Book Review: As Far As the Stars… a wedding, a missing plane and a road trip

Author: Virginia Macgregor
Published: May 2019 by HQ Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 384 Pages
Source: Netgalley
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐

Hi Readers!

In this book we meet Air, who is responsible for her kind of careless older brother, Blake. It’s the eve of their sisters wedding and Blake has gotten onto the wrong plane so Air must now road trip across the country to get him to the wedding on time. 

At the airport Air immediately knows something is wrong. The plane is delayed but nobody can give more information. Air, however, is convinced her brother didn’t get on that plane. With the help of Christopher, a boy she met who was waiting for someone on the same plane, they decide travel back to the wedding together.

It’s very hard to talk about this book without spoiling it so I won’t go too deep in this review. I love emotional, hard hitting contemporaries and that is certainly what it is. These two characters both have loved ones on a missing plane and you really get a sense of their worry and disbelief.

During the road trip they inevitably start bonding and start getting to know each other, and as they get to know each other we get to know them and you do come to care about them. 

But honestly I found this all a little strange. These two characters were not acting like I would expect two people who were worried about loved ones would act and some of the things they did and the decisions they made didn’t sit well with me. I also found Air to be very frustrating sometimes. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Easter Weekend Reads

readingplans

Hi Readers!

Easter Weekend starts tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. My plans include obsessing over the fact that TS7 is coming, eating lots of chocolate, baking my own hot cross buns (hopefully that works out well) and, of course, reading lots of books.

I actually have four books I would like to read so that’s a book a day and I’m so excited to get to them.

The first I’ll be reading is, fittingly, Spring by Ali Smith. This is the third book in her ‘seasons’ quartet and I’ve seen some great reviews for this one.

I also hoped to get to Every Last Word by Tamara Island Stone but my copy at the library has yet to come in which is a little annoying. Hopefully it comes in on Saturday but if it doesn’t I’ll pick another contemporary.

Next I’d like to read My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton. This book has so many glowing reviews and I love a historical fiction, especially if it’s about the Tudors.

Finally, if I have time, I’d like to start Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I’ve been meaning to reread this book for a while and it’s been a while since I read a classic.

What are your plans for this weekend? Have a lovely one!

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

3 Mini Book Reviews: Why I Should Just UnHaul Books I’ve DNFed

book review

Hi Readers

About a week ago I made a decision to read more of the books that I own in the hopes that by 2020 I will have significantly fewer books that have sat on my shelf unread for years. 

Since then my reading choices have been to succeed in that mission (and complete the OWLs Challenges of course) so I have finally knocked off three books that I have owned for about three years. 

These three books in particular were all books I had previously DNFed but for whatever reason I decided to keep them with the intention of giving them another go later. Well, later has happened and I’m happy I’ve done this. I can finally say I’ve read them and I never have to pick them up again. 

The first book was The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I know. Probably one of the most famous/read book of the 21st century. And I gave it 1 Star. Awkward. 

There’s a few reasons for this and one of those reasons isn’t really the books fault. It’s so hyped and so praised that my expectations were very high and so my disappointment was very high. 

Honestly though I don’t think this book would have been for me anyway. The long-winded descriptions made it feel like a tour guide for Paris and I found a lot of the mysterious codes were quite reaching and over-explained. 

The second book I got to was Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey. This book was quite popular in the UK on it’s release and I gave it Two Stars. This is a mystery (sort of) in the point of view of an elderly woman living with dementia. 

I do appreciate what this book did. It really shows you what people living with dementia goes through and what the people around them goes through as well. It was just the mystery element that bored me. For me I found it very obvious and by the end I just thought ‘how did it take us 275 pages to get to this?

The third and final book was one you might find a bit shocking but it is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which I gave One Star. 

Again, the hype meant more disappointment but honestly, lack of interest is what made this book a one star read for me. I couldn’t have cared less about the characters or this type of post-apocalypse where half the book is before the apocalypse even happens. I just found it so dull. 

I’m wondering, have you ever ended up liking, or even loving a book that you had previously DNFed? 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Game of Thrones Book Tag

book tag

Hi Readers

The final season of Game of Thrones is single-digit days away and, being a huge fan of the show, I am so excited (and scared) for it to begin…and end. 

I thought, in honour of it being the final season I should do the Game of Thrones book tag. The questions for this are based on the Game of Thrones houses.

HOUSE LANNISTER: HEAR ME ROAR – Name a book that you originally loved, but upon a re-read realised that it wasn’t so great after all.

Honestly, every John Green book. 

HOUSE STARK: WINTER IS COMING – Name your most anticipated book release 

I’m so excited for Elizabeth Avecedo’s second novel. I only just found out about it but I am hyped!

HOUSE TARGARYEN: FIRE AND BLOOD – Name a book that you felt completely slayed with fantastic characters, plot, pacing, etc.

The last time a book slayed me like this was Normal People by Sally Rooney. Here’s hoping it makes the Womens Prize shortlist! Not long now!

HOUSE BARATHEON: OURS IS THE FURY – Name a book that ended with a cliffhanger ending that genuinely pissed you off.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). 

HOUSE MARTELL: UNBOWED. UNBENT. UNBROKEN. – Name a book, or book series, that’s been on your TBR since the dawn of time.

Too many to list here. One that I hope to get to soon though is The Chaos Walking trilogy. 

HOUSE BOLTON: OUR BLADES ARE SHARP – Name the most graphic or disturbing book that you’ve ever read.

Misery by Stephen King. But, I mean, I expect nothing less from him. 

HOUSE TYRELL: GROWING STRONG – Name a book, or book series, that gets better and better with every re-read.

Harry Potter (all of them) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

So those are all the questions! I won’t tag anyone because I have no clue who watched GoT or not.

Who’s excited for tomorrow (or Monday if you’re in the UK? I may do a ‘favourite theories’ post tomorrow. Right now I’m scared for all of my favourite characters. Who are you hoping makes it to the bitter end?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Finally Watched FB: The Crimes of Grindelwald…that really was a mess, huh?

film & tv

*Spoiler ahead

Hi Readers

So Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has been out for quite a while now but I’ve only now gotten around to watching it and when I finished all I could think was, ‘wtf was that?’

I’ve now put that into more coherent thoughts and have worked out all the issues I have with this film. There’s quite a lot. Here they are…

  • I did really like the opening sequence. It was probably the only point in the whole movie where I was engaged. But then I thought about it and realised it felt very familiar. It’s basically Barty Crouch Jr 2.0. 
  • The amount of Polyjuice potion use in this film is irksome as well. 
  • We meet Leta and she and Newt had a conversation… that I didn’t hear a word of because I was too distracted by the bizarre camera angles, which were uncomfortably close. 
  • Jacobs bakery, something that meant the world to him in the first movie, doesn’t even get mentioned here. Also the fact that there is no point to him. Whatsoever. 
  • Queenie enchanted Jacob so he would do what she wanted… and then she’s the one who’s upset? And Jacobs just completely alright with having his free will taken away from him? 
  • McGonagal. Something I think we’re all a bit confused about. Why is she here and why is she dressed as Mary Poppins? 
  • The melodrama. It’s honestly eye-roll worthy. Especially that bizarre scene where Queenie’s having a screaming melt-down in the middle of Paris. 
  • Why are wizards using muggle ships as transport? Did portkeys not exist in the early 1900’s? 
  • Queenie’s whole character arc. It makes no sense that she would betray her sister and turn evil. Or why she thinks Grindelwald’s ideology would suite her and Jacob.

I’ve probably missed a bunch because this movie is so messy. None of the characters were memorable and the amount of references to Harry Potter ended up sounding desperate. I’m sad but not surprised. I hope J.K. Rowling gets some help writing the next movie because I think they do have potential. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Book Tag: Anything But Books

book tag

Hi Readers

In today’s post you’re about to get to know me a little better. Normally I stick to just talking books, but this tag is for anything but.

Unlike most tags I do this one I was actually tagged in which is very exciting! Thanks to The Book Mermaid for tagging me!

1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love

I don’t really watch cartoons but I love animated movies. I just watched How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and absolutely balled my eyes out. It was so good. 

2. What is your favourite song right now?

Right now I’m kind of obsessed with Here’s To Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne. I know, it’s old, but it makes me feel like a teenager again. 

3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

Watch Game of Thrones. Which is basically what I’m doing now when I’m not reading. And also, baking. Which I’ve also been doing a lot of recently. 

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Nothing I do is surprising to anyone. I’m literally the most predictable person on this planet.

5. What is your favourite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?

Random but when I’m watching or reading something about a historical event I have to google as I’m watching it to know how accurate it is to the actual event. So I inadvertently become an expert on whatever the subject it.

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I know every single shortcut there is on Mario Kart. 

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can)

Just recently I made Mary Berry’s Cheese Muffins for Mothers Day. She loves cheese. Unfortunately they were devoured before I was able to get a photo.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

I decided to take part in Camp NaNoWriMo very last minute. I hope to write 30,000 words of my novel in the next month!

9. Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows)

TS7. (If you know what that means we can be best friends).

10. Give us something that’s your favourite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favourite food, but like your favourite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that

Every morning for Breakfast I love to have a bowl of Honey Nut Cornflakes whilst watching either Great British Bake Off or a Zoella vlog.

11. What is the first thing that pops in your head

Line of Duty. I’m currently writing this out half an hour before the first episode of season 5 begins and I’m so freaking excited for it.

I tag…

Eline @ Aqua Pages

Laura @ LauraReadsandWrites

Rachel @ Rachel is Writing

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

A Month of Reading: March ’19

a month of reading

Hi Readers

March continues the running theme of this year where I feel like I’m reading much more than I actually am. In March I completed five books, four of which were Women’s Prize for fiction longlistees.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book was so beautifully written it transported me through time to the 1800’s. I honestly can’t believe it wasn’t written by someone who was alive then. 

Circe by Madeline Miller ⭐ ⭐

The rest of the months reads were Women’s Prize longlistees. This being the first one.  Circe is a Greek myth retelling whose hype I just don’t understand. For me, this was boring and felt disconnected. 

Book Review

The Lost Children’s Archive by Valeria Luiselli ⭐ ⭐

In this we follow a family travelling to the southern states of America and along the way we also explore children who are making their way through the Mexican/American border. I felt this could have been more impactful than it was. 

Book Review

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The title tells the premise. It’s a fast paced tale of sisterhood and unrequited love. I would’ve liked a more satisfying ending though.

Book Review

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li ⭐ ⭐

This is a family drama revolving around the owners of a Chinese restaurant in America and the people who work there. This features a lot of characters and none of them had a lot of depth, although they were true to life. 

Book Review

Normal People by Sally Rooney ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

So honest and so real. It’s about life, love, growing up and missed chances. It’s frustrating and infuriating and so sad. I loved this book. 

Book Review

How did your reading go in March?

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X