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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.

    A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas, read May 2018, rated 3 stars. Review.
    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.
    Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton, read March 2018, rated 4 stars.
    Lying to you by Amanda Reynolds, read May 2018, rated 4 stars.
    Pet Sematary by Stephen King, read March 2018, rated 5 stars
    Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, read May 2018, rated 5 stars.
    Spiders in the Grove by J.A. Redmerski, read April 2018, rated 3 stars. Review.
    Woman in the Window, The by A.J. Finn, read April 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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