Bookish Fun: 10 Literary Recipes for Lovers of Books and Food

Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year. No contest. While the time off work, seeing relatives, receiving presents, and general feeling of cheer are great, we all know the real reason I love this time of year: the FOOD. If I’m not ready to slip into a food coma after Christmas lunch, something’s gone wrong. Recently we’ve been trying to work out the menu for Christmas day and it’s also got me thinking about bookish food – all the awesome sounding dishes that pop up in our favourite reads purely to make our tummies start rumbling and mouths salivate. In this spirit, here are ten scrumptious literary recipes courtesy of some fabulously talented food bloggers to whet your appetite.

November Cakes – Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater)

Finn finds my left hand, opens my fingers, and puts a November cake in my palm. It oozes honey & butter, rivulets of the creamy frosting joining the honey in the pit of my hand. It begs to be licked.

Unlike the other recipes listed in this post, this one was actually created by the author herself after plenty of trial and error to ensure fluffy, sweet perfection. To give you a rough idea, these “cakes” are almost cinnamon bun-ish in consistency, baked in the shape of a muffin (but with a much more dimpled top). They’re then glazed in a honey-caramel sauce and drizzled with a simple sugary-icing. I’ve tried my hand at baking these and while it’s a bit of a lengthy process (plus there’s the whole metric conversion thing), they’re warm, sweet and lovely.

Give them a try here.


Brianna’s Bridies – Outlander Kitchen (Drums of Autumn [Outlander 3#] by Diana Gabaldon)

“Bridies! Hot Bridies!”  A high pitched screech cut through the rumble and racket of the hall, and Brianna turned to see an old woman elbowing her way robustly through the crowd, a steaming tray hung around her neck and a wooden spatula in hand.

The heavenly scent of fresh hot dough and spiced meat cut through the other pungencies in the hall, noticeable as the old woman’s calling.  It had been a long time since breakfast, and Brianna dug in her pocket, feeling saliva fill her mouth.

If you haven’t heard of a bridie before, they’re a bit like a pastie except usually with flaky pastry instead of shortcrust and filled with beef and onion. In other words, a comforting and hearty pastry dish. This recipe comes from Theresa Carle-Sanders who, alongside her blog Outlander Kitchen, has published two whole cookbooks with multitudes of Outlander inspired recipes. Theresa has added a few vegetables to her bridies to make them a bit more well rounded. Nobody likes scurvy, after all.

You can give these bridies a whirl here.


Sister’s Stew – Feast of Starlight (A Dance with Dragons [A Song of Ice and Fire 5#] by George RR Martin)

Lord Godric waved his spoon toward a chair. “Sit. Before you fall, set. My hall is cold and damp and dark, but not without some courtesy. We’ll find dry clothes for you, but first you’ll eat.” He shouted, and a woman entered the hall. “We have a guest to feed. Bring beer and bread and sister’s stew.”

The beer was brown, the bread black, the stew a creamy white. She served it in a trencher hollowed out of a stale loaf. It was thick with leeks, carrots, barley, and turnips white and yellow, along with clams and chunks of cod and crabmeat, swimming in a stock of heavy cream and butter. It was the sort of stew that warmed a man right down to his bones, just the thing for a wet, cold night.

There’s nothing like a good stew or chunky soup to warm you up in winter, and creamy soups are my weakness. The A Song of Ice and Fire series is full of references to drinks and dishes (so many that there’s an official cookbook). This recipe for Sister’s Soup served at The Three Sisters to Sir Davos Seaworth in A Dance with Dragons is from Deanna at A Feast of Starlight (her blog features recipes from books, TV shows, movies and games, and there are so many I want to try!). It’s a creamy seafood and vegetable soup which is very much like a less heavy chowder and served in a bread bowl. Yum!

Check it out here.


Strawberry Tarts – Sugar & Soul (The Selection by Kiera Cass)

I mulled this over as I bit into the strawberry tart. It was so sweet and the dough so flaky, every millimeter of my mouth was engaged, taking over the rest of my senses entirely. I didn’t mean to make the little moan, but it was by far the best thing I had ever tasted. I took another bite before I even swallowed the first.

Gosh, the moment these tarts popped up in The Selection my stomach started rumbling. Worse, the MC, America, remarks that they’re the best thing she’s ever tasted and her sister would probably cry upon eating one. If that isn’t a glowing endorsement, what is? This recipe was created by Rebecca at Sugar & Soul and adds some Nutella to the mix just to give the tarts something extra. I mean, strawberries, chocolate, flaky pastry and a dusting of icing sugar, served hot from the oven? YES, PLEASE!

Find the recipe here.


Peeta’s Cheese Buns – Yammie’s Noshery (Catching Fire [The Hunger Games 2#] by Suzanne Collins)

From the bag I pull two fresh buns with a layer of cheese baked into the top. We always seem to have a supply of these since Peeta found out they were my favorite.

Two food groups I love – cheese and bread. So thank god there are recipes like this one from Yammie’s Noshery to bring me the best of both worlds. Suzanne Collins doesn’t give us much detail about Peeta’s buns in the book but I am definitely not opposed to the idea of biting into a warm center of gooey mozzarella. They also have a topping of Colby and Swiss for extra cheesiness. I can definitely see why these were Katniss’s favourite.

Dive into cheese heaven here.


Pasta Puttanesca – Rosanna Pansino (The Bad Beginning [A Series of Unfortunate Events 1#] by Lemony Snickett)

For most of the afternoon, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny cooked the puttanesca sauce according to the recipe. Violet roasted the garlic and washed and chopped the anchovies. Klaus peeled the tomatoes and pitted the olives. Sunny banged on a pot with a wooden spoon, singing a rather repetitive song she had written herself. And all three of the children felt less miserable than they had since their arrival at Count Olaf’s.

If you were anything like me when you were young, you spent a lot of time reading the A Series of Unfortunate Events books. If so, you’ll probably remember the Baudelaires being asked to cook dinner for the dastardly Count Olaf and his acting troupe and deciding on this particular pasta dish. I love pasta dishes in all their carbalicious glory. This recipe is more glamorous than the siblings would have constructed with their limited ingredients but it’s probably far tastier for it. It comes from YouTuber Rosanna Pansino as part of her Nerdy Nummies series!

Try to please Count Olaf here.


Bruce Bogtrotter’s Chocolate Cake – Binging with Babish (Matilda by Roald Dahl)

The cook disappeared. Almost at once she was back again staggering under the weight of an enormous round chocolate cake on a china platter. The cake was fully eighteen inches in diameter and it was covered with dark-brown chocolate icing.

…”There you are Bogtrotter,” the Trunchbull said, and once again her voice became soft, persuasive, even gentle. “It’s all for you. Every last bit of it. As you enjoyed that slice you had yesterday so very much, I ordered Cook to bake you an extra large one all for yourself.”

If you’ve read any of my bios across various websites then you know that I love cake. If I could live on it without dying or getting fat, I would. With this in mind, I doubt any of you would be surprised to know that the chapter in Matilda during which Bruce Bogtrotter is required to eat an entire multi-layer chocolate cake is pretty much my dream. You call this a punishment Trunchbull? Think AGAIN. For this 3-layer recipe of chocolately goodness we can thank Binging with Babish. You can check out his Youtube channel for other great recipes.

Eat like Bruce here.


Vegan Pumpkin Chimichangas – That Was Vegan? (Geekerella – Ashley Poston)

“And may the force be with those chimichangas.”

In this cute Cinderella retelling, the MC Elle spends her days working in a pumpkin food truck, called The Magic Pumpkin, selling vegan snacks to the masses. One of the hot menu items is the chimichangas. I love pumpkin so the idea of using it in this way was super appealing to me. This recipe for baked chimichangas with a chipotle cream sauce comes from Barb at That Was Vegan? If you’re not as keen on pumpkin, you can substitute with sweet potato as well. Some heat, some crunch, a bit of sweetness, Mmmhmmm…

Live the fairytale food truck life here.


Butterbeer – Ashlee Marie (Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling)

Why don’t we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it’s a bit cold, isn’t it?

I’m pretty sure it’s generally accepted at this point that if you’ve read Harry Potter you’ve wished you could try butterbeer at some point. While Universal studios serves hot, cold and frozen versions at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the recipes are kept top secret. However, because it tastes so darn good, people everywhere have worked hard on creating their own. Food blogger Ashlee Marie has recipes for all three types. They involve butterscotch syrup made from scratch and a butterscotch marshmallow cream to go on top. A drink for every season!

Try it for yourself here, here & here!

Lembas Bread – Jet Set Fork & Celebration Generation (The Lord of the Rings Series by J RR Tolkien)


In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender goods, Elves that could speak their tongue came to them and brought them many gifts of food and clothing for the journey. The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made of meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream.

There are two main bread-type foods frequently mentioned in the Tolkien verse – cram and lembas. Made by the elves, Lembas is pocket-sized, sweet, stays fresh for long periods (good for adventuring), nutritious and highly filling. Unlike cram, lembas seems to be more like shortbread or an energy bar in texture. There are a heap of different recipes online for this fictional food so I’ve decided to give you guys two – Jet Set Fork & Celebration Generation (gluten free recipe).

Try version 1 here & version 2 here.


Now, you’ll have to excuse me because that is the sound of my stomach rumbling and I need to go and stuff my face. Pronto!

What are some of your favourite foods to show up in books, both real and fictional? Bonus points if you have a good recipe for them!

Top 10 Tuesday: The Good & the Bad of Cover Re-designs

This week’s edition of Top 10 Tuesday (brought to you by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) revolves around cover redesigns. To ensure there’s a little variety, I’m doing five re-covers that made my eyes do that love heart thing they sometimes do, and five which I believe should have been given a miss by publishers.

Covers Re-Designs that Hit the Mark

The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare

I’ve mentioned these recovers on my blog multiple times in the past. The cover designs, the spine images – I adore them completely, and The Infernal Devices re-covers are equally beautiful. I already owned all but two of these in their original covers when I went out and bought them as a set. I ended up giving my old copies to my sister and definitely have no regrets.

The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins (10th Anniversary Editions)

I’ve already bought a second set of these books previously but if I hadn’t, trust me, I’d buy these ones because dammmmmnnnn. They’re. So. Freaking. Lovely. I can’t even explain what it is, I just can’t stop looking at them. I’m such a sucker for anniversary editions *sigh*.

The Mortal Engines series – Philip Reeve (Ian McQue 2018 Redesigns)

I’ve never read this series but ever since this version of the covers started showing up in bookstores, I’ve found myself picking them up a lot and considering it. The artwork is really lovely and I imagine that it captures the world of the stories fantastically as well. Even the font choice is kicking butt.

His fair assassin series – Robin lafevers

This is another series I’ve yet to read but looking at these cover designs in comparison to the previous ones featuring random models in capes and flowing dresses, I feel as though these are a huge improvement. I like the colours and the close ups of the different weapons. Far less embarrassing for me to be reading on the train.

The Grisha trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

These redesigns were so stunning that I actually changed the covers I was buying after book one even though I knew it meant I’d have non matching books. Yep, that’s how much I like them. I think I’ll eventually have to buy a matching copy of book one because (a) it’s purrrdddyyy and (b) I really do mind the matching situation.


Cover Re-designs that…Didn’t

Shatter Me series – Tahereh Mafi

I honestly wouldn’t blame you for thinking this one was a joke – someone’s terrible attempt at photoshop. But no. These are literally the covers being sold in bookstores in Sydney. Worse, these came after the stunning eye designs currently used. Just, why? WHY??

Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir

Okay, so Sabaa’s reasons for the cover redesign prior to A Reaper at the Gates were great. I am all for increased representation and ensuring that young readers are able to see themselves in media. However, I just find that the way they went about it ended up looking a little bit cheesy and awkward. I can’t help finding the way the models have been arranged really odd and posed. So YAY for rep but nay for design.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (50th Anniversary Edition)

One word: Creepy. Were the designers of this cover out of their minds? Not only do I have no idea how this even properly connects to the story, but it makes me feel downright uncomfortable. Burn it.

Strange the Dreamer duology – Laini Taylor

These covers aren’t what I’d call bad. They’re just really, really boring and pale in comparison to the absolute stunning beauty of the original covers. The fact that they were released so soon after the original versions is a little confusing to me. If you’re going to do a redesign that fast, at least make sure it’s as attractive as the original. On this count, not so much. Snoozeville.

Movie/TV tie-in Covers – in general

Yep, it’s the dreaded film/TV tie in cover release. I refuse to buy these. I get that the publisher is trying to appeal to the market of people who enjoyed the adaptation and make more money but at the same time, the book came first so why should it be suddenly taken over by the adaptation, especially if in many cases that adaptation completely changed aspects of the story. There’s also the issue of: what if the adaptation sucks and you’re stuck with a reminder of it forever? And lastly, a lot of adaptation book covers just look like awkward inserts of the movie poster with ‘Now a Major Motion Picture’ stamped across it. No thanks.


And that’s 5 + 5 = 10 covers. What are some covers that are not original designs which you’ve either really liked or wanted to hide under a bed somewhere?

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Books Published in the Past Ten Years

I can say with 100% certainty that this was not one of the easiest Top 10 Tuesday topics I’ve ever done. And by not easy, I mean extremely difficult. Not only did it require a good deal of research but, is it just me or are a crazy number of amazing books all from the same publication year? For this reason, I wouldn’t really consider this to be a true favourite books list. There are some years where I really didn’t read all that many things I absolutely adored, while there are others which sent me into a massive meltdown with just how many books I wanted to list. So, I may…have cheated and done multiples for certain years. I’m terrible at choosing things, alright??? With 2019 only less than half way through, this list will cover 2009-2018. Gosh, I hope I got the publication years right…*breathes heavily*


2009

city of glass (The Mortal Instruments 3#) by cassandra clare

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As I’ve recently re-read this one, I’m confident that I still really enjoy it. It’s a worthy favourite from 2009 (not that there were many options to pick from). I was off the charts excited for this release when I was a teen, back during my big Cassie Clare fan period. This book is probably my favourite TMI book overall – the side characters get more of the limelight, there’s a big battle between shadowhunters and demons, a lot of the major questions get answered, and & Alec and Magnus are just cute.

2010

The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices 1#) by Cassandra Clare & Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy 5#) by Richelle Mead

Another Clare book, surprisingly. I’ve always had a thing for Victorian English settings and the fact that Clockwork Angel has great characters, hilarious dialogue and features the shadow hunter world building from TMI, means it hooked me pretty quickly. The series also happens to feature one of the only love triangles I’m okay with. I definitely have to do a reread of this one at some point.

I really love the VA books (she says for the millionth time). I remember being so excited when this finally came out. I started reading it as soon as my mum popped it into my hot little hands. While book four was just okay, I really enjoyed book five. A prison break out, trip to Vegas, hopes for my favourite ship rekindled, and a twist ending. I was mighty keen to get book six as soon as possible.

2011

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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While I read this in 2018, it was actually released seven years before and somehow I missed it! I loved this book, far more than Miller’s later (and, I think, more popular) release, Circe. It’s just the perfect blend of everything you could possibly want – romance, action, history and mythology, and even though you know it’s going to end tragically, you still hope for a happier ending. Honestly, I would gladly get my heart broken over and over again by this book.

2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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This was a struggle year to pick for because unlike some of the others further down, I haven’t read many books published in 2012 that I consider to be the-best-thing-ever. In the end, I’ve gone with The Selection in all its trashy glory because yes, it’s ridiculous, stupid, fluffy and has a protagonist who’s incredibly frustrating at times, but it’s the perfect choice for when I want to switch my brain completely off. This is comfort reading at its best. I can’t tackle literary masterpieces all the time.

2013

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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This year was still slightly a struggle to pick for because while I do have a couple of books I quite enjoyed from 2013, they’re still only 4 star reads. I’ve read The Bone Season twice now and raced through it enjoyably each time. Sure, there’s quite a bit of info dumping to get through and the magic system is kind of confusing but the plot is engaging, the characters are likeable, there’s romance without it taking over everything, and I just can’t help getting swept up in it all.

2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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This is another series that I’ve mentioned many times on my blog since I read it in 2018, but it’s only because I enjoyed them so darn much. After a slow start, RR really found its feet and it ended up being a little bit Hunger Games-esque only with more scheming, blood, and on a grander scale. This was actually only a 4.5 Star read for me and I even rated the next two books higher, however, in comparison to other books I’ve read from 2014, this one comes out on top (but only just slightly!).

2015

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo & A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Lord help me. Remember those meltdowns I mentioned? Half of them were because of this damn wonderful year of books. As I’ve already given the Red Rising series some love, it’s SoC & ADSOM who’ll be taking the prize for this 2015.

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard of these two amazing reads? Both of them feature fantastic fantasy worlds and a great cast of characters who very quickly force you to fall in love with them. There’s adventure, humour, magic, friendship, strong women, high stakes, and I enjoy every minute of these two stories. If people are looking for fantasy recommendations, these books are 100% at the top of the list.

2016

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR 2#) by Sarah J. Maas & Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Twenty-Sixteen was another glorious year for books, friends. Even narrowing it down to these two was hard, not that they’ll come as a surprise.

While ACOTAR was an average read for me, ACOMAF was five stars all around. It introduces so many fabulous characters, and the slow burn romance is just, like, YES. This is what I want and never seem to get. Another series I really need to re-read.

Nevernight is the bloody, dark, and exciting read I didn’t know I needed. Assassin school is probably all I really needed to know. Yeah, the writing style is odd to get used to at first, but afterwards it’s easy to get on board. Mia is my girl and the fact that I once lived without knowing Mr Kindly, is sad indeed.

2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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TSHOEH was my number one read of 2018 and while there were some really great books published in 2017, this one is the definite winner. I adored this novel. The characters and setting are wonderfully rich and detailed, the romance is beautifully done, the sexual diversity is fantastic, the structure and style is perfectly suited to the story being told….really, I could go on for ages. It’s brilliant and I’ll recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

2018

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Gosh, I loved this book. I tend to gravitate more towards fantasy than sci-fi normally but it’s books like this that remind me just how much I enjoy it. Sanderson is absolute magic. His characters are great, the plot is exciting, world building exceptional, and it’ll even make you laugh. I already know this will be on my best reads of 2019 list (yes, I know I took a while to finally read it). I honestly can’t wait for the sequel later this year.

There we have it! Ten years in books. It was really interesting to look at just how long it took me to read certain books after they were published, especially ones that ended up being favourites. The fact that I now read a lot more books during the year and that these tend to be ones published in the last couple of years made certain entries for this list quite challenging but it was certainly an experience.

What are some of your favourite books from the last ten years?

TTT is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl

Top 10 Tuesday: Jaw-Dropping Book Endings

This week’s TTT topic (courtesy of of Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) relates to commonly used words in the book titles of certain genres. I’m not really feeling this one so instead I’ve chosen a much older topic to have some fun with: jaw-dropping book endings. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a big, shocking, twisty ending? And by enjoy, I mean have a very complicated love-hate relationship with. Interestingly, there’s a lot of sequels on my list and because of this, and also the nature of the list, I’ll say up front, WARNING:

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Alright, prepared yourself? Good.  Let’s go!

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments 1#) – Cassandra Clare

I still remember reading this book for the first time on a lengthy car ride to visit my grandparents. When the plot twist regarding Jace and Clary’s relationship was revealed at the end of the book, I was shocked. My first reaction was, wow, way to rip off Star Wars, my second was, WHYYYYYYYY????? A ship had crashed and burned in front of my eyes (well, or so I believed).

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A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic 2#) – V. E. Schwab

A lot of the stuff in this book is fairly light weight and unrelated to anything that happened in book one. Everything seems to be going okay and then all of sudden right at the end, it all goes to complete crap. Actually. It’s so bad that it takes all of book three for the characters to fix things. Safe to say, I was definitely keen to get my hands on A Conjuring of Light.Divider3Image result for golden son

Golden Son (Red Rising 2#) – Pierce Brown

This book was seriously action packed and then just when you think everything’s settled down, it goes full throttle again in the worst (or is it best?) possible way. The main character is betrayed by a close friend, someone significant dies, and multiple main characters are left in an absolutely terrible position going into book three. I was just a little bit heart broken. Divider4Related image

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer 1#) – Laini Taylor

I only have myself to blame for this one as the ending is revealed at the very beginning of the book. Yet, for some reason I convinced myself that it must have been a dream or something else entirely. Nope, neither of these things. A major character died in a pretty awful way and one of the others was blackmailed into accepting a terrible bargain. Where’s book two already?Divider5Image result for handle with care jodi

Handle with Care – Jodi Picoult

Jodi is known for endings that hit you like a stack of bricks. This was no different. I sat there shocked for several minutes and then just bawled. I rarely cry at books but this one got me, hard. After everything the characters go through in this story, it’s rendered insignificant in the space of only a couple of pages right at the end. Damn you, Jodi, you always know to hit where it hurts!Divider6Image result for shadow kiss

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy 3#) – Richelle Mead

While book two’s ending was definitely sad and shocking, it’s three that takes the cake. Dimitri and Rose are one of my favourite book couples and they end this instalment in an absolutely terrible place after a massive vampire attack on the Academy. I couldn’t believe what had happened and I was desperate for book four to make sure everything turned out okay. Divider7Image result for The Mime Order

The Mime Order (The Bone Season 2#) – Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order is vastly different to book one of the series but still remains a really engaging read. There’s a lot of new elements introduced but somehow everything manages to come together right at the end in an ‘oh, shit’ kind of way, converging the story lines of both books. Quite a few things click into place about people’s behaviour, motivations and plans, and it was certainly enough for me to go: Damn, better read book three. Divider
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7#) – J. K. Rowling

This was the book in which everything finally made sense and past events were given entirely new perspectives. The horcruxes, Dumbledore’s history, Harry’s importance, Snape’s true motivations, the reality behind Dumbledore’s death, it was A LOT to take in. Then there was the numerous character deaths and the fact that after that many years it was finally over. Done. Finito. If this book wasn’t a jaw dropper, I don’t know what is. Divider9Image result for atonement book

Atonement – Ian McEwan

What a heart breaker, a soul crusher. The shock of this ending comes from the fact that all is not as it seems. It’s almost like a cruel joke on the reader disguised as a kindness by a major character. You realise that you’ve been reading a lie for quite some time and that not all endings get to be happy ones. You’ll stare at a wall for a while. Trust me. Divider10Image result for Catching Fire book

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games 2#) – Suzanne Collins

And so the revolution began, with a bang and important characters being left behind to be tortured by the Capital. There’s a reveal about the supposedly destroyed District 13, the destruction of District 12, and a spectacular break out from The Hunger Games arena.  We also find out that an important capital official was a rebel all along. All together, it’s a wow ending that sends you running for book three. Divider

Q: What were some of your biggest jaw-dropper endings? Did any of these books get you like they got me?

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: My Favourite Series

Recently I stumbled upon an old video by book vlogger, Christine Riccio, in which she was talking through her top ten favourite book series. Suddenly I thought, you know what, why don’t I do that as a Top Ten Tuesday topic? (I mean, I never seem to do the set topics like I’m supposed to anyway…)

Of course, then I realised that picking my favourite series is actually ridiculously hard and involves a lot of questions of ‘would I rather read this or that’? And, ‘is it how I feel about the series now or are we going retrospective here’? Decisions, decisions… *shakes head* Anyway, so these are the ten I’ve ended up with and to my surprise there’s actually a lot of books I’ve only discovered in the last two years.

So the rules are simple:

  1. The series must consist (or will consist once they’re all released) of at least three books. That means no duologies – sorry, Six of Crows.
  2. I must have read at least two books in the series for it to count.

Sounds simple enough right?

Of course it’s not bloody simple. Being a bookworm is NEVER simple, I tell ya. But regardless, here they are, in no particular order (because having to do it like that might actually kill me):

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As if you didn’t see this coming. HP is my favourite series of all time. I could read these every year until the day I die and still not get sick of them (…probably). I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up with them but they’re still just as good as the first time. Every time I read them, I laugh, fall into the pits of sadness, and experience that strange sense of wonder that only the magic of Harry Potter can provide. These are the ultimate comfort books and one day, if I ever have kids, I’ll be cracking out my illustrated editions to hopefully instil the same love and appreciation in them.

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Ah, VA. You have such a terrible name and teenager-y covers and yet, the wonders you hold inside… I’ve read this series so many times and I love it. Love, love, LOVE it. So many vampire books from this period slowly became cliché or lost their “sparkle” as I aged (get it? I made a terrible Twilight joke) but these ones are still gold.  Rose remains one of my favourite protagonists, I adore the friendship between Rose and Lissa, there’s an adequate amount of kicking ass, and the dialogue is still hilarious. Plus, I’ll likely ship Rose & Dimitri til the day I die. In other words, it’s the perfect recipe for a great series as far as I’m concerned.

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My discovery from 2017 and I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Book three doesn’t come out until later this year but good things come to those who wait. The series has a unique, amusing and sometimes brash narrator, world building based on ancient Rome, an absolute bad-ass main character in Mia, and really interesting magical elements.  Godsgrave was the first sequel in a while that I was desperately keen to get my hands on the day and minute it came out (and I wasn’t disappointed!), and I feel like that adequately sums up my love for these books.

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Ah, Schwaby. Your novels make my little bookish heart sing. I adore the characters, world building, magic, and storytelling. Her writing is fantastic and I love it so much that I can’t wait to read them all again without having to wait in between novels.  This series has parallel universes, powerful magics, charismatic pirates, a thief, racially and sexually diverse characters, and an exciting plot in every book. Adventuring with Kell, Rhy, Lila and Alucard is where it’s at, guys.

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I fell in love with this series when I was about ten years old and it’s still one of my favourites. Sure, it has a lot of stuff I now know to be fantasy tropes but I don’t really care. Alanna is the definition of a strong female MC – willing to spend years as a boy just to become a knight. There’s a love triangle with a prince and a thief, a war,  a conniving magician after the throne, quests to far off places, magical artefacts, goddesses, and well, everything my fantasy loving heart desires. Better yet, the books are super short and perfect for reading in an afternoon when you’re stuck at home.

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Yep, I’m a cookie cutter YA fantasy fan. I ain’t ashamed  of it. You guys know all about this one, I’m sure. This series re-interested me in faerie stories. While book one was a bit average, books two and three are fantastic. The fantasy world is well developed, all of the major characters are fleshed out and loveable, there’s a strong and emotionally realistic female protagonist, and the romance is gradually built up and balanced. There’s magic (which I’m always a sucker for), battles, betrayals, many, many couples to ship, and emotional turmoil. Definite winner.

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The newest addition to this list. I actually had to make some modifications to my original draft because I knew I needed this one on here. For the first 50 or so pages of RR I was so bored but then we hit Darrow’s transformation from red to gold and I was hooked. Space battles, squabbling and politics between powerful families, revenge vendettas, a group of rebels determined to overthrow a cruel regime, friendships and betrayals, gasp worthy twists, just everything really. Impossible to put down sci-fi.

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Okay, I’ll admit, I still haven’t read the last book in this series – I WILL GET THERE! I’ve read book 3 once and I’ve read books 1 & 2 a bazillion times. Once again this is another series I now know has a lot of fantasy tropes in it but don’t care. I love it. It’s the definitive dragons in fantasy series for me. Eragon and Saphira make the perfect team and I love nothing better than following them around Alegaesia in their quests to overthrow the evil  Galbatorix. There’s also amusing dwarf sidekicks, MORE magic and an awesome warrior-elf princesses. Just don’t talk to me about that travesty of a movie.

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This series is just so much fun. It’s funny, ridiculously action packed, and has actually managed to successfully get me with multiple plot twists. I mean, a hacker with pink hair, crazy AI, zombie-like outbreak, and an interstellar war. Who could say no to that? I’m really excited to get my hands on book three in March because I know it’s bound to be awesome. I also love the variations in writing style which are so different from the things I normally read and give the books a little something extra.

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Everyone needs a guilty pleasure series and this is mine. Richelle Mead is one of my favourite authors. She writes complex, witty female characters (which Georgina is, for sure), and she’s always able to make me laugh out loud. I’ll admit that this series does have a bit of a weak point around book four but overall it’s fun, sexy and really entertaining. But then again, what else would you expect of a series about a succubus?

Bonus

This was HARD okay. I just love too many books. AHHHH!! So two more bonus series just for fun.

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This isn’t a series for everyone – there’s a lot of information to take in about the world itself but if you can get past that, it’s fab. The story evolves quite a bit over time with different elements of the world and characters being fleshed out as you go along. Paige is a solid protagonist in her balance between strong and vulnerable, there’s an interesting magic system, and a good blend between the bigger stakes of the dystopian world with the issues of the criminal underworld.

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The good old Hunger Games. What can I say about this except that it’s a fantastic dystopian YA series with good world building, a strong protagonist, and a great concept. I’ve read these through several times and they’re still exciting reads that manage to drive knives through your gut (repeatedly) whilst still managing to give you some hope for the future.

Let’s Talk:

What are some of your favourite series? Are any of these in your top 10 or are you thinking about reading them some time soon?

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: Yummy Foods in Books

It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means….another Top 10 brought to you by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. So, I’m sure you guys probably know by now that when I see a topic for top 10s that I either don’t like or seems really, really hard, I act like a toddler, fold my arms and say ‘NO’. Then I pick a much easier topic. This week however, I am determined to challenge myself. I barely remember my favourite lines of dialogue from my books, let alone what the characters were bloody eating at any given point. I already feel like this list is headed for disaster. Hello Titanic, meet iceberg. Alright, brace yourselves…

1. Basically every food item in the Harry Potter Series

Phew, an easy one to start with. The food in Harry Potter is pretty much food heaven. Chocolate frogs, butterbeer, cauldron cakes, pumpkin and cornish pasties, holiday feasts loaded with platters upon platters of scrumptious mains and desserts…*insert drooling here*. Honestly, I just about die and go to heaven whenever I see the feast scenes from the movies.

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2. Circus Stalls (The Night Circus)

It’s said that the food at the Night Circus is absolutely amazing and you don’t need much of an imagination to see why. Anywhere that can offer me dumplings, cinnamon rolls, chocolate covered strawberries, and caramel covered popcorn all in close proximity to one another is essentially the dream. Feed me already!

3. Strawberry Tarts (The Selection)

When America tells Maxon that she’s pretty much just here to enjoy the fancy food, I was like: I feel you. It’s definitely understandable when she’s being handed scrumptious sounding stuff like strawberry tarts. They’re so good that America’s willing to make a bet with Maxon that her sister would cry in happiness eating one. That’s pretty damn good. Rebecca over at Sugar & Soul even made her own The Selection inspired tarts complete with the added perfection that is Nutella:

https://www.sugarandsoul.co/strawberry-nutella-tarts-recipe/

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4. Sansa’s favourite Lemon Cakes (A Song of Ice and Fire)

I love cake. I love lemon. It’s therefore not hard to work out that I adore lemon cake. It’s so sweet and tangy and wonderful. I have a great recipe that I make at home which is served with a mix of mascarpone and lemon curd. YUM!  But as I can’t be stuffed typing it out for you, check out Nerdy Nummies for a different but still fab recipe:

http://rosannapansino.com/blog/recipes/game-thrones-sansas-lemon-cakes/

5. Nina’s Waffles (Six of Crows)

I think by now you can tell that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Okay, a big sweet tooth. My sister and I love eating pancakes and waffles. I bought her a waffle maker last Christmas and it was honestly the best thing ever. Except that every time Nina mentioned waffles during Crooked Kingdom, I wanted to rush down the stairs, pop that machine into the power socket and start mixing up some batter. Good thing I didn’t because then I’d be the size of a house. Regardless, I ❤ waffles.

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6. Willy Wonka’s creations (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

If you didn’t feel yourself salivating and your stomach grumbling while reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory either (a) good on you for having self-control or (b) you big, fat liar. There’s a river made of chocolate. A freaking river. Plus a whole host of amazing other sweets perfect for making a dessert nut like me extremely hungry.

7. Cider (Caraval)

No-one said I couldn’t include drinks. I’m not a massive alcohol person – if I can taste the alcoholic part, usually I’m out. If it’s sweet, I’m on board. For this reason I drink a lot of cider – sweet, bubbly and minus the strong alcohol taste. So I was definitely a little jealous of the characters in Caraval getting their hands on some absolutely fantastic burnt sugar cider. The way it’s described in the novel with its gorgeous, lingering scent sounds pretty amazeballs.

8. Potatoes (The Martian)

Yeah, I know, I’m stretching it here but I just finished this so it’s fresh in my mind. Potatoes are one of my favourite food items ever. They’re the most versatile thing. In The Martian, Mark’s only able to have microwave cooked potatoes which would probably be pretty bland but the minute I hear the word potato my brain has already hit overdrive. I’m thinking about potato bake, mash, wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli, hash browns, stuffed jacket potatoes, cubes in soup and curries, potatoes dauphin… okay, better stop now. I’ll make my stomach grumble.

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9. Peeta’s Cheese Buns (The Hunger Games)

Bread is another one of my favourite things *cue The Sound of Music soundtrack*. The smell of fresh bread is honestly one of the most perfect smells in the world. It’s so warm and welcoming, and…*sigh*. I adore bread, and bread and cheese is a match made in heaven. If you’re looking for a great recipe and some drool worthy pics, try Yammie’s Noshery:

http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2012/08/peetas-stuffed-cheese-buns.html

God, they look so good. Marry me Peeta and keep me in a constant supply of bread.

10. Pasta Puttanesca (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

GIVE ME CARBS! If there’s one thing the Italians know, it’s food. In particular, pasta. I love pasta. Pasta is so good. Part of me dies a little when Count Olaf turns his nose up at a beautiful pasta dish and asks for roast beef. Like really? Roast beef over pasta? I think not, mate. Load me up (minus the anchovies though). I’ll eat it til I can’t move and you have to roll me down the street home. And here’s an easy breezy recipe from the Fiction-Food Café:

http://www.fiction-food.com/2014/02/pasta-puttanesca-from-series-of.html

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Okay, you know what, that actually wasn’t so bad after all. Except now I’m hungry. Good thing I’ve got this handy Caramello Koala next to me (a caramel filled chocolate in the shape of a koala to the non-Aussies out there).

What are some of your fave fiction featured foods?

Love ash 2

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Book to Movie & TV adaptations

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. As I said last week, it’s currently on hiatus and because I haven’t been participating until now, I have heaps of past topics to choose from until it comes back in August! This week I’m doing adaptations. The original topic was just movies but I’ve decided to extend it to include TV shows as well. So here are 10 adaptations that I feel managed to live up to the source material, or even managed to exceed it. I’ve only listed ones that I’ve both seen the adaptation and read at least one book (that is, if it’s a series). Trust me when I say this is just a very small portion of the adaptations out there that I completely love.


1. Harry Potter

How could I not put this on my list? While the bigger book adaptations did have their flaws, I still enjoy the film series massively as a whole. However, the first three movies are really close to the books and are absolutely fantastic. I still get the same amazing feeling of wonder every time I see Philosopher’s Stone.


2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The author wrote the screenplay, the cast was perfectly chosen – enough said.


3. Silence of the Lambs

Such a great thriller in both forms. Hannibal Lecter does come off a little differently in the book to the film but each form is fantastic.


4. Poldark (2015)

The show, the first season at least, is ridiculously close to the first and second books and has the benefit of (a) Aidan Turner and (b) being able to see the beauty of the sweeping Cornish landscape.


5. The Lord of the Rings

I actually am not a fan of these books. The films, however, are one of my favourite film series ever. They’re shot spectacularly, acted well and manage to bring out Tolkien’s great plot without having to deal with his smug, over informative writing style.


6. Game of Thrones

This is a fantasy adaptation done extremely right. I love this show. Me and millions of others around the world. It’d be a crime to leave it off a list like this. Great characters, amazing shooting locations, appreciation for the source material, and a willingness to go big, this is definitely the adaptation fans deserved.


7. Outlander

One of my favourite shows as I’m currently doing a rewatch, it’s very much on the brain. I’ve mentioned it a hundred times, and I’ll mention it a hundred times more in the future. The actors are perfect in their roles and the story follows the books quite closely, even when it comes to things you’d rather not see. Action, romance, history, beautiful scenery, a swoon worthy lead… I’m in heaven, really.


8. Matilda

I almost put Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here, but I’ve decided to go with Matilda. It’s a great story and translated really well to screen. Definitely something I enjoyed watching a lot as a kid.


9. Anne of Green Gables (1985)

So, let’s just ignore the third TV movie and focus on the first two which are really great, especially the original. It’s really close to the book and Megan Follows is perfect as Anne. To be honest, I find the most recent Netflix adaptation a bit too dark and gritty which is not why I enjoy Anne. These films encapsulate the feeling of Montgomery’s characters and story really well.


10. The Hunger Games

Fantastic adaptations of a great series of books. I even feel that the second movie, Catching Fire, improves on the book in many ways. It always hits me hard when I finish the series in either form.


There we are, finished! There are a lot of other amazing movies and TV shows I’ve seen which were adaptations of books but because I haven’t read the original source material, I couldn’t list them.  Guess I’ll have to get reading! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the new It adaptation later this year even though I get absolutely terrified in horror films and it’s recently been announced that Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle will be getting it’s own Syfy TV series soon so that’s exciting!

Which adaptations have been your favourite? Which adaptations are you most looking forward to?

Love Ashley

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Favourite Fictional Couples in Books

For those who don’t know (I’m not sure if there is actually anyone still out there), TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is posted for people to express ten thoughts on a particular theme. The meme is on hiatus until August but because I’ve never done a TTT before there are HEAPS for me to choose from and have fun with in the meantime. The fictional world is full of wonderful couples that make us swoon, and squeal, and yell “I will go down with this ship!”. Here are 10 of my favourites (in no particular order).

1. Henry & Clare (The Time Traveller’s Wife)

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“I place my hands over her ears and tip her head back, and kiss her, and try to put my heart into hers, for safekeeping, in case I lose it again.”

** *** **

“I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going.”

2. Jamie & Claire (Outlander)

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“When the day shall come that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’-ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”

** **** **

“You are my courage, as I am your conscience,” he whispered. “You are my heart—and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?”

3. Feyre & Rhys (ACOTAR)

Charlie Bowater
Rhys and Feyre by Charlie Bowater

“I fell in love with you, smartass, because you were one of us—because you weren’t afraid of me, and you decided to end your spectacular victory by throwing that piece of bone at Amarantha like a javelin. I felt Cassian’s spirit beside me in that moment, and could have sworn I heard him say, ‘If you don’t marry her, you stupid prick, I will.” 

4. Ron & Hermione (Harry Potter)

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‘OK, write that down,’ Hermione said to Ron, pushing his essay and a sheet covered in her own writing back to Ron, ‘then add this conclusion I’ve written for you.’

‘Hermione, you are honestly the most wonderful person I’ve ever met,’ said Ron weakly, ‘and if I’m ever rude to you again -‘

‘- I’ll know you’re back to normal,’ said Hermione.

5. Anne & Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables)

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For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps…perhaps..love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.

6. Katniss & Peeta (The Hunger Games)

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[W]hat I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.”

7. Rose & Dimitri (Vampire Academy)

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“She was right about something else too,” Dimitri said after a long pause. My back was to him, but there was a strange quality to his voice that made me turn around.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“That I do still love you.”
With that one sentence, everything in the universe changed.

8. Alec & Magnus (TMI)

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“What welcome?” Magnus asked. “I’d say it was a pleasure to meet you, but it wasn’t. Not that you aren’t all fairly charming, and as for you—” He dropped a glittery wink at Alec, who looked astounded. “Call me?”
Alec blushed and stuttered and probably would have stood there all night if Jace hadn’t grasped his elbow and hauled him toward the door, Isabelle at their heels. 

9. Kaz & Inej (Six of Crows)

meabhd: “ I mean.. I said I would… Redbubble ” I am dead. Thank you, @meabhd ❤️

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

** *** **

“I can hear the change in Kaz’s breathing when he looks at you.”
“You… you can?”
“It catches every time, like he’s never seen you before.”

10. Will & Tessa (TID)

I don’t have enough Wessa on my tumblr, this needs to be fixed.
by Taratjah

“Marry me,” he said. “Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be called Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.” 

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Who are some of your favourite couples in books?

Love Ashley

The Six of Crows Book Tag

No Mourners, No Funerals

I’m sure there have been a whole heap of these already (including the booktube one which honestly didn’t really float my boat) but I’ve decided to do it anyway.  It’s been on my mind for ages to create my own Six of Crows tag. I’ve never made a tag before and I really love Six of Crows, so why not just go for it? The characters in Six of Crows are so diverse and fantastic that they just scream book tag so here they are – 6 characters, 6 questions. Sounds easy, right?

Rules:

  1. Link back to my blog, The Infinite Library, so I can check out your answers!
  2. Thank the person who tagged you.
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Tag as many or as few people as you wish to spread the fun and Six of Crows love

The Thief

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KAZ BREKKER: A LAYERED OR COMPLEX CHARACTER

Holland – A Darker Shade of Magic Series by V. E. Schwab: Holland’s an interesting character in that you’re unsure for quite a while as to what his nature truly is. A Conjuring of Light was great in that we learnt more about Holland’s history and how he came to be where he was when we first began the series. He’s a character far more on the grey scale than Kell due to the nature of the life he’s led. Although Holland’s means aren’t always the purest, deep down his intentions are good.


The Wraith

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INEJ GHAFA: A BOOK WITH A TWIST YOU DIDN’T SEE COMING

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – There’s a twist about two thirds of the way through which I really wasn’t expecting. It turned out not to be true later on but at the time, I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe I’d been so easily manipulated for so many chapters, much like one the main characters. Pesky AI…


The Sharpshooter

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JESPER FAHEY: AN AUTHOR THAT NEVER MISSES THE MARK

I’m going to cheat a little here and say Richelle Mead for this because until I read Soundless, I absolutely loved every book of hers I’d ever read and trust me when I say that her books take up a good shelf and a half of my bookcase all on their own.


The Heartrender

Nina

NINA ZENIK: A BOOK THAT BROKE YOUR HEART OR GAVE YOU ALL THE FEELS

My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult: This book was a roller coaster emotionally. The characters are written so well that you feel everything they do as if they were your own family. And just when you reach the end and you think it’s all over, the story punches you in the gut with the most devastating moment ever. I cried, massively. Then I re-read the book a few years later, and cried again. The final chapter was an absolute sob-fest.

Also special mention to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: So many character deaths plus having to deal with it being the end to one of my favourite series ever. * cries*


The Convict

Matthias

MATTHIAS HELVAR: A CHARACTER CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

Two for the price of one for this question.

Simon Lewis – The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: Simon is a vampire and thus a downworlder. This makes things a little tricky as the members of his close circle of relationships are nearly all shadowhunters who don’t always have the best interactions with the downworlder community. Finding his place in between the two sides and working out where to stand on certain issues is a constant challenge for him but it also adds interesting conflict to his storylines.

Eugiene Markham (Dark Swan Series): Eugenie is a shaman, which means she’s paid to deal with troublesome fey who make their way into the human world. However once she becomes queen of a fairy dominion, things become very messy. She often faces difficulty reconciling the needs of her fey subjects with what she knows to be the right thing to do for humans. And of course, the fact that her two potential love interests also fall on different sides of the equation makes it even harder.


The Explosives Expert

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WYLAN VAN ECK: A BOOK THAT WENT OUT WITH A BANG OR A CLIFF-HANGER

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – It was all happening at the end of this book. We had a massive lightning bolt blow up an arena, Katniss being rescued by the resistance, finding out about the existence of District 13, Peta’s capture, and a whole host of other things. Definitely a bang.


And there you have it!

If you feel like engaging in a little bit of Six of Crows tagging fun, I tag you! Go forth and enjoy! Otherwise, here are nine lovely people I tag to share in the fun. As usual, if you don’t want to or don’t usually do these, I completely get it.

Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional

Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews

Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

Jackie @  Too Much of a Book Nerd (Maybe this will push her to actually read it!)

Nicole @ Live Life Reading (Same for you, Nicole!)

Judith @ Chain Interaction

Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library

Kawther @ The Villain Library

Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books

Top 10 Tuesday: Kick-Ass Female Characters

Today marks the beginning of June, a new season, and the second half of the year. Woo! However, today is also the day that the DC comics’ movie, Wonder Woman, opens in cinemas. This is the first big comic book movie ever to focus on a female protagonist. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal! I’m super excited to see the film and it’s got me thinking about the many other wonderfully strong, brave, determined, and just generally kick-ass women who have their origins on the page. There are so many amazing women that come to mind that limiting my list to 10 is a crime, so for now, here’s fourteen:

Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter Series)

It’s impossible to leave Hermione off any list of this nature. She’s kind, courageous, and incredibly smart. While Harry may have been the chosen one, without Hermione both he and Ron would most certainly have died (many times) over the years, and failed a heap of school assignments along the way. Whether she’s solving riddles, crafting massively complicated potions well beyond her years, or erasing someone’s memory, Hermione is most certainly the best person to have in any magical situation.

Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass)

If there’s one thing you can say about Sarah J. Maas, she knows how to write strong, bad-ass women. As a trained assassin, Celaena knows just about every which way to make a person hurt and yet, still takes a great deal of pride in her femininity. When someone can kick your ass wearing a dress and high heels, you know they’re definitely not someone you want to piss off.  Having lost her family and spent several years as a slave, Celaena hasn’t let her suffering slow her down. This is a girl who knows how to best serve revenge: ice cold.

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

Katniss goes through quite a bit over the course of her life – the death of her father, extreme poverty and almost starvation, risking a lifetime of slavery to hunt for game, and that’s all before the books even begin! She’s agile, strong, and a wiz with a bow and arrow, but more importantly, she’s not afraid to throw herself into danger to help the people she cares about or fight back against those who prey on the weak. Even through all of her suffering, Katniss never loses her exceptionally kind heart and it’s from this that she draws her enduring strength of character.

Delilah ‘Lila’ Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic)

A thief, a pirate, a magician, is there anything Lila can’t do? Having been on her own for most of her life, Lila has had to keep herself alive on the rough streets of London. An adventurer at heart, Lila is willing to throw herself into new languages, skills, lands, and experiences without so much as batting an eyelash. Where she finds herself at a physical disadvantage, she relies on quick and creative thinking to get out of tough situations. In doing so, she proves that size and strength are no indication of the trials one may overcome and the enemies they can defeat.

Feyre Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

My most recently discovered kick-ass protagonist. With her varied and powerful magical abilities, strong will, and determination to protect the human race, she most certainly belongs on this list. Feyre isn’t afraid to speak her mind and call someone out when they’re being a prick. She’s also constantly working to better herself and improve her usefulness to others. Most importantly, she can kill a giant worm utilising only some mud and a couple of old broken bones. If that isn’t kick-ass, I don’t know what is.

Lisbeth Salander (The Millennium Series)

Having grown up with an abusive father, been admitted to a psychiatric facility as a teenager, and survived a sexual assault as an adult, Lisbeth’s life is not a happy one and it’s sometimes difficult to understand how she remains as strong as she does. An exceptional hacker with a photographic memory, Lisbeth is intelligent, calculating, and unafraid of personal expression, even where it makes others uncomfortable. No matter how bad the situation, she never stops fighting. As someone who ties up and tattoos her rapist, sets a man on fire, and even survives being buried alive, Lisbeth is most certainly a kick-ass heroine.

Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows)

Inej, or The Wraith, is the right hand woman to thief extraordinaire, Kaz Brekker. Reserved, spiritual, and honest, Inej has the balance and flexibility of an acrobat, and the strength and knife skills of a warrior. Often filling the role of spy, Inej spends much of her time traversing the roof tops of Ketterdam. Kidnapped and sold into prostitution at fourteen, Inej somehow manages to retain an underlying belief in the goodness of others. As someone who is able to move through the night without making a noise, defeat trained assassins, and scale heated metal chutes with only a pair of rubber soled shoes to assist her, Inej is in good company on this list.

Paige Mahoney (The Bone Season)

Paige, also known as the Pale Dreamer, is a member of one of the rarer clairvoyant categories in Scion. She’s powerful enough to enter dreamscapes and push people’s souls out of their bodies. This would be badass on its own but on top of her magical abilities, Paige is also a part of the Seven Seals, one of the more powerful gangs in Scion’s criminal underworld. Her time with such a group has made her very capable of protecting herself, skilled in picking up on small details, and unwilling to give up when the going gets tough.

Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)

Clarice is a student at the FBI academy and determined to prove herself in a field largely dominated by men. Despite her inexperience and extreme discomfort, Clarice constantly throws herself into each stage of the Buffalo Bill investigation. While others doubt her investigative efforts and hunches, it is through careful questioning, reviewing of the evidence, and persistence that Clarice digs up the necessary clues to identify Bill. With no back up and only her side arm to protect her, Clarice takes on Bill in a final showdown, her success resting on quick thinking and smart use of FBI training.

Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

A trained dhampir guardian, Rose is direct, witty, protective, and kicks a lot of ass. Over the course of six books, she decapitates strigoi, overcomes death (repeatedly), fights back against bullies, discovers a way to retrieve her boyfriend’s soul, and travels half way across the world to fulfil a promise. At first a little arrogant, Rose grows and develops, and eventually comes to realise that protecting Moroi isn’t as simple as she’d once thought. She’ll make you laugh, make you cry, and in the end you’ll believe, with a little help from her friends, there’s almost nothing she can’t do.

Kady Grant (The Illuminae Files)

The second hacker on this list, Kady is stubborn, extremely tech savvy, and not afraid to bend the rules from time to time. She’s a bit of a flirt, a little snappy, and likes to go in guns blazing. But when your planet gets attacked, your AI goes psycho, and a zombie outbreak hits your ship, this is the girl you want on your team. She reboots entire computer systems, tracks down even the most secure information, can survive a ship full of murderous infected people, and somehow stays on the good side of the crazy AI. Definite kick-ass protagonist material there.

Irene (The Invisible Library)

Irene is a librarian. An awesome librarian. One who jumps between different universes, fights fey, makes deals with dragons, and solves mysteries with Sherlock Holmes like detectives. She’s level headed, articulate, and yet still able to deliver a beat down to pesky werewolves if need be. Irene is the kind of heroine who will bravely rush in to save a friend but she’ll damn well do her best to plan it out beforehand. If that’s not possible, she’s an expert in improvisation. Plus, you can’t help but love a character with the same appreciation for books as the reader.

Daenerys Targaryen & Arya Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire)

It seemed unfair to pick between these two wonderful female characters. Martin’s women are all well-developed, complicated, and just as strong as the men (in many cases even stronger). Both Dany and Arya have suffered great personal losses and been forced to leave their homes because of them. However, both have also worked extremely hard to reshape themselves into people who can claim what they are due, by force if necessary, and will get revenge for those they have lost. Dany and Arya are determined and resilient characters, and although one may show strength through dragons, and the other a “needle”, each is set to accomplish big things in books to come.


Who are some of your favourite kick-ass heroines?