About tumbling into wonderland

Hello! I'm Emily, I'm Welsh and I'm a student in London. I adore books, and will mainly be uploading book reviews - these could be any genre, but are usually YA, Sci-Fi and Fanatasy, and Fiction.

Graphic Novels Reviews: Saga and Fables

Saga, Vol. 1 (Saga, #1)

Title: Saga
Author: Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Series: Saga Vol. 1
Publication: 23rd October 2012 by Image Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book recommended by one of your favourite authors.


 

The whole story centers around the question:

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As it turns out, two soldiers, from opposite sides from a never ending war, who look like this:

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This is the first graphic novel I’ve ever read but I completely loved it! The novel has amazing art and a really complex story. Plus it’s really funny. I found myself instantly in love with the two main characters – Alana and Marko – who clearly love each other and their baby daughter. They bicker. They support each other. And they’re sarky as hell.

I must admit, I was a bit worried when I was flicking through it in the shop and saw this: photo IMG_4179_zpsemqzyevd.jpg

and it has some strange things like these sex workers:

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But it was gripping and I just couldn’t put it down. To summarise, read it:

 photo IMG_4182_zpshpjd5hgd.jpg

5-stars

Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)Title: Fables :Legends in Exile
Author: Bill
Series: Fables Vol. 1
Publication: 25th April 2003
Genre: Graphic novel, Fantasy.


This book has an incredible premises; it is clearly where Once Upon A Time got some of it’s ideas. A savage creature conquers the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, forcing all the inhabitants into exile. Disguised among the “mundys” they are hiding in modern day New York. Vol. 1 focuses on finding out who has murdered Snow White’s sister, Rose Red.

The characters were what made this book for me. I loved the twist on some of the classics, such as: Prince Charming is a womanizer

and Rose Red is a party girl:

However, the story for me was a bit predictable and I felt a bit disappointed with the ending. The world that has been built up means that the rest of the series could be really interesting as it is such an interesting premises, but as a stand alone it wasn’t as amazing as I felt it could be.

4-stars


Have you read these? What did you think?

Are there any other series that you think are worth reading?

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Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

You know how last week I said I had been naughty and bought a stupid amount of books? Well, I maaaay have done it again. I’m not even sorry. It was 3 for £10, how can you say no?

I bought Open Very Carefully and Zog and the Flying Doctors for my class. I was also an idiot and went to buy The Lion Inside but accidentally clicked kindle, so now it’s no use to anyone 😦 I also bough Parsnips, Buttered : How to win at modern life one email at a time, The Light Between Oceans, Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime and The Hufflepuff Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Although I’ve bought a stupid amount of books I’ve actually done some reading this week! How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends was not my best purchase, but that’ll teach me for not reading the children’s book before I buy it. I completed Parsnips, Buttered : How to win at modern life one email at a time by Joe Lycett, which was so so funny. I also read Saga and Fables (reviews on Thursday).

Saga Vol. 1 by [Vaughan, Brian]Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)

A child also made me stifle laughter when they randomly asked “Do you know what boozy means?” When I asked them if they did, they replied with “It means when you’re really really cozy.” How adorable is that?!

My friend’s child also seriously thinks babies are conceived by the man weeing on the bed and the lady sitting in the wee. I really hope they haven’t gone around telling their friends that!

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

I’ve been so naughty this week. I’ve bought a stupid amount of books even though I don’t have the time or space for them!

It didn’t take much persuading but I bought Blood for Blood because I liked the first book so much. I was looking for some good children’s books about friendships (If you know any, please throw your suggestions this way) and ended up buying two books. Then I accidentally bought Sarah Millican’s autobiography.  I’m such a nosey moo and have started getting into autobiographies – mainly about female comedians. Yesterday we were in the Picaddily Waterstones and it would be rude not to buy a book from there, right? So Daz got the the first two Witcher graphic novels and I finally bought Saga.

Wolf by Wolf: Blood for Blood: Book 2 by [Graudin, Ryan]The Witcher Volume 1 by [Tobin, Paul]Saga Vol. 1 by [Vaughan, Brian]

My housemates both watch YouTubers playing video games (don’t ask me what ones, I have no idea….) In one of the videos they were telling each other facts to throw each other off. My house mates have been repeating some throughout the week. my personal favourites are;

Did you know a blue whales’ penis can be over 8ft long?

Did you know the ant eater has the largest penis to body size ratio?

Did you know 1/4 of your bones are in your feet?

 

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)

Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf by Wolf #1
Publication: 20th October 2015 by Orion Children’s Books
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A historical fiction.

My Thoughts (2)

From Goodreads

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them-made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.Her story begins on a train.

Germania, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war. 18-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.

But first she’s got to get close enough to him to do it.

Experimented on during her time at Auschwitz, Yael has the unique ability to change her appearance at will. The only part of her which always remains are the five tattooed wolves on her arm; one for each of the people she’s lost. Using her abilities, she must transform into Adele Wolfe, Germany’s most famous female rider and winner of the legendary Axis Tour; an epic long distance motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo, where only the strongest (and wiliest) riders survive. If she can win this, she will be able to get close enough to kill the Fuhrer and change history forever.

But with other riders sabotaging her chances at every turn, Yael’s mission won’t be easy…

My Thoughts

There would be no dressing up as a maid. No cyanide slipped into his crystal glass of mineral water. The Fuhrer’s death was to be a loud, screaming thing. A broadcast of blood over the Reichssender.

I went into this not knowing anything about it and I ended up loving it.

The book is in alternative history novel with a fascinating premises based on a lot of “what ifs” and a plot that is unlike any other.

What if Germany won the war? What if Hitler didn’t kill himself? What if the unethical medical experiments didn’t stop? What if some of the experiments worked? What if the experiment creates something else?

The story flicks between Then, when Yael is in Auschwitz having unethical human experimentation forced upon her, and Now, when she is disguised as Adele Wolfe, Germany’s most famous female motorbike rider and winner of the legendary Axis Tour, with one thing on her mind. To kill Hitler. The two timelines are headed so it’s very clear, but we would be able to tell even if they weren’t; they were really well placed within the story and weren’t confusing and the story flowed seamlessly. I really liked that Yael has a tattoo with five wolves, to cover her camp tattoo, and each time it flicked back to the past we met one of the people that the wolves represent, who have shaped the person she is today.

The book explores identity. Due to the medical experimentation, Yael can change her appearance to become anyone, have any face, and so never really has her own identity. She cannot remember what she looked like before the experimentation began. As Graudin says in her author’s note:

This book, at its heart, is about identity. Not only in how we see ourselves, but about how we see others. What makes people who they are? The color of their skin? The blood in their veins? … I gave Yael the ability to skinshift to address these questions, as well as to highlight the absurdity of racial superiority. By taking creative liberty with this surreal element, I hoped to push readers out of their comfort zones and into Yael’s many skins and, by doing so, to impart a deeper understand of what humanity is capable of.

This has easily become one of my favourite books and I’m gutted that I have left it this long to read it. I’m eager to read the next one! I would happily recommend this to everyone in a heartbeat.

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

 

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

This week I’ve been feeling rally sorry for myself. I’ve been ill. I hate being ill and I’m one Wolf by Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)of these people that pretends I’m not and power through. Seriously, i went to school with the flu and fell asleep before. So the fact that I had to have not one but TWO days off week this week was very frustrating. On the plus side I spend my day just sleeping, reading and having a bath – so it’s not all bad, right?  I managed to finally read Wolf by Wolf which was incredible and I spend the evening gushing about it to my housemates – My review is due to go up on Thursday but to summarise it, if you haven’t read Wolf by Wolf , go and read it! Cheer Up Buttercup

As it was payday, and I used up all my bath supplies having so many baths, I went a bit crazy in Lush and bought lots of lovely new ones. I particularly like Cheer Up Buttercup (it’s so zingy!)

I’m also really excited because I’ve finally been put on a place for Maths training. My Mr finds it weird that I’m so excited about this (and he’s head of Maths…).

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Third Quarter Quell 2017 – 3 Month Wrap Up

3-monthly

Welcome to the third Quarter Quell, my 3 month wrap up where I look at my challenges I set at the beginning of the year and see how much progress I have made on them. It’s always nice to see a bit of progression, no matter how small. 🙂

I set myself the following challenges at the beginning of the year: 

  • To read my pre-ordered books (A Court of Thorns and Roses + A Court of Mist and Fury)
  • To get above 70% on NetGalley
  • To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,132 pages).
  • To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes)
  • To read the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes – NevernightThe GracesThe Diabolic.
  • To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge.

15209252_10154135413840678_1653964156_nThe Complete Sherlock HolmesA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
To Read My Pre-Orders:
I Still haven’t completed these. This is getting a bit embarrassing now.

To get above 70% on NetGalley: In December it was 64%, in March it was 65%, June 66% and now it is… 70%! Woo! Thanks to doing ARC August I managed to bring it right up! I’ve started only requesting the books I really REALLY want. My problem is that a lot of these are the second book in a series, and I still haven’t read the first book (I just know that I will love them when I eventually get around to them.)

Here are a few of the great books that I need to get round to:

  • Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
  • Allegiant – Veronica Roth
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
  • Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff
  • The Lying Game – Ruth Ware

To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection: In December I was 88% through with just The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes left to read. I’ve made no progress on this at all.

To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,132 pages): So far (according to Goodreads) I’ve read 14873 pages = 92% of last year’s total!

To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes): I completed The Great Gatsby back in March, Animal Farm in April and I made a start on, but put down, 1984 and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
The Great GatsbyAnimal Farm    Nineteen Eighty-FourPerfume: The Story of a Murderer

To read the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes:  I haven’t read any of the original ones I meant at the beginning of the year. I’ve got even more because of the FebruaryMay and August boxes. I’ve only read one of them so far – whoops.

  • Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
  • The Graces – Laure Eve
  • Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid
  • Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
  • Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
  • Truth or Dare – Non Pratt (2/6/17)
  • The Walking Land  by Callie Bates
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo
  • Nyxia Scott Reintgen

dsc_0073

To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge(39/52 completed)
Reading Challenge 2017 (1)
Since June I have ticked off:
3. A book you meant to read in 2016 – This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done (5/8/17)
5. A historical fiction – Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (27/9/17)
14. A book with a strong female character – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (9/8/17)
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland) – The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (11/7/17)
20. A book that you’ve owned for a while but haven’t gotten around to reading – Mr Katz is a Zombie by Margaret Lesh (3/8/17)
24. A book written by at least two authors – Love HurtsLove Hurts by Malorie Blackman and Others (2/8/17)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre– Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan (7/8/17)
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (9/7/17)
39. An epistolary fiction – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (10/7/17)

See all the challenges I’ve ticked off here.

Additional reads:
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

Currently reading:
Effective Transition Into Year OneA Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)


Have you read any of these books?
How are you getting on with your resolutions?

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

Title: Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Jusr Me.
Author: Lily Collins.
Series: N/A
Publication: 27th March 2017 by Harper Collins
Genre: Biography

My Thoughts (2)

Goodreads

In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.

My Thoughts

I have been wanting this book for a while and finally caved and bought it. I started reading it in the bath and didn’t stop until the water turned cold.

This isn’t a biography with a sequenced timeline but is more of a collection of essays, or personally life experiences under a set header – a bit like Anna Kendrick’s book. I imagine this is because it’s more aimed at Young Adult audience.

Lily opens up about a lot of different things; her family, her relationships, her battle with anorexia, her tattoos. She discusses overcoming every day obstacles and issues that many of her audience would experience. It was refreshing, eye opening and relieving to read. Her brutal honesty, especially with her abusive relationships and anorexia, was unexpected and eye opening, and I imagine would come as great support to many of her readers.

As it was done by topic headings rather than being her timeline, it did mean that some things were repeated a few times, her relationships being one of them. However, I absolutely loved the chapter on her tattoos. I love knowing people’s stories and meanings behind their tattoos and Lily has one behind all of them – plus we got to see photos, that’s always great.

I liked Lily before I read this but came out liking her even more afterwards; we’d make great friends discussing Harry Potter over tea. Mine would be hot, yuck to cold tea.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

Discovery Collection Golden Rooibos and Caramel - Loose Infusion (Image 1)I apologise that I’ve been absent for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been getting home from work and falling asleep at 7pm. I’ve not wanted to look at a book. I’ve certainly not wanted to have to think and write anything. All I’ve wanted is tea (I have a gorgeous golden caramel rooibos which I would highly recommend – buy here).

My Sunday Smiles

On the first day back at school we all join together in the hall for a whole school assembly to welcome everyone back. One of my little ones starts crying, so I beckon her out of the row and whisper “What’s wrong?”. Normally the child would whisper back. Not this little one. A loud as you can, in our silent hall, she announces “I miss my cat.”

We have crappy movie nights where we watch terrible movies and rip them to shred, or occasionally make drinking games out of them. I’m very reluctant to announce which movies these are as many of them a quite popular.We found this out when my housemates and I were telling our friends all about our evenings and it turned out all the films we were watching were favourites of one of our friends…. whoops. We would love any recommendations! As long as you can get them on Netflix.

I haven’t read a book in over a month, until today! I finally caved and bought Lily Collin’s book, which I’ve been eyeing up for a while. It’s not overly long but I’m still thrilled that I’ve managed to complete it, unlike most books recently.

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

This was my last week of the summer holidays so we tried to do lots of fun things (as well as prep work for going back to work). Of course we had to go into our schools to set up. My classroom has been decorated and is looking GORGEOUS 😀 It has a teal main teaching wall and I’ve made all the displays pink and yellow. In changing the layout of the room it makes it seem so much bigger! I can wait to see everyone’s faces when they come in! I also did a bit of shopping to buy lots of lovely things for my role play and classroom, including a teddy for them to take home each weekend. He’s called Aslan.

On Thursday we did a London Underground Treasure hunt London Underground Treasure Hunt(link to site). You have two hours to go around the tube solving different clues and getting photos. It was really hard but lots of fun. There were a great mix of questions including anagrams and brain teasers. You also had general point scoring things like getting a photo of someone with their dog, extra points if the dog looks like the owner, or getting a photo of 3+ people sitting on the tube smiling. The questions are different each time so if you’re thinking of doing it these probably won’t be the ones you do!

I also braved up and got my ears pierced. I got my second lobe done on both ears and a daith piercing. I’m not going to lie, they all bloody hurt. But I think they’re worth it. There’s a link between a daith piercing and reducing migraines, so fingers crossed!

My old housemate has recently moved back to London with her boyf so I got to see her for the first time in a year! So that made me very happy.

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

August 2017 Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up (1)

Tomorrow is September and for me that marks the end of the summer holidays. My classroom is all set up and looking shiny and new and Monday will be the start of work with those bright eyed and snotty nosed beauties.


ARC August

ARC August begins! graphic

I’ve been doing ARC August but I’ve completely sucked at it. At the beginning of the month, my Netgalley percentage was at 66%. I managed to get my percetage up to 72% but then went and requested 3 new books so It’s now sitting at 70%.

Feedback Ratio: 70%

97 Approved  |  68 Feedback Sent

Suggested feedback ratio is 80%

Books now sitting on my shelf that look interesting are:

I’ve been a little bit silly and requested the second book without reading the first one, hoping it would be motivation to do so – I do own all the first books, I just haven’t gotten around to them.


Books Read in August

Love Hurts
Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman and various other authors

This secret we're keeping
This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

Mr Katz is a Zombie
Mr Katz is a Zombie by M.C.Lesh

Age of Myth
Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #2) by Michael J. Sullivan

Eleanor Oliphant
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


Blog Posts

sunday smiles

Sunday Smiles – Whipsnade Zoo

Sunday Smiles – Dover castle + Afternoon tea

Sunday Smiles – Arundel + Hamlet

35fed-toptentuesday

TTT – Favourite TV Shows

TTT – Longest  vs Shortest books

 

unboxing

Illumicrate Unboxing – August 2017, Box #8


Books I Bought In August.

Kindle:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: The Sunday Times Bestseller. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Book 1 by [Taylor, Laini]White Teeth (Penguin Essentials) by [Smith, Zadie]Wolf by Wolf: A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice: Book 1 by [Graudin, Ryan]

Books:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)


Currently Reading

A Game of Thrones by George. R. R Martin (becasue when you have hundreds of books to be read, why not just re-read one you’ve already read?)

Effective Transition Into Year One by Alistair Bryce-Clegg

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)Effective Transition Into Year One


Looking Forward To In September…

  • Meeting my new class – I hope they’re kind to me.
  • Hopefully booking a holiday!

How was your August?