Sunday, 19 October 2014

Book Review - Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Published: 2007
Publisher: Quercus
Format: e-book
Length: 528 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Nefertiti is one of the world’s greatest legendary beauties. Seen through her sister’s eyes, she is vividly brought to life in this heartbreaking story of celebrity, ambition, love and loss.

At the tender age of fifteen, Nefertiti marries Akhenaten, the Prince of Egypt, her dreams coming true as she rises to fame and fortune. Bathed and decorated by a team of body servants, her natural beauty is enhanced until she becomes mesmerizing. She is soon the darling of the people and her husband’s closest confidant.

But when her husband breaks with a thousand years of tradition, defying the priests and the military, it will take all Nefertiti’s wiles to keep the nation from being torn apart. She’s prepared to sacrifice her sister to strengthen her power and this act will lock the two women in a feud that only death can break.
This book was definitely an interesting and intriguing one for me to read. I had never before read anything to do with Ancient Egypt, and I had only heard of Cleopatra so it was definitely fascinating to get a glimpse into what life would have been like for an Egyptian royal. I really felt Michelle Moran’s vivid descriptions of the Egyptian palace and surroundings took me back in time to Ancient Egypt, where I was a fly on the wall, listening to all the conversations and sitting in an Egyptian audience chamber.

As for the plot, the story is told by Mutnodjmet, Nefertiti’s younger half-sister who follows her sister to the palace and lives by her side as she and her husband Akhenaten rise to power and win the people of Egypt’s love.

Mutnodjmet or Mutny as she is often referred to in the book was an easy character for me to root for and engage with. She does not desire a life in the limelight as her sister does, and is easily content with living the quiet life, tending to her garden and searching for love.

In a way, the contrast between Mutny and the power hungry Nefertiti, reminded me of sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn, from The Other Boleyn Girl; especially Akhenaten and King Henry VIII both being powerful kings who had a short temper.

The book also gave a fascinating insight into the politics and religion of Ancient Egypt. The people of Egypt are used to worshipping a god called Amun, and become quickly angry when Nefertiti and Akhenaten announce they are giving up supporting Amun in favour of worshipping the sun god, Aten. This aspect of the story gave the book a really dramatic turn and gave more conflict for the two sisters as they both try and live their lives and struggle with the conflicts that are increasingly risin.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, is interested in learning more about Ancient Egypt, or to anyone who enjoys an entertaining historical novel.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bout of Books 10.0 Readathon

So I have decided to take part in the Bout of Books Readathon 10.0 which has been getting a lot of talk on Booktube. I previously tried this readathon but didn't do that well so I'm hoping that this year I can do better and get through some of my TBR books that need to be read. I have decided to set myself the following goals:

1. To finish or round up a series that I currently own the last book of. For this I have decided to read Outside In by Maria V. Snyder, the last book in her Insiders series that comes after Inside Out. I really enjoyed Inside Out when I borrowed it from the library a few years ago. Seeing as its so long since I read the first book I thought I might as well try and finish the series and see how it ends, especially as it only has 2 books in the series and it is fairly average in size so I should get through it pretty quickly. The edition I own has 326 pages.

2. To read a dystopian book. I have plenty of unread dystopian books on my shelves, and many of them are firsts in series that I haven't even started yet so I figured I might as well try a new one and see if I want to continue with the series.

3. To read a classic. For this I have decided to read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, as I own the majority of her novels and I have only read Pride and Prejudice by her, so I thought I would try a short one of hers and see how it compares to P & P.

4. To read a standalone novel. For this I have decided to read If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch which is a fairly recent release and something that I've been wanting to read for a while.

So these are the goals I have set myself. I hope I can read all the books I have mentioned. If you are participating then please let me know in the comments what your goals are and what books you plan to read and good luck! Happy Reading!

Book Currently Reading:If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
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Book Currently Reading:If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
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Book Currently Reading:If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
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Readathon Wrap Up:
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Monday, 21 April 2014

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Book Review
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2014 (UK)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Length: 459 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life – and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely out of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I initially picked this book up because of all the hype surrounding it and I guess I wanted to jump on the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon as everyone seems to love her books. I also wanted to read more contemporary novels and this one seemed right up my street.

I really liked Cath, the main character. I felt I could relate to her as I am quite an unsociable person and have troubles meeting new people and talking to people that I don’t know well. I personally haven’t written much fan-fiction in my life but I think it definitely shows how much love a person can give a certain book or series. (There are definitely some that I fangirl over – a lot).

I liked the twin dynamic between Cath and Wren – her full name is Cather and I had never heard that name before and I thought it cool how their names went together. (You’ll have to read Fangirl first though to figure it out)

Wren is the opposite of Cath – being that she likes to flirt, party and drink a lot and pretty much make the most out of the university experience. Cath even is dismayed that Wren cut most of her hair off without telling her as opposed to having long hair like Cath.

My favourite part of the book was definitely any scene that had Levi in it. He was definitely my favourite character; he was just such a sweet, kind and considerate guy and I just loved how he and Cath fell in love. I just want to find my own Levi in real life now! Haha.

I also liked the aspect of Cath and her fan-fiction writing and how each chapter started with an excerpt from a Simon Snow book – as I said previously Cath really reminded me of myself and how I am quite a socially awkward person. It was really refreshing to see how she expressed herself through fan-fiction, but with the help of Levi learned how to talk to and meet people in the real world.

Reagan was also a cool, snarky character that was quite outspoken and who wasn’t afraid of letting Cath know how it was; I really admired her feistiness and how she was different to Cath; she’s definitely someone I wouldn’t mind being friends with in real life.

I really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s writing – the story just flowed and she really has a way of creating flawed characters that you can’t help but root for and become attached to – I will be definitely be purchasing all of her other titles, especially since I haven’t read Eleanor & Park by her yet.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March 2014 To Be Read Pile

I am going to start doing TBR's and trying to stick to them. I need somethingto motivate my reading so hopefully I'll get through a lot of these this month (at least then I'll be able to a buy a few more :D )

March to be read pile – 5 books maximum
·        The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (Cousins War series) – I really enjoyed watching the television show The White Queen which is based on Philippa Gregory’s Cousins War book series. The series follows key female characters that were a part of the Wars of the Roses in England in the 1400s. The Kingmaker’s Daughter focuses on Anne Neville, the daughter of Warwick the ‘Kingmaker’, who put king of England of the time King Edward III on the throne. I am a really big history geek and love learning about royal families of the past. Before watching the TV show I hadn’t heard of any of the historical figures so I like to read historical fiction book based on these historical figures to try and get a glimpse of what life may have been like for them in the time period. I’m not even 100 pages into this yet which is really bad so I need to get a move on before I can move onto another book :P

·        If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch – The plot of this book sounds really interesting and intriguing to me. The tagline is “What happens in the woods stays in the woods” which immediately makes me wonder what is going to happen in the story. I have skim read the first few pages and the writing style almost reminds me of Blood Red Road by Moira Young (one of my favourite books ever check it out :D) so that gives me high hopes. This cover is quite cool, the way you can see lots of yellow trees and 3 yellow figures dotted throughout which must represent the characters.

·        Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – I’m going to be honest. I’ve tried to read this book before but I just couldn’t get past the first few chapters – I just think I wasn’t in the mood to read historical fiction at the time but I’m willing to give it another go as a lot of people seem to like it. It definitely has an interesting concept – assassin nuns - that just sounds so funny when I think about it. Anyway I hope I will enjoy it the next time around.

·        The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan – this book sounds pretty good – it is about two sisters and their mother moving to Paris after learning their brother has gone missing. I’m definitely interested in any book that’s set in Paris – it looks like an amazing city to visit and I’m really intrigued by the story. I haven’t heard a whole lot about it either so I’m going in with not a lot of expectations.

·       Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – I started reading this book last month but struggled to get through it a bit – I feel a bit bad because I know the book and its sequel are very hyped up and a lot of people love them. Parts of it are good for me and other parts are okay;  I’m not saying I dislike it but I hope it picks up as the book goes along as I would really love to become addicted to the series like everyone else.

Reading Wrap up - February 2014

So I haven't done a reading wrap up since late last year (eek!) but I am trying to get back into blogging and will be trying to post more regularly. So here goes!

I feel so ashamed to say that I only read a grand total of ONE book for the whole of February (hangs head in shame). But in fairness it was 911 pages long so cut me some slack? :P The book I read was A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin which was AMAZING. The man just has such an addictive writing style, the characters are so vindictive and awful at times, and you just never know what is coming up around the corner. It didn’t even feel as though I was reading a 911 page book though; it was so good and action packed I just flew through it and could hardly stop reading it. As soon as my book buying ban is over I will definitely be grabbing the rest of the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series – I need to know what happens in Westeros next – now J

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 9.0

I have decided for the first time in a while to participate in a read-a-thon, and having never done the Bout of Books read-a-thon before I thought I would give it a go this year and see how many books I get read by the end of it. I hope to read and finish The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead which I am currently reading but after that I really don't know what I'll pick up next! I will leave a link to the Bout of Books blog so anyone else can sign up to the read-a-thon. I will most likely post updates and my overall progress on here, Goodreads and my twitter which is @Loobylu91. Good luck to anyone who is participating :)

Link to the sign up post on the Bout of Books blog: