Tuesday, October 31

Survival of the Fittest

Hello, you beautiful human beans! Today we reach the end of Spooky October, and to commemorate this, Vera came up with a unique idea for a post- as the name suggests, we'll be pitting two characters against each other and then deciding who would win and who would die if they were ever to fight. Fun, right? We think so too! 

For those of you who already got the gist of this- please bear with us as we go through what happens briefly, and for those of you who know neither head nor tail of this, here's what it's all about! First we will put a bunch of character names in a bowl/ jar/ whatever- both male and female- and then pull out two names. Next we let the other person decide the fate of each character in the likeliness of a tussle between them. Simple, huh? 

Vera and I chose 10 character names and drew out couples for each other. We each then made the oh-so-fun decision of who lives and who dies. So. Much. Fun. *rubs hands together* Without further ado, put your hands together for...

Thursday, October 26

Rose-Tinted Glasses, Graveyards. and Lots and Lots of Tea in A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

Violet never wanted to move to Perfect.

Who wants to live in a town where everyone has to wear glasses to stop them going blind? And who wants to be neat and tidy and perfectly behaved all the time?

But Violet quickly discovers there's something weird going on – she keeps hearing noises in the night, her mum is acting strange and her dad has disappeared.

When she meets Boy she realizes that her dad is not the only person to have been stolen away...and that the mysterious Watchers are guarding a perfectly creepy secret!

Monday, October 23

Going DEEP into the Mysteries Surrounding Elizabeth "Blood Countess" Báthory

Hello friends! Today I am here with another Halloween-themed post, this time about Elizabeth Báthory, aka one of the most prolific (yes, there's a typo on the picture, I know) female serial killers in history. I'm actually super-pumped to be finally sharing this with you, because I legit worked on this post more than I've ever worked on any essay for university. *shrugs*

Quickly, if you don't know anything about Báthory, here are some of the basics, the tip of the iceberg, one shall say. She's said to have tortured and killed hundreds of people, most of them innocent young girls whose blood she proceeded to drink and bath in to remain youthful and beautiful. I know, yikes, imagine having to wash that blood off of yourself afterwards. She must have had loads of time. On a more serious note, she is actually half the inspiration behind Dracula by Bram Stoker, the other half is, of course, Vlad Tepes.

My original plan was to write about various female serial killers, with Elizabeth Báthory being one of them, but... I kind of fell down a hole researching her. The mainstream media has always painted all the gruesome things in connection with her as facts, and I didn't know any better either. Then I started to look more into her for this post, and as soon as I dag just a bit below the surface (like, below wikipedia and the likes), I found information that seems to suggest that she was, in fact, innocent. 

I know, I know, that sounds unbelievable. She is positively notorious. She is even featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific female serial killer, for fucks sake, and isn't that a reliable enough source?

Welp, I don't really think so anymore, at least not in this case. Upon doing some research, I found that the evidence against Báthory is VERY flimsy, practically non-existent, and many people, including numerous historians, believe that she did not commit any of the crimes associated with her. 

So, instead of writing about her grave murders, as per my original plan, I'm going to discuss in detail all the evidence, or lack thereof, against her. But, also the accusations, because it IS Halloween, and we all love to discuss murder, right? Then you shall decide & vote (!) - was she a horrid murderess, or was she falsely accused and punished? 

Friday, October 20

Coraline: Which is Better- the Book or the Movie?

The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Monday, October 16

Creepy Dolls + Complex Heroine = the PERFECT Halloween Read, aka Charlotte Says

"It was at the toy room window first," she said. "Then it went away from there and then it was suddenly in the dormitory window and then your bedroom window, miss. It's running around up there, I think, peering out from all the different rooms."
"Estella," I said in my gentles voice. "Dolls don't move around on their own."

The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling FROZEN CHARLOTTE, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016.

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.

Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

Saturday, October 14

The Most Authentic Portrayal of Mental Health in Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

Trigger warnings: self-harm, rape, abuse, addiction, drugs, alcohol

“Don't let the cereal eat you. It's only a fucking box of cereal, but it will eat you alive if you let it.”

Tuesday, October 10

Drop Dead Gorgeous Book Covers That Scream AUTUMN

Hello everyone! I've been quite busy with uni and all lately, so I was really-pumped to see that today's Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) topic is a relatively easy one - book covers that remind me of fall. As you may know, I am a HUGE fan of gorgeous book covers - I mean, who isn't!? - so I had tons of fun browsing through my "read" shelf, looking for covers appropriate for the topic, and then organizing them by color. So, let me proudly present you - ten of the most gorgeous, autumn-themed covers. 

Saturday, October 7

All the Motivation to Smash the Patriarchy in We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists. 

“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.” 

We don't usually review nonfiction on the blog, and nor do we such short books (this is an essay adapted from a 2013 TEDx talk of the author), but I feel this is so very important, and relevant even to this day- will always be relevant, to be honest- that I cannot not talk about this here. I actually have the compulsion to throw a copy of this in the face of anyone and everyone I meet, so yeah. It's pretty good.

Thursday, October 5

Breaking All the Clichés in It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents' relationship imploded her mother's been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn't mean things are easy. Because real love isn't like the movies...

The greatest love story ever told doesn't feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies... YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

Received in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

There's like 671943 things I want to say right now but first off, this book? You need it in your life ASAP.

Tuesday, October 3

Top Ten Book Boyfriends of 2017

Hi everyone! As per usual, Tuesdays are for Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). Instead of trying to list the qualities that made me love these characters, I'm going to share a quote by each them, so you can sort of feel the "vibe" of the characters. 

Click on the covers for the Goodreads pages!

Monday, October 2

New Releases - October 2017

Hello, you lovely, lovely human beans! Not to state the obvious here but there's just three months left of the year. 

Did you even feel September fly by? We did not, we really did not but here we are at the start of another month with the best of new releases handpicked just for you!