the other behind the scenes things teachers do that people don't see, or seem to understand. Yes, we do get lengthy breaks in the Summer and at Easter, but by darn do we work hard for those breaks!

Unfortunately, being a teacher full-time severely impacts on my blogging time, as well as my reading time in general. At times, it really does feel like I just can't continue to blog and review as I used too. But you know what, that is completely okay! I'll just have to change it up.

So to do this, my reviews (which I still intend to post when I get round to finishing the books I read) are going to become smaller, and more to the point. My aspiration has always been to have been quoted in a book I've reviewed, and when this came about in 2015 with my review of Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, I couldn't have been happier, or more proud of my little blog. Therefore, I am going to be reviewing books with one or two short quotes which I feel really summarise my thoughts and opinions on them, and these will be published in the form of images. Now, this changing of reviewing does certainly not diminish the thoughts that go into each review. With these briefer reviewers, I'm going to need to choose my words carefully - especially if I'm aiming for my reviews to be published in any more novels!

Below are two of my most recent examples of my quotation reviews, courtesy of Radio Silence and I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed each book and have them glowing reviews!

I hope you will understand and appreciate the new style of reviews from me until further notice. This allows me to access my more creative side, whilst still staying true to my feelings on a book. Let me know what you think of these new mini-reviews in the comments below!

Book Review #90: I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

Title: I Was Born For This
AuthorAlice Oseman
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Format: eBook 
Publication DateMay 3rd 2018
Source: ARC
For Angel Rahimi life is about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything she loves – her friend Juliet, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band with his mates is all he ever dreamed of doing.

But dreams don’t always turn out the way you think and when Jimmy and Angel are unexpectedly thrust together, they find out how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

So what were my thoughts on 'I Was Born For This'? Here is my summarising review:

Book Review # 89: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Saturday, 10 March 2018 0 comments
Title: Radio Silence
AuthorAlice Oseman
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Format: Paperback 
Publication Date: February 25th 2016
Source: Purchased

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.
So what were my thoughts on 'Radio Silence'? Here is my summarising review:

A quick apology and update...

Sunday, 11 February 2018 0 comments
Hey guys! So, some of you might think that I'm finally back after a hiatus that seemed to last almost four months. However, it may surprise you to know that I never actually went anywhere!

Due to an unknown issue with my blog, I was posting regularly, however for some reason it wasn't posting my updates publicly, meaning only myself as the admin could actually see them. I have absolutely no idea how this occurred, but thankfully it has now been corrected. 

Please do enjoy the selection of reviews and posts I have put up since October, and if you are from a publishing house eagerly awaiting a book review, please do check through the past few pages of posts as it may have been uploaded a few months back and just recently actually becoming visible.

Apologies for any inconveniences. 

Book Review # 88: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Saturday, 3 February 2018 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Harper Voyager UK. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!

Title: Nevernight
AuthorJay Kristoff
Publisher: Harper Voyager UK
Format: ARC
Publication DateJuly 25th 2016
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.
Known for his deadly collaborations with Amie Kaufman and his original Japanese inspired trilogy, it was of no surprise to me that Jay Kristoff would blow me out of the water with his new assassin focused novel. Kristoff introduces us to a new era with Nevernight, one that is deadly, dark, cunning and yet totally unknown! Nevernight is full of surprises, with each page providing a dark, new twist for the reader to wrap their head around. The novel is focused on the perspective of our main character, Mia Corvere, her darkened past and death-defying present. Woven creatively with clever and witty footnotes to contrast the regular reading experience, (which did take some getting used to) Kristoff enlightens his readers with an insight into the darkest assassin school I've ever read about, The Red Church, where initiates travel through pools of thick, gloopy blood that leaves you almost choking on the very life source that flows through each of our veins.

What I loved about Nevernight was that Jay Kristoff wasn't afraid to go out there in terms of darkness, and I mean really out there! If you get turned off easily by novels that explore the detailed and gory side of assassination and bloody death, then this might not perhaps be the novel for you. If, like me, you don't mind a bit of occasional graphic description, then dive right in! Nevernight is not a novel that sugarcoats anything. It casually drops vulgarity left right and centre, in the form of curse words in their extremities, intense sexual references and generally cuts out all of the filters that would regularly be found in a Young Adult novel - if you could class it as that at all. Kristoff's Nevernight goes beyond the boundaries of YA, even if the main character is a young adult herself. I, however, would definitely class this more as an Adult Fantasy novel. If you're really intrigued by what I mean by how unsurprising a Kristoff novel could be in terms of vulgarity, take a look at the first line: 

“People often shit themselves when they die, did you know that?”

Instantaneously, I was enamoured in Kristoff's previous novels by his witty humour and blunt, sarcastic comments. Nevernight doesn't disappoint in this category either. Sarcasm takes its form in the shadowy being of Mr Kindly. Reading some of the dialogue description between Mia and Mr Kindly had me chuckling at times, and definitely brought a light element to shine amongst the darkness of the themes, even if the conversations were of a dark nature themselves. One of the things that attracted me to this novel was the fact that it almost had a Hogwarts element to it. There is something about learning how to be skilled in a novel that instantly draws me to it. Perhaps it's the teacher in me that gets easily thrilled by that, or whether it is just my adoration of the Harry Potter series, like most people my age. However, Kristoff really captured the rawness of learning. It's not always easy to get to where you need to be, and you need to put in blunt hard work - even if that does count for assassination and stealing secrets. Nevertheless, Kristoff explores it effortlessly that flowed really well throughout the novel, even if he did rip my heart into shreds at one point. Page 553 I am looking at you!

Overall, Jay Kristoff invites his readers roam the streets of Godsgrave, where your own enemy could be disguised as your best friend. With lethal turns of events that will leave you clinging in anticipation, Nevernight will not disappoint. On my classification scale, I award Jay Kristoff's Nevernight a full 5 out of 5. Extremely impressed and I cannot wait to see where the adventure takes us next for Mia and Mr Kindly!

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