Thursday, 24 March 2016

"The Troupe" Becomes A Surprising Favourite


Title: The Troupe
Author: Robert Jackson Bennet
Publication Date: February 21st, 2012
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Vaudeville: mad, mercenary, dreamy, and absurd, a world of clashing cultures and ferocious showmanship and wickedly delightful deceptions.

But sixteen-year-old pianist George Carole has joined vaudeville for one reason only: to find the man he suspects to be his father, the great Heironomo Silenus. Yet as he chases down his father’s troupe, he begins to understand that their performances are strange even for vaudeville: for wherever they happen to tour, the very nature of the world seems to change. 


Because there is a secret within Silenus’s show so ancient and dangerous that it has won him many powerful enemies. And it’s not until after he joins them that George realizes the troupe is not simply touring: they are running for their very lives.

And soon, George is as well. (Source: Goodreads)

Review


The Troupe was nothing I expected but boy was I blown away. Everything about this novel had me in awe and I found it left a huge impression on me.

Loved:

1. World Building
Bennet created a unique and fascinating world, which was well thought out and carried so many vivid descriptions. What I loved most was that the world added to the plot to drive the progression. It wasn't just a setting/context that gave a backdrop to the characters. For some reason, the world itself felt like it's own character that gave depth to the story and had so much to tell on its own.

2. Character Progression
Any novel that strips characters back and build as the plot moves on is a plus for me. We go from characters who are one dimensional on the page to having so much depth from learning and growing, and having the author reveal their backstory. I'm not going to say I loved all the characters, some of them were horrible (personality wise) and others didn't really make an impression on me. Surprisingly, I found George to be an okay character compared to the other companions that he found himself with by the end of the novel. Each of them did carry a relatable trait, which I really liked because there were some good messages to gain from their experiences.

3. Overall Storyline
The novel was surprisingly deep and meaningful, moving beyond the story of George trying to find his father. I found it ingenious that Bennet used fantasy and mythical elements to address larger issues, which are concerns that are relevant at present and need to be tackled. It talks of family ties, desires and dreams, identity, and social and environmental issues, which is astounding to me. I got so much out of The Troupe and the final few chapters were ones that stood out to me. It was touching and even heartbreaking at times.

Not So Much:

I don't have much that I dislike about this novel (my raving above can vouch for that), but The Troupe  is a long novel. This means that there are some moments where I glossed over because I found it to be slow or not entirely important to the plot. If I had to admit, I probably would say the middle parts are harder to remember than the beginning and end. Also, there is a lot of explicit words which isn't necessarily a bad thing but does restrict the audience level.

The Troupe was a work in progress for me, but once I reached the end I found that I loved it so much and was so glad I stumbled across it. It's not a hugely popular novel but it deserves to be known!



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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Need To Rave About

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here!

Top Ten Books That I Really Love But Feel Like I Don't Talk About Enough
Pretty much the chance for me to showcase all the books I think you guys need to read A S A P!! 


1.  Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
I feel like this is one of the best YA Thriller's out there but I do think it has been overshadowed by We Were Liars. I wrote a Spotlight post on it but seriously check it out guys!

2. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Ok, I lied. I probably have mentioned this a fair few times but it's the most underrated book out there. The story is heartbreakingly beautiful and delivers an amazing message.

3. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
Easily one of my favourite reads but not a lot of people know this because of how little I mention it. It's a haunting mystery that I deserves so many re-reads.

4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
This was a recommended read and I've loved it ever since. It's so touching and eye opening at the some time.

5. Matteo Alacran Series by Nancy Farmer
Fans of sci-fi would definitely love this series. I'm not a huge sci-fi reader, but I loved how Farmer explored issues on identity, human/natural resources and consequences from our actions.


6. A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
A mix of fantasy and mystery, the world built for this story is magical and very unique. Imagine faces that are moulded to appear a way but the main character can express any emotion she wants.

7. Peter Pan by J.M Barie
I feel like Peter Pan is forgotten quite a bit but it is by far my favourite classic for its emphasis on childhood and the importance in friendship and loyalty. Gives me such a nostalgic feel.

8. Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
YA Thriller done right again, and also one hidden in the shadows. Michele Jaffe is widely known but has some amazing work to her name!

9. This Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath writes a surprisingly relatable story about depression and suicide, explaining perfectly how it feels like to be in a "bell jar" whilst the world functions around you. It's moving and kind of sad considering she did take her life in the end.


10. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless is a beautiful tale about a Russian folktale that combines Valente's gorgeous writing with Russia's history and characters. It does get a bit graphic and some points but I'm so glad I stumbled across it.

What Books Do You Recommend?



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Friday, 11 March 2016

"The Virgin Suicides" May Have Flown Right Over My Head


Title: The Virgin Suicides
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publication Date: 1993
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The shocking thing about the five Lisbon sisters was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives.

Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux: the sisters' breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.


Review


The Virgin Suicides is not a book for everyone. Even myself am conflicted as to if I like it or not.

I loved the book for the following elements:

1. The Writing
Eugenides has an amazing way of writing, which drew me in and kept me fascinated. You'll find the writing to be reflective of the period it was based in but it's amazing how a story told through some neighbourhood boys has a language that is eloquent and captivating. It also relayed a heavy tone reflecting the growing despair and hopelessness that the girls and the community went through. I found that emotion was a huge part whist reading and mine were manipulated after encountering different events and characters.

2. Narration 
The set up for the narrator(s) is ingenious. As a reader I've picked up the novel in order to find out about the five Lisbon sisters, but in doing so I've ended up reading through the perspective of the neighbourhood boys who, like me, are constantly looking into the sisters' lives and trying to deduce what is really happening. The boys fascinations with the girls mirrored mine and I feel like that was due to Eugenides' writing. How they felt was reflected on me and it made for the mystery all that more thrilling.

3. Use of Characters
I wouldn't say I love the characters but more the use of characters for plot development instead. Minor characters who may not leave impressions in other novels actually had their own stories to tell, which created a more descriptive profile of the Lisbon sister and were interesting in themselves.

Yet, I found that the book has so many underlying themes and messages that it was hard to wrap my head around it. When I thought I understood what was going on, it went straight off into another direction. What I did get out of it was potential suicide triggers and the affects it can have not only on the individual but everyone else amongst their social circle. But after much mulling I just feel as lost as ever with the entire plot. I do like that it got me thinking and I was invested for majority of the storyline. Nothing is worst than finishing a book and realising you pretty much skimmed it.

It definitely is a fascinating novel that has much to offer, but I feel like for some people it will resonate better than perhaps with me.



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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Let's Talk: Am I Forgetting Why I Blog?

I feel a little ridiculous writing a blog post on why I decided to start up a blog and have continued to do so for a good 3 and bit years now. I have to be honest and say I don't really know who I'm addressing. Is it you guys? The people who come by and take a peep, which I am overly appreciative of. Or is it for me? Strangely, I think it's both. 

I decided last night that instead of posting my usual weekly Top Ten Tuesday I would publish this instead because I do think it's nice to give a little backstory to "PrintedWords&". 

In 2012 I was half way through my final year of high school and my love for reading was pretty much my coping mechanism with school. However, there wasn't a output source where I could discuss the books I was reading and it was frustrating. Then it clicked. I had internet access and it was there for a reason. I started up a blog to write reviews, which were definitely not at all good, but I really enjoyed doing. A part of me was also trying to seek out fellow readers on the cyber space who might've been interested in discussing different reads and share their opinions and recommendations. I wasn't really aware of the blogging community like I am now. There are some fabulous people I've come to know and whilst I'm terrible at constantly keeping in contact I do think this journey has been worthwhile. 

Fast forward 4 years and I've struggled to be consistent both in reading and blogging. I've come to the point where I've started questioning if I still enjoy blogging. Some moments I love it. Love that I have so much to say and share, it gets me so excited. And there are some moments where I start to panic because my content isn't good enough or isn't ready for the scheduled day. I start to see blogging as a chore - and that is the one thing I'm scared will become a permanent feeling. I do not want this blog, that I've put effort into and wholeheartedly enjoyed, to become a burden that I feel I have an obligation to work on. 

I started this blog for me and I intend on keeping it that way. In saying that, I do appreciate every reader that comes by and hope that the content I have up is enjoyable and interesting to read. I write posts that I have a personal interest in and also want to share with others so that they too can check it out and hopefully like as well! 

It's definitely hard to juggle blogging along with my personal life - work, study, friends and family - but I'm trying. It's easy to be swept up in viewer counts, freebies and gaining "celebrity" status, but I'm going to blog for myself and what I love. I don't want to have to think that I owe this blog something and have obligations to fulfil. 

The reason I blog is simple. Because I enjoy it. And I want to keep it that way. Fun and exciting and hopefully that'll reflect in my upcoming posts! 

xxx

Why Did You Start Blogging?



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Saturday, 5 March 2016

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Becomes An All Time Favourite (Full Series Review)


Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository


Plot

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Review

It's been a while since I've read an entire series and loved it from beginning to end. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has officially become one of my favourite series that I'm surprised it took me ages to finish it off. I'm so glad I did though because it was an amazing read! 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was pleasantly unexpected. I do read a lot of Young Adult fantasy, but I'm not huge on paranormal reads - angels and demons etc. Yet, this sucked me in right away. Taylor's writing is rich with description and very vivid. It does have a flowery, poetic feel to it but isn't overdone. I feel like part of DoSaB's strength is its writing, relaying strong characters and world building. The world itself is fascinating and different, which is always a plus. It's set in Prague but combined with fantasy elements produces a mystical world that I was excited to explore. I found Karou stood out against the backdrop, not just because of her blue hair but her abilities. As the series progresses there is so much more to her that I fell in love with and her skills are impressive. Karou left a strong impression on me with her smart and caring nature, but also her fiery and independent characteristics. 

Akiva was written in a typical male protagonist way. He's handsome, strong and the hero by nature. However, it's hard not to fall for his charms, the way he's loyal to just Karou and how he tries to hard to please her. What I loved most about him was how he completed Karou and the emotions their relationship made me feel. Even just from the first novel, it struck me that I rarely actually completely understand the characters emotions. Yet, by the end of DoSaB my heart ached for both of them and the challenges they were to face. It was sad and almost suffocating - I know, how dramatic. I was completely invested in their relationship and rooted for them so hard!

Days of Blood and Starlight made for great character and plot development. Karou learns so much more about herself and in turn we see her grow and blossom into the person she is suppose to be. It's in this novel that Karou learns of her purpose and the role she's suppose to undertake. Taylor also expands the world, introducing more magical realms that add to the complexity of the novel. It set up for an epic finale that, when finished, consolidated my love for this series. 

Dreams of God and Monsters transported me over various realms and shook me from one emotional spectrum to the other. There were so many highs and lows that left me overly attached to the novel. A lot of DoGaM was resolving the conflict, which left relationship and character progression stilted. By the end though Taylor tied all loose ends and I did find that even though the ending wasn't desired, it was realistic and hopeful. The story behind this series talks about hope a lot and it tries to relay this through Karou and Akiva's actions, and I was glad to see that it was possible to feel this at the end. 

I definitely recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone finding that it just doesn't entertain but also left an impression on me. Perhaps I've been overdramatic, I mean I wrote an essay, but it's definitely a series to rave about. Any book that has me deeply involved and is memorable is a favourite in my books! 



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Thursday, 3 March 2016

February Wrap Up

February's flown by and I hate to say it but it hasn't been a huge success this month. It was a huge month in terms of what I did though, but hang on tight guys because I've got a lot more coming!

On The Blog


Top Ten Tuesday

"Talking Personal"
See how February was like for me.

"The Waiting List"
March new releases to check out!


Reading Time




Reviews


          


How Was February For You?



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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Read If You're In A Thriller Mood

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here!


Top Ten Books To Read When You're In The Mood For Thriller
I am a massive thriller/crime/mystery etc etc. fan and it is the most satisfying thing to find a book that it delivers one hell of ride and leaves me feeling totally creeped out.


1. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Got to my favourite thriller so far! I am so obsessed with this at the moment, and how ingenious the entire set up was (full review here).

2. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
The debut novel of Abigail Haas blew me out of the water. I loved how messed up it was! (full review here)

3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This was a lot more mellowed out but the ending was still shocking - a very easy read as well (full review here).

4. I Kill by Giorgio Faletti
Ultimate crime/mystery writer, Giorgio Faletti delivers an amazing novel that is addictive (full review here).

5. Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
YA Thriller isn't huge but Rosebush is one that lives up to the genre, and one of the early ones I've read (full review here).


6. In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Ok so this isn't exactly thriller, more paranormal/psychological thriller, but it was still a creepy read! (full review here).

7. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
This Amish mystery is very much worth the read and is one of the most memorable despite me reading it once! It's definitely worth the read. 

8. Monsters by Emerald Fennel
This is a very strange middle grade novel, a lot more disturbing than I thought was possible if aimed for younger readers. However, I did enjoy the dark humour that came with it (full review here). 

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This is definitely well known and whilst I didn't love it the first time I think it's worth the read after seeing the movie. Read or watch it, it's definitely crazy (full review here).

10. I Am God by Giorgio Faletti 
Sliding in another Faletti novel because I think they're amazing (full review here).


Share Your List With Me!



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