Book Reviews · Books

Wilder Girls

wildergirls Wilder Girls by Rory Power
GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 9th July 2019
Keywords: YA, Thriller, Body horror, LGBTQ, Gore

Synopsis
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything. But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Review
Why is it that the books I loved reading the most are always the hardest to write reviews for?? Well here is my attempt anyway a week after finishing this masterpiece.

This was already one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, it sounded like my perfect book and the early reviews were coming in great, that also got me worried that I was hyping this book up too much with too many expectations, and what if I eventually was about to read it and felt that it didn’t live up to the hype? I didn’t need to worry because it was bloody brilliant and it is easily one of my favourite books of all time.

But why did I like it so much? I’m a big fan of messed up stuff in general in books and movies and this book has quite a lot of messed up stuff in the forms of body horror, gore and pretty much the underlying plot in general. The 3 main girls we follow are all very different but very relatable and lovable in their own ways, and the best thing of all for me was their relationships with each other.

Especially Hetty + Byatt for me, having a very close bond myself with my best friend I felt I could really relate to how they felt about each other and boy did I cry about it.

Even the sub characters in this book you find yourself easily getting attached too, and not knowing the outcome of this book had me on edge constantly from halfway through right until the very end. I’m highly anticipating what Rory Power brings out in the future.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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Book Reviews · Books

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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windupbird The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami

GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 12th April 1994
Keywords: Adult, Japan, Magical realism

Synopsis
Toru Okada’s cat has disappeared. His wife is growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada’s vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.

Review
I honestly have no idea how to review this book, but here is my feeble attempt. It took me roughly 2 months on and off to finish and not because I wasn’t enjoying it, I just found it to be quite a heavy read compared to Kafka on the Shore which I finished within a week. This is mostly due to quite a few historical flashbacks which did get quite graphic and quite honestly a bit depressing. I found this book had a lot of nods to depression which I personally found to be relatable but also at times hard to read.

It was filled with all of the usual weird magical realism elements that I love and most of it really didn’t make much sense, but then I’m not sure it’s supposed to. What a great cast of characters though, I particularly loved any scene that involved May and the role she played for the main character.

I’m glad I read this book and look forward to reading more of Murakami’s novels, would recommend for fans of magical realism and weird stories that don’t quite make sense but make you think hard about the world.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

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Book Reviews · Books

S.T.A.G.S

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STAGS S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett
GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 10th August 2017
Keywords: YA, Thriller, Hunt, Mystery, Bullying, Violence, Contemporary, Romance, Animal deaths

Synopsis
Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry’s parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school… “

Review
I went in to this book expecting it to be way more gritty and gruesome with less of the romance aspect which is mostly why my rating is on the lower side. Sometimes it even felt like I was reading a middle grade novel and as we are in the protagonists head some of her thoughts were very immature and inappropriate for the situation so perhaps I’m not the target audience for this. Nonetheless it was still a pretty fun read and focused hard on discrimination by class/race which is obviously a very relevant topic.

Too much focus from our main girl on how hot the main guy is and way too many movie referencing for me. The actual ‘hunt’ parts were more enjoyable and there were a few times that got my heart rate up. Plot twists were mostly predictable but I did enjoy the character of Henry (gave me some Cardan from The Cruel Prince vibes).

Would recommend for contemporary fans that like a hint of thriller, wouldn’t recommend for someone looking to read a gritty intense thriller.

My rating: 3/5 stars

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Books

2019 Book Releases

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Here are some of my must-read-as-soon-as-it-comes-out new releases for the rest of this year! Are any of these on your to-read list?

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power – July 12th
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa – August 15th
Hat, ribbon, bird, rose. To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.
When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn’t forget, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next?
The Memory Police is a beautiful, haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss from one of Japan’s greatest writers. For readers of The Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Girls of Storm and Shadow – November 5th
This is the second book in a series so I won’t post the synopsis here, you can click the link to Goodreads if you want to read it.

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K-Pop

Aesthetic K-pop MVs #1

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BTS – Blood Sweat & Tears
I certainly can’t have a most aesthetically pleasing K-pop MVs list without this now can I? I’m sticking to 1 MV per group/artist and everything about this just screams beauty to me (no not just the members). The whole set and colour pallet is gorgeous and scenes like Taehyung under the sheet and JK floating in the air are breathtaking. Also how paint features in this MV with the splattering and when it runs down Jimin’s face, just yes. This MV and the whole Wings era was inspired by a book called Demian by Hermann Hesse.

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NU’EST W – Where You At
Nu’est have a lot of aesthetically pleasing MVs but I’m picking Where You At for the variety. I really love the individual member room sets and how they feature different colour pallets. The purple church and beach scenes are my favourites along with Ren in that red lace blindfold.

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More to come! Which K-pop MVs do you find the most aesthetically pleasing?

Books · Monthly wrap ups

June Wrap Up

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Books I Read and Finished in June

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June Posts

Books
July TBR
Mid Year Book Freakout Tag
Book Reviews

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto (spoilers)
K-Pop
ONEUS: Raise Us Album Review
Me vs. My Friends ft. Lena (BTS Edition)
Gaming
Animal Crossing: New Horizons #1
Top 5
Hyped YA books I have read
Books of 2019 So Far
Writing
Aches and Pains
Alive or Dead

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Favourite K-Pop Releases in June

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Reading
My reading really wasn’t that great in June, I just wasn’t feeling it, and Wind-Up Bird took me so long to finish (not that I didn’t enjoy it, it was just very long and heavy). I’m back in more of a reading mood for July and am excited for my TBR so we will see if this month will be better.

Blogging
I feel like my blogging kind of fell off towards the end of the month, like my reading, even though it has been the best month so far for view/visits. I’m going to try and post more in July for sure.

Gaming
My friend Lena picked up a 2DS so we could play Animal Crossing: New Leaf and it’s been really fun playing it again while I wait for the Switch game to come out. I’ve also been constantly playing BTS World since it was launched last week O-O

New Things
I’ve decided to casually learn a second language using DuoLingo (I bet you can’t guess which language haha), this is the first time trying to learn a language and actually wanting to do it, rather than being forced to learn German in school which I literally only remember a few words of now. So far so good and it’s actually pretty fun!
I’ve also (very recently) taken trying to lose weight seriously, I really hope i stick to it cos damn I feel like a whale. Will update on progress in next months wrap up and possibly do some posts on it if it goes well.

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Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch update:
Looks amazing but got pushed back to March 2020

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