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    Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2018

    Hosted by Escape with Dollycas

    Last years attempt at completing the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge was an absolute fail. I repeated a lot of letters and missed out a hefty amount. You can view last years attempt here. My promise to write a review for each of those books that I read plummeted to its death pretty early on, only managing to write four. Yikes. I’ll try to be better this year but I’m a bit lazy when it comes to reviewing.

    My personal goal whilst doing this challenge is to ensure that I read at least 5 of each of the following: Classics, Thrillers, YA Fantasy and Plays.

    A recap of the rules

    Read one book that has its title starting with a letter of the alphabet. That’s 26 books. A’s and The’s can be dropped from the beginning of titles. The first main word needs to be the letter you are counting, except for Q, X AND Z titles then the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title. Like last year, I have decided to exclude any short stories or pieces of poetry that I read from this challenge.

    Born, Madly by Trisha Wolfe, read February 2018, rated 5 stars.
    Children of Ambition by J.J. McAvoy, read January 2018, rated 4 stars.
    Dark in Death by J.D. Robb, read February 2018, rated 5 stars.
    Pet Sematary by Stephen King, read March 2018, rated 5 stars

    Do you think you can read a book for each letter of the alphabet? Try it out. Create your own blog post or if you don’t own a blog, create a shelf on your goodreads account. 52 weeks. 26 books.

    You’ve got this.

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    Bowed, Bent, Broken.

    Have you ever felt so broken from the world that you wanted to crawl into a corner and hide?
    Her body shook with it — the pain that had clawed its way into her heart. Her mind slowly suffocating under the thoughts that marched, violent and relentless.
    You are nothing. Ignored and forgotten, you are not worthy of being loved. You will always be alone. They will always leave and you will remain here, in this hell, crawling on your knees like vermin begging them to come back. Begging them to just take notice and see you but you are nothing and no one. Ignored and forgotten. Worthless.
    She cried out in agony, doubling over on herself, her fingers tightening into fists. Let this be the end. Let her miserable existence end. Her fists connected with the floor again and again and again. A scream ripped through her, but no one came. No one cared enough to look. She gasped, choking on the air trying to find its way in.
    She was dwindling on the edge, trapped in this hell looking for the light. Looking for a way out. But there was no escape. Dead end, after dead end.
    She yearned for it. Yearned for someone to reach out, pull her close and bring her into the light. She wanted to believe that someone would save her with every essence of her being but that was the thing about hope. It was just as broken as she was.
    Perhaps they were right. Perhaps she was always meant to be alone.

    Thank you for reading.
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    Review: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

    Review: La Belle Sauvage by Philip PullmanLa Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
    Series: The Book of Dust #1
    Published by David Fickling Books on October 19th 2017
    Genres: Fantasy
    Pages: 546
    Format: Hardback
    Source: Amazon
    Add to Goodreads

    Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

    “He came awake like someone struggling to swim to the surface of a lake of laudanum, where the strongest delights were the deepest and there was nothing above but cold and fear and duty.”

    I can’t even begin to describe how much I absolutely adored this book; from beginning to end it was truly spectacular. It had so much potential to be a disappointment, especially when you consider the success of His Dark Materials, and the extent to which this series impacted people’s childhoods. But my boy, Philip Pullman, pulled through and delivered.
    This book was worth the wait and without a shadow of a doubt the best book I have read all year.
    There is something truly beautiful and whimsical in the way Pullman tells a story. It’s like he grabs you by the collar and sucks you in until you feel like you’re a part of this big great adventure.
    La Belle Savage was a slow burn. You’re left wanting and waiting for the little bits of magic and secrets that are strategicially placed throughout the first half of the book; the excitement over seeing and hearing from old familiar faces. It’s not necessary to read His Dark Materials to understand this book or it’s references but let’s be real here… why wouldn’t you want to? It all frames a greater, far more interesting picture.
    The second half of La Belle Savage is where this book starts to really hit its stride. A great flood, mythical creatures, a great voyage across Britian. I couldn’t have asked for more. Except I am because this girl is in serious need of The Secret Commonwealth. Just hand over the manuscript as soon as humanly possible and no one will get hurt. I’m already experiencing a serious case of Post-La Bella Savage Depression.

    Have you read La Belle Sauvage?
    Let me know what you thought in the comments below.
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    Do you think of me when you’re locked inside yourself?

    I sometimes wonder if you feel silence
    in the same way that I do.
    The quiet unease that settles deep in your stomach.
    The thousand ‘what if’ questions that suffocate your mind.
    The gradual ache that builds, and builds,
    until it reaches its crescendo and you’re left

    Author’s note

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my poetry (or writing in general) to my blog etc. and ‘m hoping to change that and be more productive creatively. Whether it’s working on my WIP or posting snippets of flash fiction/poetry to this blog or Instagram, I’m going to do it.

    This is the first piece of poetry that I’ve written in a while and I’ll probably hate it later, but for now, it is what it is. It feels good to have finally found a creative release once again. I’ve been in a bit of a slump, and constantly trying to remind myself that you don’t need to wait for inspiration to strike, and my perfectionist streak will only hinder my progress.

    Thanks for reading.
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    Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

    Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. MaasTower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
    Series: Throne of Glass #5
    Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on September 5th, 2017
    Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
    Pages: 672
    Format: Paperback
    Source: Amazon
    Add to Goodreads

    Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

    His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

    But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.


    “He could still speak with dignity and command whether he stood on his feet or was laid flat on his back. The chair was no prison, nothing that made him lesser.”

    All the Chaol haters can take a seat at the far back. I was beyond excited when I heard Chaol was going to get his own novella, and then that tripled when it was announced that Tower of Dawn was a novella no more, but a book. A 700 page book of absolute glory. Sarah J. Maas did not let me down. Tower of Dawn has definitely been the best book in this series so far, and my absolute favourite.
    I want to clutch this book to my chest and never let go. Chaol, you beautiful, pure cinnamon roll, that needs to be protected at all costs, bless your little heart. This book was honestly such a journey for him. A journey that he needed. A journey that forced him to confront everything that has happened to him and those around him over the last 5 books. I’ve never felt so proud of a fictional character in a long time. This book could so easily have just been 700 pages of him whining about his disability but it wasn’t, and for that I am so happy. Chaol never let it define him, for the chair was no prison.
    I can’t even put into appropriate sentences what I loved about this book so I’ve made a list instead:

    • The relationship that blossomed between Chaol and Yrene. I’m still not fine. I knew as soon as she walked into Chaol’s room that very first time that ships would be changing.
    • There was some real grey area cheating going down in this book and I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about it.
    • I have finished this book liking Nesryn’s existence more than I ever thought I would.
    • I would like some happy things to happen to Kashin, please.
    • Sartaq had some of the best romantic one liners. Where is my man like that?
    • THE REAL IDENTITY OF THE VALG QUEEN. Someone hold my book because I almost threw it across the room.
    • Yrene was THE GIRL. IN THE BAR. THAT AELIN/CELAENA SAVED. I cannot wait until she finds out.
    • Nesryn + Sartaq makes me really happy and I’m also really sad that I didn’t get to see more of it
    • I need so many more scenes between Borte and Yeran, please and thank you.
    • The epilogue. LOL GOODBYE. I didn’t need that pain, thank you.
    • The worldbuilding was spectacular. Sarah J. Maas, you did good.
    • All the little plot twists and allusions towards plot lines and characters outside of this book had me squealing.
    • Why is everyone getting surprised married all of a sudden?
    • What is Sarah’s deal with saving the men of her books in the way that she does. Trying so hard not to spoiler here but you guys know what I mean (not that I don’t like the outcome but still!! Where is the George R.R. Martin level of ruthlessness? But please don’t kill my favs.)

    I’m honestly a little terrified at how everything is going to play out, but the whole gang is finally going to be back together so as long as everyone sees each other before someone dies, I’m good.

    Have you read Tower of Dawn yet?
    Let me know what you thought about the book in the comments below.
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