I have seen this book everywhere since it came out this year and there has been a lot of hype surrounding it so I thought why not give it a try. For some reason I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to like it and I was a little hesitant going into it. I think I’m like that with all super hyped books but once I actually started reading I was pleasantly surprised!
Elisabeth was orphaned and has grown up in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries. Her dream is become a warden of the library who protects the magical grimoires that are housed there and stops them from transforming into grotesque monsters of ink and leather.
I loved Elisabeth’s character. I thought she was very driven, inquisitive and unable to accept the narrative she has been given after the incident that drove her out of the library. She is absolutely loyal to the libraries and her relationship she has with the books was really respectful and loving. She is a true daughter of the library and I like that ultimately that relationship was a integral in saving the day.
Nathaniel I wasn’t sure about at the start. I didn’t know where his loyalties lie and sometime the things he said were a little cringey to be honest. But he really grew on me over the course of the story. Once we really got into his family history and the relationship between him and Silas and how they are connected was really unique and interesting and I started to develop a connection to him.
I actually think I liked Silas the most of all the characters. He has always reinforced the fact that he isn’t a good person and if he was released he won’t help/save them and the only reason he sacrificed himself was to negotiate a better contract. The fact that he remained constant throughout the story and exhibited moments of good even though me maintains he’s not was intriguing to me. I knew based on how much we learn about him and his connection to the Thorn family that he would play an integral role in the plot and I was correct.
The whole premise and concept of the book was really refreshing and original to me. I liked the build up of mystery and the many twists and turns the plot goes through. I world was rich with culture and I just loved that it’s based around these great libraries. The magical element I thought was nicely defined and there were limitations to what certain families were capable of because of the demons that they were tied to.
All in all I thought this was a solid, interesting, fantastical tale based around magical books and sorcery. The pacing was pretty good, there a section in the middle that I found a little slow and then I felt the last 100 or so pages were a little rushed but overall I highly enjoyed my read.
⭐️4/5 stars fantastical, adventurous, demonic!
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!
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!
*A COUPLE OF SPOILERS*
I 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!
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!
Of course you need to stay hydrated and water is really my go to drink at any moment of the day.
When 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!
There 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.
I love snacking on popcorn when I’m reading!
Another snack I love to munch on when I’m in the middle of a good book.