T5W: Books Featuring Vampires

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here). This week’s topic is Books Featuring Vampires (in honour of it being October). Pretty self explanatory.

  1. Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan – Probably the first and best series of books about vampires I read, this is a truly fantastic story about a boy forced to fake his own death and learn how to live as a vampire. Cirque_du_freak
  2. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – The most obvious choice possible, but I really did enjoy this series. The writing was terrible, the characters were awful, and the general love-triangle fuelled teen-angst was truly dreadful, but I loved it anyway. 41865.jpg
  3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – Another very obvious YA fantasy to pick, but it turns out I’ve actually read very few books featuring vampires. Although there are quite a few vampires in this one, Simon is obviously the main one and the best. 256683
  4. The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams – This was a really epic fantasy adventure, featuring mostly immortal beings who feed off human blood (vampires). The Vamps in this book also carry some elfish characteristics and are very sassy and cool. 29758013
  5. The Evil Seed by Joanne Harris – In a nice change of pace, the vampires in this book are vicious and cruel, and don’t fall in love with humans. 11383768
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T5W: Books Featuring Witches

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here). This week’s topic is Books Featuring Witches. This can be books about witches, where a witch is the main character, or any book that happens to feature a witch at all.

  1. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – I really need to stop including this book in every list but I love it so much and it does feature one of the best literary witches: Agnes Nutter. It’s a fun and creative story featuring angels, demons, satanic nuns, and of course, the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch. 12067
  2. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett – Pratchett was always fantastic at witches, and my favourite was Tiffany Aching, the 9-year-old witch who comes with a collection of hilarious, strange, blue men in kilts. 833420
  3. Beastly by Alex Flinn – This retelling of Beauty and the Beast features a sassy and vengeful witch (the one who places the curse on Alex Flinn’s ‘beast’), Kendra. She’s only a very minor character in this book, but I believe this has actually developed into a series called the Kendra Chronicles. 544891
  4. The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown – Okay, so this book doesn’t actually feature any witches of the magical/paranormal kind. It is actually about the sister of a man who claims to be a witchfinder and contains some real, historical of what happened to women accused of being witches in 1640’s England. It is a harrowing but truly fascinating read. 32860254
  5. The Halfway Witchy series by Terry Maggert – This witchy series follows the life of Carlie McEwan as she fights to protect her beloved town of Halfway. It features vampires, Vikings, ghosts, and a multitude of other supernatural beings and is a fun and easy romp. Oh, and there are waffles. 25827242

T5W: Books I’ve Read because of Blogging

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here) This week’s topic is Books I’ve Read because of Blogging/Booktube/etc. Basically, this is the books that we’ve picked up because we’ve heard about them in the online book community. Since starting my blog I’ve got hold of lots of books after hearing about them online and in other people’s reviews, so only choosing five is going to be hard!

  1. Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed – I kept seeing this book all over Twitter, with groups of women posting photos of themselves with the book and I was really intrigued. I managed to blag a copy from NetGalley and it turned out to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. I love it.35066549
  2. The Silent Companions by Laure Purcell – I read a couple of positive reviews of this book and saw a lot of photos of it on Twitter (you may notice a theme starting here) and it was so pretty and so intriguing I just had to read it. The story is spooky, atmospheric, and totally worthy of the beautiful cover. untitled
  3. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Reviews, photos and general hype about this book was everywhere in the lead up to publication. I probably would have bought it anyway because I love Laini Taylor’s writing, but the amount that I saw it in the online book community definitely helped. I ended up pre-ordering the fancy hardcover with the blue sprayed edges and I haven’t even read it yet but, judging by the reviews I’ve read, I’m going to love it when I do.29748925
  4. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi – I saw a lot of praise for The Star Touched Queen online, so when I got the opportunity to read an advance copy of Roshani’s next book I decided to give it a go. I was not disappointed.29939047
  5. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel – This book was all over Twitter for a while and has a slightly different subject matter than I would normally go for (family with a trans-gender child) but the proofs were shiny and I managed to get hold of on. It turned out to be much better than I expected and I actually really enjoyed the story.30809345

What books have you picked up after hearing about them from other bloggers, Twitter, booktube, etc?

T5W – Classes Based on Books/Characters

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here) This week’s topic is Classes Based on Books or Characters. The idea here is that we make up classes based on characters’ skills or books (not to go for easy and obvious options like Harry Potter). So here are my Top 5 classes I’d like to take…

  1. Apocalypse Survival (Defender by G X Todd) – Lacey and Pilgrim get by surprisingly well in a post-apocalyptic world full of murderers and thieves, so I think they’d be pretty good teachers for a class based on how to survive an apocalypse. Which is obviously something we should all be prepared for… Image result for apocalypse
  2. Gods of the World (American Gods by Neil Gaiman) – Neil Gaiman introduced us to a lot of gods from different cultures in American Gods and I would love to know more about all of them, as well as the ones who feature in his Norse Mythology and any others from around the world. Image result for american gods
  3. Immortal Activities (Twilight by Stephanie Meyer) – Vampires are immortal (obviously) which means they have a lot of time to kill. Besides falling in love with an excessively annoying human, Edward had a lot of skills. This class would be focussed on the best ways to use your time if you live forever. Image result for edward cullen
  4. Mythical Jewellery 101 (The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein) – Pretty sure Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf could give us a detailed lesson on magical, mythical and cursed jewellery. Their main piece of advice would probably be STAY AWAY. Image result for the one ring
  5. How to Handle Alternative Universes (Dark Matter by Blake Crouch) – On the off-chance that one might wake up in an alternate universe and not know how to get back home, this would be a very handy class to take. Image result for alternate universes

T5W: Favourite Bromances

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here) This week’s topic is Favourite Bromances! A bromance = platonic relationship between two characters who identify as male. So here are some of my faves…

  1. Frodo and Sam, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein – Their friendship was truly put to the test on their journey to Mount Doom, but Sam stuck by Frodo all the way and they came out still friends. sam the lord of the rings frodo fellowship of the ring elise GIF
  2. Merry and Pippin, also The Lord of the Rings – These two are adorable and I love them. Their friendship really is more like brothers. the lord of the rings gandalf merry return of the king pippin GIF
  3. Jean-Luc and Vic in London Belongs to Us by Sara Manning – These two are so alike that everyone thinks they’re twins (they’re actually cousins) and they’re hilarious and sweet and bounce off each other brilliantly.26177619.jpg
  4. Back to The Lord of the Rings with Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn – This is the ultimate bro-triangle. No arguments. gandalf aragorn elise legolas gimli GIF
  5. Jace and Alec in The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – Although Jace actually lets Alec down over and over again, prioritising girls and his confusing parental relationships over his parabatai, Alec never lets go of his connection to Jace. And that’s some serious commitment. shadowhunters isabelle lightwood clary fray alec lightwood jace wayland GIF

    What are your favourite book bromances? Let me know!

T5W – Books From Before You Joined The Online Book Community

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here) This week’s topic is Favourite Books From Before You Joined The Online Book Community. For me, this means my favourite books from before starting my blog and joining Goodreads. Here we go!

  1. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – I gush about this book every time anyone asks me about my favourites, so I won’t say too much now. It’s a work of absolute genius. Just read it.good-omens-2
  2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London – I’ve loved this book since I was (quite) little. I think it might be the only book I’ve ever enjoyed written from the point-of-view of an animal, and Buck is still one of my favourite book-animals. This book has so much depth as well as drama and excitement.call-wild-jack-london-paperback-cover-art
  3. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I was attracted to this book for obvious reasons (in case you hadn’t realised, my name is Ella) and I do usually enjoy almost any fairytale retelling. This one was particularly good. Do not let the film put you off – I hated it. Anne Hathaway was a terrible casting choice and they changed the story so much! The book is well worth a read.858361
  4. Angelfall by Susan Ee – My favourite paranormal YA book ever. I loved Twilight, The Mortal Instruments and The Hunger Games, but Angelfall takes the crown in my opinion. The heroine is sassy and loveable, the hero isn’t abusive and the side characters are a delight, but because it’s never been made into a film it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.15863832.jpg
  5. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley – This is a blend of fairytales, told from the point-of-view of a minor but integral character: the woodcutter. It’s complicated but well thought out, and one of the best works of imagination I’ve read.16128504

A few of these are childhood favourites and, to be honest, since joining the online book community my favourites haven’t changed very much. What are your favourite books (from before or since finding your way onto WordPress)?

T5W – Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here) This week’s topic is Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want. Fortunately, this is open to interpretation: it can be any kind of ‘fitness’. That means fit and healthy characters, or ones whose routines involve a decent amount of food. I suspect that my list will include more of the latter*…

*Update: It turns out characters who stuff their faces with cake and pizza at every opportunity are pretty rare in the books I read.

  1. All of the gods in Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – As gods, this bunch are blessed with beauty and grace, and are muscular and powerful (think Thor), and yet they have regular feasts and eat and drink an insane amount (again, Thor). I would like their fitness regime because they don’t really do a lot, but stay beautiful and healthy through god-power. Which would be ideal.30809689
  2. Mma Ramotswe in The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall-Smith – Mma Ramotswe has no fitness regime (other than drinking tea), and instead prides herself on her traditional build. I love this view that big is beautiful (although she does do a fair bit of skinny-shame which I don’t agree with). 816167.jpg
  3. The Shadowhunters in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – The Shadowhunters (i.e. Jace, Clary and the others) train every day. This keeps them in peak physical condition, but it’s more than just a work out. The exercise their minds as well and improve their skills, doing something they love with their friends which makes it fun rather than just hard work. 256683.jpg
  4. Lula in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – Lula runs around all over the place helping Stephanie catch criminals, and then chows down on pizza, fried chicken and copious amounts of doughnuts. She’s proud of her figure and maintains her fitness as she wants, regardless of what anyone else might think.6853

Okay, try as I might, I can’t come up with a fifth character whose fitness routine I’d want. To be honest, it’s not something I take much notice of when I read. So there’s my Top 4 instead!

Are there any obvious ones I’ve missed out? What characters’ fitness routines would you want?

T5W – Book Covers You’d Live In

118368Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Thoughts on Tomes. (You can find the Goodreads group for it here) This week’s topic is book covers you’d live in! What this means is books with covers that you’d like to be transported into. So, here’s my Top 5!

  1. The Waking Land by Callie Bates – I love the magical forest vibe of this cover, and the shiny leaves on the hardcover version. It just looks like it would be such a beautiful forest to walk through and, as far as book covers go, this one if pretty stunning. 34610036
  2. Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop – To be honest, the picture on this cover just looks like such a beautiful holiday destination, and I know the pictures in this book are photographs of real places so being transported there wouldn’t be entirely impossible! 29082369.jpg
  3. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams – I love a castle, and the one on this cover looks particularly dark and mysterious. I would love to see what the rest of the world in this book looks like. 29927235
  4. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – Now, I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in this cover (it looks cold) but I would definitely like to visit and meet the fantastical Russian spirits described in the story. 25489134
  5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – The clothes of the silhouettes on this cover look fantastic and I love the mysterious black and white effect. It really makes me want to go to the night circus and see what it’s all about. 10860047.jpg

So that’s my Top 5 Book Covers I’d Live In! What covers would you like to be transported into?

T5W – Series That Got Better

 

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I wanted to start doing some posts other than just reviews, so I’m having a go at a couple of weekly memes. Top 5 Wednesday is a meme run by Thoughts on Tomes and you can find the Goodreads group for it here! This week’s topic is series that got better as they went on. (I’m glad I only have to choose 5 because these are rare).

  1. Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee – I loved these books. I loved Penryn, Raffe, Penryn’s mum, and all the other characters that pop up. The romance was very fun and managed to carry on developing throughout the series without getting annoying. And there are no love triangles!!! (No love triangle in a paranormal YA series? What is this witchcraft?!)
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  2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – Although this series had some weak points, I did really enjoy them the whole way through and there was some lovely character development (especially with Simon).
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  3. Runemarks by Joanne Harris – Sort of not a series because there are only two books, but they’re both just brilliant. Wonderful and interesting characters (based on Norse gods) and a very eventful plot.
  4. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – The first book was fantastic and, for at least the first 15 books, they just kept getting better. Unfortunately, 20+ books in a series is rather ambitious and they have started to go downhill in more recent instalments.
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  5. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – (Obviously). You just can’t go wrong with a bit of LOTR.
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    So that’s my Top 5 series that got better. What series did you love that got better with each book? Let me know if there are any you think I’d enjoy!