Finally, my Booktube-a-thon update!

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I’ve had such a crazy time last week trying to juggle working full time, doing the Book-tube-a-thon, and going away Friday to Sunday for a Hen party, and just now I found the time to sit down and write this. I am so behind schedule with a lot of things, so I am hoping that this weekend I can spend it in a more productive manner!

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From my Booktube-a-Thon list there were some challenges that I managed to do, some I didn’t. I did read 7 books, however I didn’t get the chance to read outside as the weather was horrendous in the UK. I also went away for the weekend for a hen party with only my kindle, so I managed to read 3 books during that time (Don’t know how, I swear!).

The 2017 Reading Challenges & my choices:
1/ Read a book with a person on the cover – The Secret Circle by L.J.Smith✅
2/ Read a hyped book – Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon ❌
3/ Finish a book in one day – Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead and Emma Vieceli ✅
4/ Read about a character that is very different from you – I am number four by Pitacus Lore ❌
5/ Finish a book completely outdoors – Realm of Mindweavers- Book One: Tales of Golmeira by Marianne Ratcliffe ❌
6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover – Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick ✅
7/ Read seven books – The summoning by Kelley Armstrong ✅

  • Instead of the three books that I did not get a chance to read, I read the King trilogy by  Mimi Jean Pamfiloff.

I wish I would’ve managed to do it all, do the Instagram challenges and all of that, but I am quite pleased that I have managed to read 7 books in 7 days against all odds! I suppose that at the end of the day I must be happy that I have accomplished that.

How did your Booktub-a-thon go? How many books did you manage to read?

XOXO 💋

Jane.

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The Last Shadow Gate by M.W.Garza – Review

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As soon as I received The last Shadow Gate which was published on the 7th of March 2017 I almost screamed! You guys know how much I love Michael’s writing and for me this was his first book not zombie infested (Ha!) so I was really excited to read it.

Like always, Michael delivers a beautiful story about two half-siblings who suddenly find that they have to spend the summer together at their great-grandmother in upstate New York. Following the mystery of their great-grandfather disappearance through a mystical shadow gate located into the woods, they find themselves into a realm populated by strange creatures. Gavin and Naomi must learn to work together and trust each other in order to find their way back home, back to safety.  

The story starts slow, introducing the main characters, Gavin and Naomi, and building on their relationship whilst the promise of adventure is at every step, luring you in, tantalising the reader with each page. Although the beginning is much slower than what I normally prefer, it is well paced, with good writing and characters that vibrate.

I really liked the plot and how it all started because it was all so simple, the pieces of the puzzle all falling into place, whilst staying true to its characters. Gavin is twelve so as soon as his father mentions the mystery of Papa Walker and his quest for the Shadow Gate, he is hooked. Naomi, being the older sister, is reluctant to take the story of Papathe-word-adventure-500x330 Walker finding these mystical Shadow Gates at face value, so Gavin has a bit of a hard time to her her to run along with him. But now since they are both having to spend the summer together at Mama Walker’s home, why now explore and give into the spirit of adventure? Who wouldn’t? That’s the genius of it.

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The plot and the characters help propel the story forward in a way that is natural and easy to read. The two main characters are quite different in ages, but also personalities. Gavin is more on the nerdy side, enjoying computer games, whilst Naomi is more outgoing with an extended social circle of friends, although we do see glimpses of the little girl that misses her father. These characters develop from the minute they hit the page, and the writing really shows the different facets of their personalities. However, not only out main characters are enchanting, but also those which you’ll meet along the way travelling with the children past the point of no return.

Would I recommend this book? Hell’s yeah! Michael is not only a gifted wielder of words, but also a master in creating spectacular worlds with vivid characters to pull you in along for the ride. This beginning of series is very much promising and I am looking forward for the next one!

You can get The last Shadow Gate here!!

4-5-star

Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come 411H8-2iXoL._UX250_from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes that everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.

http://www.mwgarza.com
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Romance in Young Adult novels

soulmatesThe “Young Adult” romance I have stumbled lately on my random reading picks from Amazon on quite a few Young Adult novels, some good, some note quite so, but they all shared the same pattern.

The romance in YA novels has the same pattern (in 99.9% of books read) with all the ingredients that make me think that somehow teenagers will get it wrong, that along the lines they will understand a story worse than Cinderella’s…

The ingredients: we’re taking unexperienced girl and throw her in the mix with a hot guy, preferably dark, rich and with a murky past, then brand the chemical attraction and adolescent hormones as “true love”. Then we spice things up a bit with some drama and controlling/abusive/manipulative behaviour from our guy and we stamp is as being cool and seductive; nice, good guys are overrated. For extra flavour, we can remove the guy from the picture so that our girl can crumble into pieces, cry her eyes out, contemplate suicide because life without him is unbearable and there is No Way for her to live without him. Then we bring him back into the picture and he’s the hero of the day after he says “Sorry” and gives her a good kiss and a smack on the bum. 😉

It is also okay to think that you are destined, a.k.a you have no control over your emotions, body and soul. She is destined to be with him for all the stupid reasons and there is no real need for real communication because destined love doesn’t need that bullshit, right? I mean, they are destined to love each other, why should the petty details like his huge criminal record, the fact that he’s actually a monster (literally) coming from hell, has creepy stalking tendencies, etc, would actually matter.

“Soul mates” know each other from the womb and of course she knows he is not going to rape her, or sink her fangs into her throat or any other horrid thing, because they have the bond. Really? Are you f*ucking joking me? Plus that, are you really telling me that it’s either “fangy” over there or nobody else to love? Someone has to tell these gullible girls that the world doesn’t just spin around One Guy no matter how hunky, sexy, alluring, smart, witty, mysterious, etc he is. Love is a bit (insert sarcasm here) more complex and complicated than that and soul mates and destiny doesn’t even begin to cover it.

It’s not only an unhealthy message, it’s also bad writing since you don’t have to justify anything you throw in there since it can be branded as “true love”, “destiny” and/or “soul mates”.