Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Blogger Recognition Award

July 19, 2017 10 Comments


The lovely Rachel tagged me on Twitter and her blog for this award, so a big thank you to her! I am very very grateful. You can find here blog here: Rachel's Rambling Reviews.
I need to tag 15 other bloggers for this award, which I shall do at the bottom of this post and on Twitter. Some of you may have already been nominated, so double congratulations! 😊

Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

How My Blog Started:

I'm a very new blog at the moment, not even a week old yet, so still a newbie. However, I've been a Bookstagrammer for several months now, and I saw lots of my bookish friends had book blogs and BookTubes, and I enjoyed reading the blogs and watching the videos. Originally, I was going to start a BookTube channel but decided against it in favour of a book blog instead. I think the reason was because I'm decent at writing and not-so-decent at editing videos together, like BookTubers have to do! I received lots of encouragement from my followers on Bookstagram for both the blog and BookTube, so decided to go for it!

Advice For New Bloggers:

I'm not sure how great this advice is going to be, because as I said, I'm not an experienced blogger, but this is what I have learnt in the week that I've been blogging so far.
  1. Use social media lots. I've met a lot of new blogger friends, and I've learnt quickly that having friends in this community is not only a good way to grow your blog, but it also makes blogging so much more fun and helps grow your confidence.
  2. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for opportunities, rather than waiting for them to be give to you, because they most likely won't be. For example, I've reached out and made friends with other bloggers, I've joined NetGalley, I'm always searching the #BloggersWanted hashtag and I've put out my own #BloggersWanted to see if anyone is interesting in collabing with me!

Here are the bloggers that I nominate for this award:


If you've already been nominated or just don't want to do the blog post, I won't be at all offended. I just thought that this was a great way to share some amazing bloggers, and obviously thank Rachel for nominating me.

Books&Belle xx




Judging Books By Their Covers

July 19, 2017 30 Comments


Now, I do know that people say that you're not meant to judge a book by it's cover, but I cant help doing it anyway. I know for a fact that there are brilliant books out there with covers that aren't so brilliant, and I know that there are books out there with amazing covers that aren't so... well, amazing. But I am still pulled toward the pretty book sat on the shelf in a bookstore. I'm sure I'm not the only one, so in this post, I am going to talk about whether a book I've judged by it's cover has met my expectations after I've read it.

The Lie Tree by Frances Harding


I brought this book in a second hand book shop on the harbour when I was on holiday visiting family. The minute I saw it on the shelf, I knew that I had to have it. It was just so pretty! I hate to admit that I didn't even read the blurb or check the price before grabbing it off the shelf and going to buy it, luckily for me it was only four pounds. Even the cashier commented on how beautiful it was!

I started reading the book pretty much straight away as I had only brought one other book with me on holiday and had already finished it. I discovered the lovely illustrations drawn by Chris Riddel, which made me love the book even more!
After reading the book, I can confidently say that I did enjoy it, but it wasn't something that I would normally read, and I doubt I'd have picked it up had the cover not been as nice as it was, so unfortunately, it didn't really meet my expectations. It is still a wonderful book, though! Just not my style.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (screenplay) by  J.K. Rowling


Okay, so it definitely wasn't just the stunning cover that lead to me ordering this as soon as I saw J.K. Rowling had tweeted about it, the fact that I am a massive Potterhead did encourage me to buy it, too. However, who knows if I would have brought it as quickly as I did if it had a different cover?! (I most definitely would have done, but shhh..) I also loved the film, so perhaps that played a part in my decision.

I do read the occasional script every now and then, but I had never read a screenplay before. If it hadn't been from the Wizarding World and had such a nice cover, I'm very doubtful that I'd have even considered buying it. This one is a bit of a grey area, though, as it wasn't just my judgement of the cover that lead to me ordering it. However, there's no denying that it's truly a beautiful book and I did enjoy it.

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick



I brought She Is Not Invisible from a seller on Depop for only a pound! I went on there to look at clothes, and ended up buying books, which is completely typical of me! Again, it was the cover that appealed to me and made me click on in, along with the intriguing title. After reading the bool, I can confirm that I loved it, and it was definitely my type of book. I won't go into details, because I don't want to spoil it for any potential readers, by I will say that I am 100% glad that I judged a book by it's cover in this case, and it definitely met and exceeded my expectations of it!

Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone, Illustrated Version by J.K Rowling


This one is similar to Fantastic Beasts, as it wasn't just the beautiful cover that appealed to me, but it was also the author and the franchise. However, I already own a copy of The Philosophers Stone, and have never brought any of the new editions until this one was released, (I also plan on buying the 20th anniversary Slytherin edition sooner or later) so perhaps it was just the cover that I liked.

Even before getting this book, I knew that it was an amazing book, so I guess my judgement of cover doesn't really apply here. I couldn't not feature this one, though, it's so pretty. The picture is from my Bookstagram (www.instagram.com/books.and.belle) which is why I'm holding Hermione's wand as a prop!

Have you ever judged a book by it's cover?

- Books&Belle xx

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Book Review - Local Girl Missing (Spoiler Free!)

July 18, 2017 18 Comments


Synopsis:

The old Victorian pier was once a thing of beauty. It's also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier vanished eighteen years ago.

Francesca has spent the last twenty years haunted by the disappearance of her best friend. But when she receives a phone call from Sophie's brother saying that a body has been found, she knows she can't keep hiding from what happened. With her own secrets to keep, Francesca doesn't relish the idea of digging up the past or returning to Oldcliffe. But it is time to go back to where she grew up, and it looks like she isn't the only one there hiding truths.

Review:

"I've been running from my past. Now the past has caught up with me."

I read this book last October, maybe November, but it remains one of my favourite books. I've spoken about it on my personal Twitter and my Bookstagram before, so I couldn't not review it on my new Book Blog! It's a Mystery and Thriller, two of the genres that I enjoy the most. I brought it in Tesco at around 3pm on a Friday, started reading it straight away, and had finished it by midnight. I could not bring myself to put it down! I'd tell myself, "just one more chapter!" and then something would happen at the end of that chapter, and I'd just have to read on, so I ended up reading it in one sitting.
I have a love-hate relationship with those kinds of books. On one hand, the book is obviously extremely engaging and interesting which is always great, but on the other hand, I get nothing done because I don't want to put it down! When I think of books like this, Local Girl Missing comes to mind straight away.

The book is written in first person, and alternates between the point of view of Francesca in present time, and Sophie leading up to when she disappeared 18 years ago. I really connected with the characters, especially Sophie who I felt so sympathetic for, and was so shocked by the outcome. The lead character, Francesca, was also a character that I felt I really bonded with, I felt her pain over losing her best friend, and despite her flaws (who doesn't have flaws?!) I really liked her. This review is spoiler free, so I won't tell what happens, all I'll say is that I definitely did NOT see it coming, which is another thing I like about a book. A lot of the time, I'll be able to predict the ending, so it's always a nice surprise when I get it wrong!

Overall, Claire Douglas' Local Girl Missing is a gripping Psychological Thriller that I will most likely re-read sooner or later. I love the way Douglas writes, from the descriptions of places and characters to the fascinating plot. As soon as I'd finished the book, I rushed down stairs to talk to my family about it, despite me being the only one who actually reads in my house, and gushed about how shocking and brilliant the book was. I probably annoyed them quite about with the amount that I went on about it! In my opinion, it is everything anyone would want in a Thriller. I could actually see it being made into a movie, although I'm sure the book would be better. It always is.
Claire Douglas has also written two other books, her debut novel, The Sisters, and her newest book which was published recently, Last Seen Alive. As soon as I get paid, I'm ordering both as I love Douglas' writing!

I'd definitely recommend Local Girl Missing to anyone who loves a good Mystery/Psychological Thriller.
A very well deserved 5 stars from me!



Books&Belle xx


Monday, 17 July 2017

The Newbie Tag

July 17, 2017 31 Comments
As I have only just recently launched my book blog, I thought one of the first posts I write should be a post that lets people get to know me. So, after extensive research, (5 minutes browsing other Book Blogs and Google) I found The Newbie Tag! I qualify for this, as I'm a newbie, so it's perfect.

So, lets begin!

Question One: Why did you start this blog?


I started this blog for several reasons:
  • I love reading
  • I love books
  • The encouragement from Bookstagram friends
  • I enjoy writing (although I don't aspire to be an author).
  • I thought it'd be a great way to meet other bookworms like myself

Question Two: What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

Okay, I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I lowkey wanted to skip this question as I have absolutely no idea how to answer it. But I'm not going to do that, because then I wouldn't be fully completing the tag.
What fun and unique things can I bring to book blogging? I don't really know what's unique in this community yet, as I've been here for only about 48 hours, so I could think that I'm being unique, and discover that I'm really not. Fun, though? Well, I'm pretty damn good at ranting about fictional characters I despise (Tamlin, Umbridge, I'm looking at you two here.) which I suppose could be amusing for some.
I have the whole Summer to think of ways to be fun and unique, so I'll have to get back to you on this one, I'm afraid.

Question Three: What are you most excited for about this new blog?

This is going to sound cheesy and clichΓ©, but meeting new book friends! All my friends that I haven't met through Bookstagram or on the internet rarely ever read, so I never have anyone to fangirl or rant to about books and fictional characters! So I guess that's another thing I'm excited about, having a platform that revolves around books, books, and more books!

Question Four: Why do you love reading?

I could write an essay answering this question, but I'd probably bore anyone who read it, so I'm not going to do that. I love reading simply because it provides an escape. If I'm having a bad day and am annoyed at the world, I can open a book and dive into a new world. Reading is my addiction, and my mum has told me plenty of times that she would rather me spend all of my time and money reading buying books to satisfy my addiction, than spend it all on drugs and alcohol and constantly finding myself in trouble.

Question Five: What book series got you into reading?

There isn't one. I've loved reading since I learnt how to at a young age, and there is no way I remember what books I used to read then. I do remember loving Jaqueline Wilson books when I was about 9, but my love for reading began waaaaaay before that.

Question Six: What would you ask your favourite authors?

WHY DID YOU KILL SO MANY LOVELY CHARACTERS THAT I GREW ATTACHED TO? HMMM?

Question Seven: What challenges do you think will be hard to overcome when starting your blog?

Sticking to a schedule, definitely. I go through stages of having nothing to do and then all of a sudden being really busy, so there's that. Also, finding inspiration to write might be one.

Question Eight: When did you start reading?

I was born with a book clutched in my hands. Joking, obviously. I can't really remember, whenever the school started teaching us, so about 4 or 5, I guess?

Question Nine: Where do you read?

If you follow my Bookstagram, you'll know that I read a lot in my back garden. I also read in my bedroom a lot. I'll read anywhere, though!

Question Ten: What kinds of books do you like?

I'll read anything that catches my eye, but my favourite genres are Fantasy and Thrillers. Oh, I also prefer paperbacks to hardbacks and kindles.

Welp, that's The Newbie Tag done!

Books&Belle xx

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Book Review - A Court Of Mist and Fury

July 16, 2017 10 Comments


This edit isn't mine, credit goes to the creator! :)

Synopsis:

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.



Review (beware, spoilers!) :

Now, I loved A Court Of Thorns and Roses, the first book in this series written by Sarah J. Maas, but ACOMAF absolutely blew me away with how wonderful it was.

In the first book, Feyre is obviously with the High Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin. I recognised pretty early on that their relationship was definitely unhealthy due to his control issues, but I still found him tolerable. I didn't like how he over-protective and controlling he was over Feyre, nor did I like that she was blind to it, but I could still tolerate him.

“No, I don’t want you to live somewhere else. I want you here, where I can look after you – where I can come home and know you’re here, painting and safe.”
SOLID PROOF OF TAMLIN BEING AN OVER-PROTECTIVE CONTROL FREAK IN ACOTAR. Yuck.

That is until Tamlin was an idiot and did several things that made me go from finding his character annoying but tolerable to completely hating everything about him. HE LOCKED FEYRE UP! Despite knowing what she went through to save him and his people Under the Mountain, he still locked her up, and went as far betray her by teaming up with the King of Hybern to get her back at the end of the book. Even though she sent the letter telling him she was happy where she was, he still selfishly went against her wishes, believing that he knew better.

Tamlin, in my opinion, just didn't want Feyre becoming powerful. He wanted her sheltered, the perfect little bride. Something that Feyre Archerson definitely is not, which is why her and Tamlin would've never worked, and why her and Rhysand are perfect together. Rhys understands her, respects her and just wants her to be happy. Evidence of this is throughout the whole book. He was going to stand back and watch her, his mate, marry another male because he thought it would make her happy. He only stepped in when he felt her distress and fear. Now, what do you think Tamlin would've done had the roles been reversed? I just love them together, and the way that Sarah J. Maas has written Rhysand is brilliant. She's also written Tamlin very well, despite me hating him, I can see that he is written in a way that is meant to make the reader hate him, so I think she's great at writing her characters.

Feyre's character growth is so nice to read. She's gone from the girl who needed to be sheltered and protected at the beginning of ACOTAR to a strong women in ACOMAF. It's like when she died at the end of ACOTAR, she was re-born as a new person, someone more independent and willing to fight for what she believes in. When she died, her acceptance of Tamlin's over-protectiveness and her need to be protected and loved died too, and I love it.

“I’m thinking that I was a lonely, hopeless person, and I might have fallen in love with the first thing that showed me a hint of kindness and safety. And I’m thinking maybe he knew that—maybe not actively, but maybe he wanted to be that person for someone. And maybe that worked for who I was before. Maybe it doesn’t work for who—what I am now.”

It's because of her character development that she is much better suited to Rhysand. Like I said, he understands her. He understands that she needs to be independent and free. He understands that she is powerful, and with the right training, she could easily protect herself. AND HE ISN'T A SELFISH CONTROL FREAK, like someone we know. 

How amazing are the new characters that come with Rhysand, though?! Feyre finally has a circle of people that are genuninely supportive of her and have her back. She lived pretty much all of her life with a family that left her to provide for them and didn't really understand her, so the fact that she finds a group of people that are good to her really makes me happy.  I loved Lucien in the Spring Court, but I think that he was just so blindly loyal to Tamlin, when he shouldn't have been. Because Tamlin sucks. Duh.

I also liked how Sarah J. Maas didn't dive Feyre straight into another relationship with Rhysand like she did with Tamlin. The slow-burn made it much more realistic, because as much as I hate it, Feyre did love Tamlin, so she would've needed time to move on from him, and time to overcome what happened Under the Mountain. Which she gets.

"I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken."

I preferred this book to ACOTAR because the plot is so much better. In ACOTAR, the plot almost takes backseat to Tamlin and Feyre's relationship. We're so clueless about absolutely everything, and I don't like it. I do get that it's supposed to show that Feyre is in the dark, too, but.. no. I just don't like it. In ACOMAF we actually get to explore their world, rather than sit in Tamlin's castle, or Under the Mountain. It just once again shows that Feyre is so much better off with Rhys.

Another quote that I love. It shows Feyre FINALLY seeing Tamlin for what he truly is, and realising that she deserves so much more than him. God, Tamlin's an arse.
If anyone wants to have a chat about the ACOTAR series, feel free to contact me on Instragram (@books.and.belle) or Twitter (@BooksNBelle).


Books&Belle xx


About Me

July 16, 2017 6 Comments

About Books and Belle

This amazing artwork does not belong to me, and all credit
goes to the artist!

Here at Books and Belle I'll be blogging about various things, obviously involving books. Reviews, recommendations, authors that I love, and whatever else I come up with along the way!
I joined the Bookstagram community first, and absolutely loved everything about it, so decided after reading other book blogs and watching BookTubers, I'd create my own blog and see where it went!
The reason I called my Bookstagram and my blog Books and Belle is because of my love for books, and my love for my favourite Disney character, Princess Belle. Out of all of the princesses, she is the one who I relate to the most, and I've loved her since first watching the movie when I was small. It also helps that my favourite actress, Emma Watson plays her in the 2017 re-make. πŸ˜‰

About Me


I'm Paige, a 17 (18 VERY soon!!!!) year old bookworm from the U.K. I study English Lit and Lang, Sociology, Media Studies and Business at A Level, and next year I plan on going to university to study law, which I'm very excited about. I have two cats, Bailey and Alaska, who I love very much and make regular appearances in my Bookstagram photos.
The reason that I started this blog was due to the encouragement I received from the lovely people that I've met on Bookstagram. This, and BookTube, is something I've been considering doing for a while now, and I hope it gives me the opportunity to meet even more friends who are bookworms like me!
I read pretty much anything that catches my eye, but my favourite genres are definitely Fantasy and Thriller.
The Harry Potter series has a special place in my heart, it always has and probably always will, so if you ever want to talk HP, feel free to contact me, especially if you're a fellow Slytherin.πŸ˜‰ Hermione Granger is a character in particular that I look up to very much. I think she's a wonderful role model for young people. Plus, she loves books, so I'm sure that if she were a real character, she'd love this community as much as I do! πŸ’–

- Books&Belle

Saturday, 15 July 2017