April wrap-up

I’ve finished my 26 weeks of placements! I finished my last placement last week over Easter and it’s now I am back at uni and doing some more lectures before the panic of revision starts (which it already has but oh well). So it hasn’t been a great more for reading in terms of the amount of books I read, however I did accomplish finishing a trilogy that has been on my TBR for ages (yay!) and finally read an ARC that had been patiently waiting for me to pick up for well over a year (I know – the shame!) which I can’t believe I didn’t read sooner! Here are the three books I read in April:

The Fate of the TearlingREVIEW: The Fate of the Tearling ~ Erika Johansen ...

Author: Erika Johansen
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 528
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

I FINALLY finished this trilogy!! It feels so good to finish this series and it’s definitely one I’m glad I stuck with, even though life just seemed to get in the way of completing sometimes. I really enjoyed seeing more of the Crossing as well as the origins of some of the characters and seeing this story come to a conclusion. I really didn’t know what to expect for the ending and it still ended up surprising me! If you’re looking for a dystopian series with a bit of fantasy and some very grey characters then look no further than this and check out The Queen of the Tearling to begin this fantastic trilogy.

FurybornBooks – Claire Legrand

Author: Claire Legrand
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 491
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Why oh why did I wait so long to read this ARC?! I got it in a Fairyloot box ages ago but it just hasn’t been something that struck my interest until this month – I’m very much the mood reader. I’m so glad I finally did pick it up and just in time for the sequel, Kingsbane, which is out in May! It has two awesome main characters and a very intriguing plot that had me racing through the book.

Springtime at WildacreSpringtime at Wildacre (Hope Meadows, #3) by Lucy Daniels

Author: Lucy Daniels
Publisher: Hodder Paperback
Pages: 368
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

The third book in the gorgeous Hope Meadows series about a vet, Mandy Hope, and based on the children’s series, Animal Ark, this is such a sweet story and perfect to read this springtime. This one was particularly interesting to read as we see Mandy make a clinical mistake which she has to learn to live with and forgive herself. It was heart-warming to read and gives you an appreciation for our British wildlife and animal lovers.

So what’s next for May? Well I’ve got a LOT of revision to do for exams so reading will have to take a backseat. I am hoping to do a reread of Caraval and finally get my hands on Legendary before the last in the trilogy, Finale, comes out in May so I can read this series all in one. There are also plenty of books I’m hoping to buy now my book-buying ban is lifted! I’ve got a list of books I want to buy so I’ll have a look at that and pick a couple as a treat.

If you’re a regular user of Amazon, have you heard of smile.amazon.co.uk? It’s exactly the same as Amazon but 0.5% of the cost of the net purchase price of eligible products is donated to a charity of your choice! It doesn’t sound like a lot initially, but as those purchases build up (and let’s face it, with bookworms, they definitely will) it adds up and every bit helps. It’s such a simple and easy way to donate to charity and all it takes it typing in smile.amazon compared to amazon after you’ve signed up. Check it out!

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I Should Have Read That Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged but I found the tag on Snowly’s Rambles blog and I thought I’d give it a go because I’m beginning to realise just how much fun participating in book tags are! The original tag was by Booknest

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

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Multiple friends are always telling me to read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson! I do honestly want to read it but for some reason it always gets pushed back along my TBR. I think the size of it and the fact that it’s a big series is intimidating me when I don’t really have a lot of time at the moment – maybe I’ll hopefully get round to reading it when I finally finish uni!

A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked up

Image result for dragon keeper robin hobb

I bought this ages ago in my second year of uni at the gorgeous Waterstones in Gower Street but I just haven’t picked it up yet! I’m thinking it might be a book/series I’ll enjoy more when I’m older anyway since I still like a lot of YA stuff at the moment. I think I’ll keep it on my TBR for a bit longer but I do really want to eventually read it!

A book in a series you’ve started but haven’t got around to finishing

Image result for rebel of the sands

I started this series ages ago and I’ve only read the first – I actually own the other two in the trilogy but maybe it’s because I didn’t love the first one, I just haven’t got round to reading the rest. Again, I do intend to read this series and I might have to just set aside the time and do it.

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of but never actually read

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I’ve never read Wuthering Heights but I do really want to! And look how gorgeous this cover is! If you google Wuthering Heights book then some fantastic covers come up – I might have a hard time choosing which one to get! It’s a classic romance that I do need to read and I’ve never read any of the Brontë sisters work but I want to and this seems like a good place to start.

A popular book it seems everyone but you has read

Image result for the fault in our stars book

Everyone has either seen or read this and I had full intention to stay away from both because I know it would be an absolute cry fest. A few months ago I caught my sister watching the film on Netflix and I got drawn in and of course the ending was so sad. I don’t think I’ll be reading the book any time soon.

A book that inspired a TV/film adaptation but you haven’t read yet

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I’ve seen the film but not read the book (I know – heathen!) but I really liked the film because it was so visually spectacular. However I’m not sure whether I want to read the book or not because I feel like I’ve missed the boat with the age range it’s aimed at and I just don’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I could have, had I read it sooner. It’s still an awesome story and I definitely recommend the film if you haven’t seen it!

A book you see all over Instagram/Twitter but haven’t picked up yet

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Everyone seems to be reading this at the moment or posting about it but I’m just not sure it interests me!

I have to say it’s a lot of fun doing book tags and I think I might just do more of them so please feel free to tag me in any that you do!

Now for the tagging (I apologise if you’ve already done it but feel free to comment the link below so I can check it out!): What Vicky Readthelittlebookowlthe paperback pianoConnie ReadsBlogger BooksBookishly Brittknee; A Cat, A Book, and A Cup of Tea; BookLoversBlog; The chronicles of a bookworm; Emma’s Chapter.

 

 

 

The Dark Vault Book Review

The Dark VaultImage result for the dark vault book

Author: V E Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 697
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

“Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Mackenzie Bishop’s grandfather first brought her here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now her grandfather is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.”

A world where the dead are stored as files for librarians to flip through, and can wake at any second to potentially find their way back into the living and breathing world – The Dark Vault is full of mystery and is superbly written. It’s an innovative creation with some absolutely fabulous and fiery characters that demands to be read with its fast pace and action-filled pages.

I LOVED this book! It was first released as two separate books, The Archived and The Unbound in 2013 and 2014 by Disney, but didn’t really grab the attention of the market. Both books are now appearing together in this one novel that has been released by Titan Books due to the success of Schwab’s more recent work with this publisher. I adore Schwab’s writing and I knew about this series existence and I actually bought The Archived after reading her amazing A Darker Shade of Magic series but I never got round to it. Having received The Dark Vault for Christmas, I finally picked up this series and I cannot believe I did not do it sooner! I was hooked from the beginning and was soon flying through the book though wanting to savour it because it truly is a gripping story.

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The construction of the world of the Archive was ingenious with each character cleverly fashioned to draw you into their story. Mackenzie is an awesome main character whose job it is to be a Keeper and send the dead back to sleep when they wake. We see her struggling to balance her real life with her secret life as a Keeper because she cannot reveal it to anyone. She was such an intriguing character to read and follow through the story as she makes decisions that leaves you wanting to reach inside the pages just to shake her out of it.

We meet some other delightful characters that I won’t mention and spoil the story for you but they are incredibly fascinating to read about and I loved their interactions with Mackenzie.

Out of the two books, I have to say The Archived is my favourite but I loved both of them. I thought The Unbound was going to go a certain way as a typical nightmare trope which plagues the protagonist, however I was WRONG! All I’ll say is that it wasn’t what I was expecting, given what I normally read.

The Dark Vault is an incredible book with non-stop action and keeps you guessing until the end. There’s also a little short at the back that rounds things off nicely and I thoroughly appreciated it to finish off this outstanding story.

March wrap-up

Better late than never! Sorry I forgot to do my March wrap-up but it’s been a bit of a whirlwind of a month at uni! I had my practical exam which was horrifying however I think I did okay, but I can’t stop thinking about the things I did wrong, and I also did a two week placement at the PDSA which was really informative and I enjoyed it a lot. I started the month in a contemporary mood and read a couple of YA contemporaries before moving onto a non-fiction book and then finishing with a thick tome of a fantasy! I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read this month and I would thoroughly recommend all of the books if they are suiting to your reading preferences.

Books I read in March:

A Very Large Expanse of SeaImage result for a very large expanse of sea

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Pages: 297
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link 
Full review here

I adore Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series and I was intrigued to read her contemporary story of a Muslim girl in high school in the year 2002. It was heart-warming and heart-breaking, this tale of despondency as Shirin navigates through a world that hates her simply for believing in something. Add a boy into the mix and some forbidden love and it is guaranteed to latch onto your heart like it did mine.

The Sun is Also a StarImage result for the sun is also a star

Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishers UK
Pages: 348
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Another gorgeous YA contemporary from Nicola Yoon, I think I preferred this to Everything, Everything for the sheer joy of reading a relationship bloom in the course of just one day. It’s one of those books to read in one sitting and devour all at once because of the nature of the time frame it takes place in. I loved every second and the ending is something special indeed.

12 Small Acts To Save Our WorldImage result for 12 small acts to save our world

Author: WWF
Publisher: London: Century
Pages: 208
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link
Full review here

A non-fiction book I received for Christmas – it is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read ever and I implore everyone to just go and read it! Buy it, gift it or borrow it from the library – just read it! There are some fabulous tips and tricks for helping to save our world (as well as some money!) written in almost a storybook format but with some eye-opening facts and statistics. If you’re going to read one book this year, make it this one.

The Dark VaultImage result for the dark vault book

Author: V E Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 697
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Two books in one, it’s another fantastic novel from V E Schwab. The Dark Vault tells the story of a girl who works as a Keeper to send the recently awoken dead back to sleep where they exist as files in a storage facility called the Archive. It’s crammed full of non-stop action and mystery with some brilliant characters you can’t help but love to read about. This is definitely one of my favourite books by this author.

Who would have thought – all of the books I read this month I rated as five stars! They were all absolutely amazing though in their own unique way and while some made me think and reconsider my life, others just grabbed me and didn’t want to let go until the story was over. I would heartily recommend each of these books if you haven’t read them yet – they’re all remarkable!

What did you read this month? Let me know and comment below with your favourite book of the month! Have a great April everyone and may it be full of more extraordinary books.

 

12 Small Acts To Save Our World

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12 Small Acts To Save Our WorldImage result for 12 small acts to save our world

Author: WWF, Ben Fogle (foreword), Emily Beament (text), Adam Doughty (illustrations)
Publisher: London: Century
Pages: 208
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

“It’s easy to feel like we can’t make a difference. But small, easy actions, if taken by enough people, can move mountains – and save planets.

Written in collaboration with leading environmental experts from WWF, this short book provides simple changes we can all make to our everyday lives, from morning to night.

These aren’t the only things you can do. Nor are they things you have to do. But these 12 small acts are basic steps anybody can take, and if even one of them sticks, our children will inherit a better world.

Acts like:

– Turning off devices instead of leaving them on standby
– Buying less cotton clothing (a T-shirt needs 2,400 litres of water to make!)
– Using reusable straws when possible
– Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth

will take only moments, but if enough people commit to them, we can make a real difference to our planet.”

This review has come the weekend after Earth Hour which is held every year to highlight the importance of urging action for our environment by the whole world coming together and switching off their lights for just one hour. I received this book for Christmas from my sister after stumbling across it on the internet and I am so glad I read this book. This was a brilliant and incredibly informative book that is brimming with ideas and tips on how to help save our world. By doing small acts such as turning off the lights when you leave an empty room or walking short trips rather than taking the car, it can really help make a difference and encourages others to do the same.

The layout of each chapter makes for an easy read that is quick, yet full of amazing ideas! Each chapter explores a topic and provides facts and figures (but with no graphs or hard-to-read tables!) to give evidence to the topic in question which makes for an interesting and instructive read. I really enjoyed this book and think it’s an absolute must-read for anyone and everyone!

While I really think you should read this book (because it’s amazing!) I’m going to summarise the twelve acts you can do at home to save our world. We all have to take responsibility and think about our actions and their consequences on the environment. After all, if everyone just sticks their fingers in their ears or can’t comprehend how a single person can really affect the world so much, then that’s thoughtless and reckless. We all need to recognise our role in the world and realise our actions and their implications sooner rather than later – when it’s too late. We can all do something! So let’s get some ideas with how to help save our world:

  1. Don’t simply standby: Unplug your appliances and kill the vampire power

    • Turn appliances off standby! A TV left on standby for a year uses as much energy as leaving a light bulb on for a day and a half. Any appliance you aren’t using that has a little glowing light (or ‘vampire eyes’) is wasting energy that you’re paying for! So turn it off when you aren’t using it.
    • Turn lights off when you aren’t in the room – even if it’s for a few seconds it still saves energy compared to leaving it on.
  2. Go blue to stay green: Save water each day brushing and washing

    • Turn that tap off when you’re brushing your teeth! A running tap can waste 6 litres of water in a minute.
    • Cut down the number of baths you have – they’ll be more of a treat when you have one!
    • Try turning down the temperature in your shower – colder showers are apparently better for your skin/hair anyway!
    • Use the eco setting on dishwashers/washing machines.
  3. Green is the new black: Make your wardrobe last longer

    • Only buy clothes you really need or will use time and time again – the textiles industry has a huge carbon footprint, so be wise with what you buy.
    • Recycle clothes or fashion something new – learn a new skill and make items last longer! Or give them to a friend or charity shop so someone else can enjoy them.
  4. On your bike: Walk, ride or run

    • Use public transport or cycle to work instead of using the car if you can.
    • Walk or cycle shorter journeys – instead of a five minute drive, make it a twenty minute walk and get some exercise as well as helping the planet!
    • Don’t idle in cars – turn the engine off where possible.
    • Drive smart – speeding up and braking harshly wears out your car and wastes fuel.
  5. Paper doesn’t grow on trees: Lower your daily paper usage

    • Limit your daily paper use – if you use a lot, try a target of just a single sheet of A4, or use scrap paper.
    • Look out for the FSC logo on paper/cardboard products which means the paper has come from a sustainable source. If a paper product hasn’t got this, challenge the company and send them an email asking why!
  6. Gear up for a greener plate: Moderate the meat and enhance those plants

    • Eat less meat! You don’t have to turn full on veggie; if you have meat everyday, then just make one day where you go without – Meatless Monday!
    • Make sure the meat and fish you’re eating come from local and responsible sources.
    • Buy vegetables when they’re in season and then freeze them when they are so you can enjoy out of season!
  7. Reuse, rinse, repeat: Cut down on daily plastic waste

    • Buy and use a refillable water bottle and remember to carry it with you – you can fill up at many food places and cafes if you just ask!
    • Use a coffee mug and take it with you when you buy coffee – lots of places tend to give small discounts if you do this too so it can save you money.
    • Buy loose veg.
    • Cook more meals rather than buying ones ready-made – it’s good for your pocket too!
    • Use biodegradable poop bags for your pets!
    • Check out this awesome plastic free shop online
  8. Mindful shopping: Think big, before you buy big-ticket items

    • Buy energy-efficient items.
    • Check the energy label for fridges and buy one that is most eco-friendly!
    • Consider if you really need a new item before splashing the cash.
  9. Potted potential: Clean the air by plotting plants at home and the office

    • Keep plotted plants inside and around the house and your work if you can (just watch out for toxic plants if you have pets! Here’s a list for toxic plants for cats)
    • Make as much use of the space you have in your garden/balcony and grow more plants/vegetables.
    • Don’t pave all of your driveway – leave a small section for a row of plants or grass if you can!
  10. Eco-footprints in the sand: Lower your holiday footprint

    • Go on holiday somewhere you don’t need a flight to get to – flying is one of the most climate-polluting things a person can do!
    • Look into taking the train if you can – did you know you can travel by train from London to Italy? Check out the Seat 61 website for how the journey you’re planning could be all by train.
  11. Pledge for the future: Make your pension an investment for the planet

    • Find out what companies your pension provider is investing in and whether they support developing clean energy – send them an email and ask!
    • Email your current and/or savings accounts and see what sort of companies they associate with and whether you agree with this.
  12. Don’t mess with the world: Stop littering, and lead a community clean-up

    • Pick up any litter you see on the street! It can be gross, but it will stop wildlife getting trapped or mistaking it for food. The same goes for canals/rivers.
    • Organise a community beach clean-up.

If we all adopt these simple and easy to do strategies then we can all help save our planet. It just takes a little thought and some planning but it’s completely possible to do! Let me know in the comments how you get on with following these planet-saving plans and I implore you all to check out this book in the library. Have a brilliant day everyone!