The Bear and the Nightingale Review

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I’ve done it! I’ve been picking up and putting down this book for over half a year now and I have finally completed it!

The Bear and the Nightingale follows the tale of a girl called Vasilisa who lives in the Russian wilderness. She was a peculiar girl who was wild and untamed and liked to while away her hours in the forest talking to sprites and horses. Her family doesn’t understand her and the village folk whispered that she was a witch.

I actually ended up really enjoying the read. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I picked it up but I knew there were great reviews for it and I was intrigued. It really reminded me of the old Hans Christening Anderson fairy tales and it almost felt nostalgic in a way, like I’ve heard the story before but had forgotten it.

I absolutely loved Vasilisa’s character. I loved how stubborn and set she is in her ways, and how she rejects the traditional path of being a woman. She doesn’t want to be some man’s mare and get ridden out to pasture in some great house bequeathing children. She is wild and free and loved her family dearly. She will stop at absolutely nothing to ensure that they will survive the winter!

I thought the pacing was a little too slow for my personal tastes. The start especially when Pyotr goes to Russia I felt wasn’t really necessary for me to know. I was more interested in learning more about the Morovoi and what kind of magic Vasilisa inherited from her grandmother. I suppose there was a lot of context learnt that would probably spring up in the next two book but it kind of bored me a little to be honest.

I kind of liked how macabre it was. Katherine Arden didn’t shy away from actually killing people off and showing the consequences of a harsh winter/dry summer. There was a lot of death in this book and it made the stakes a lot higher knowing that there was the possibility that these characters would be susceptible to dying.

I just have so many questions coming away after finishing this book. Who was Vasilisa’s grandmother before she came to Russia?  Why does the Winter King help Vasilisa? What will happen to Father Konstantin, will he be held accountable? I’m sure all of my questions will hopefully be answered in the rest of the series and I am excited to continue on and see where the books will go next!

⭐️4/5 stars Whimsical, compelling and frosty!

📚Book vs. Movie🎥

This month I decided to resurrect a book and movie from my childhood The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

When the first movie was about to be released I was perusing a book store and I spotted this movie edition bind up of all of the Chronicles of Narnia and I bought it and read it over and over again! This series hold a lot of nostalgia for me and I recently re-watched the movie and felt compelled to compare the two.

These were my thoughts on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe:

Pros: The book was super fantastical and magical and I absolutely LOVED it when I first read it. The first story in the series was a little all over the place and nonsensical in a way, but this book really cemented the world of Narnia in my mind and I was able to really envision the world and the characters. The movie I think did a pretty good job sticking to the original plot. I thought the actors were a pretty good match with what I had envisioned them looking like in my mind and I thought the production was amazing!

Cons: The movie just missed a few scenes and didn’t go as in depth with a lot of the drama and action than what was in the books. They did pretty much stick with he original story-line there was just a few key scenes I think they skated over, especially going over the history of Narnia and Aslan. 

Overall thoughts: I thought the movie adaptation was a pretty good match for the book. The production was high and they didn’t stray from the original plot. The actors were good and consistent with what I had imagined them in my mind and the depiction of Aslan was amazing!

My Recommendation: You don’t need to read the book to enjoy the movie but I would recommend reading first!

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With the Fire on High Review

*A COUPLE OF SPOILERS*

38739562I really enjoyed this book!

With the Fire on High follows the story of Emoni who absolutely loves to cook and ever since she got pregnant in freshman year it has become a way to escape the harsh realities of her life. Having to make so many tough decisions and being on the verge of so many changes has started to take a toll on her and she uses the kitchen to let all of that go.

I really loved Emoni’s character. She truly felt like a 17 year old who has had to grow up at such a young age but still hasn’t fully matured.  I thought her character was very realistic and the challenges and obstacles that she has to overcome throughout the book I thought was a great representation of what teen mothers have to endure in the real world. I could only imagine how tough that sort of situation would be and I really thought she handled it as best she could. I like that she made mistakes and spread herself too thin and wasn’t a perfect model character. She doubted herself constantly but overall it was the health and well-being of Emma that took precedent over everything.

I loved Abuela’s character as well. It was nice that Emoni touched on many times throughout the book how much she appreciated and loved her grandmother and the sacrifice she has had to make in order to raise Emoni and Emma. I liked that she took a stand and she gave herself that time at ‘the doctors’ to have to herself even though she had to deceive Emoni. And I appreciated that Emoni respected her enough to not dig into her grandmothers business and just accepted that she needed space from them.

Overall I thought this was a very well balanced book. There was definitely times when Emoni was at her absolute lowest point and then we see her at bounce back and make it to graduation and decide how she is going to live her life.  I thought the book was very diverse and had a variety of characters that were all very multicultural and multifaceted. The addition of the recipes I thought was a fantastic touch. It really showed how little Emoni actually stuck with a traditional recipe and just went with her gut.

This was a highly anticipated read for me and I didn’t look too much into it before I started reading and I was very surprised with the direction the book went with

⭐️4/5 stars fresh, fast paced, realistic and touching!

Favorite things to Eat/Drink Whilst Reading

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is your favorite things to eat/drink while your reading. I’m usually too in the zone to even think about eating or drinking, however, there are some occasions I find myself reaching for something while I’m reading so these are 5 of my favorite things I like to eat/drink!

watrer copyOf course you need to stay hydrated and water is really my go to drink at any moment of the day.

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coffee copyWhen I’m not drinking water the only other beverage I am usually consuming is coffee! I love making a fresh cup, sitting out in the sunshine and getting stuck into a good book!

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dinere copyThere are times when I am too invested in a book that I don‘t like to put it down even when I’m having dinner.

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popcorn copyI love snacking on popcorn when I’m reading!

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chipds copyAnother snack I love to munch on when I’m in the middle of a good book.

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🔱Percy Jackson Series Reread🔱

561456I just completed the third installment in the Percy Jackson and the Olympian’s Series: The Titan’s Curse. I forgot this book existed to be perfectly honest. When I read the title I was thinking to myself which one was that? Once I read the blurb I immediately remembered the story but I completely forgot that it was apart of this series, a little bit telling perhaps… It was overall highly entertaining, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. There was just a few things that I found a little off-putting. Like the fact that Percy’s mum was just completely fine letting him make his own decisions and running off into danger while she was getting cozy with Mr Blowfis. Also the decision that Bianca made and the reasoning behind it. I get that she wanted to be someone other than Nico’s big sister but to just abandon him to people that you don’t know to run off for en eternity as a Huntress bothered me a little bit. Other than that I really enjoyed the direction the plot went with. It was fast paced, action packed and we got a lot more information about the prophecy regarding the child of the big three. I feel like this was a little bit of a filler story that added a lot of context for the books that are to come.

Happy Reading📚