Books · Discussion · TV/Film

Review/Discussion: Shadow and Bone TV Show

Shadow and Bone (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

I have many many many thoughts.
There will be (minor) spoilers.

Let’s talk casting first:
Alina – Decent casting. Okay actress. Wasn’t blown away, didn’t hate either. I wasn’t a fan of Alina in the books and kind of expected the same for the show but I don’t hate her…yet…

Mal – I still don’t like Mal. The casting is good. He’s more likeable in the show for sure. I still don’t buy into Mal x Alina ships. *vom*

The Darkling – Perfection. Ben Barnes is everything. His performance was incredible. So dark, evil and manipulative. He did it so well. Ben Barnes really captures the essence of the Darkling. The name change though… Kirigan. No. Just no. I get that the Darkling gives away that he’s going to be the villain but still.

Zoya – Can I just say NO. I don’t like Zoya in the books at all. But her casting was just blehhh. I didn’t like her portrayal at all.

Genya – I like her but she was done DIRTY with that wig. What an attrocity.

Now for the Dregs:

Kaz – I liked the dude playing him. He could’ve been more sadistic/morally grey. I wanted a bit more, but I overall think he was good.

Jesper – PERFECTION OMG. Like just *chef kiss*
He was amazing. I loved the portrayal. Kit Young really captured Jesper’s character and charm. I loved it.

Inej – Almost perfect. Casting on point. However, she was too soft.

Nina – Great casting, I liked her portrayal.
I understand the sadness for the lack of plus size casting. It’s not really my place to comment on that aspect as I am not plus sized. It’s a shame they had an opportunity for rep taken.

Onto the story:

Firstly, what the fuck was that racism.
I found it so jarring. So unnecessary.
The show runners/makers adding diversity to the very white characters was amazing. Adding the racism, not so much. Right from the first few minutes too.
I’m super sick of fantasy worlds having racism, like it’s fantasy. The world can be anything and yet they always have racism, sexism etc. etc.
I’m not Asian so I will not commented on the use of slurs towards them, as it’s not my place. However, the ‘half breed’ slur hit me. It took me out of the story for a moment. So so gross. I don’t even know what to say. *shudder* This is not the representation mixed people want!

*deep breath*
Let’s move on.

It was an interesting decision to combine the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I’m not really sure what to make of that aspect. It kind of worked and didn’t work for me all at the same time.

It’s no secret that I prefer Six of Crows (doesn’t everyone?) to the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I couldn’t help but be a bit more interested in the Dregs than Alina and Mal. However, I was very interested in the Darkling. Man, I wish he had more air time because *swoon*.

The story was engaging and definitely binge-worthy. I watched it over two days, but if I’d had the time I would’ve binged it in a day. I was gripped from episode one all the way to the end. I don’t think there was a bad episode. They were all really (surprisingly) good.

I had low expectations going in. I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I think I actually enjoyed this more than the books. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, the first book, but the series went downhill from there for me. I’m excited for the potential second season of the show. (PLEASE NETFLIX) Obviously, I know where the story goes. I’m interested to see what changes they make and how the Dregs will slot into the story still…

Nina and Matthias’ story was odd, I get that’s their back story but it makes absolutely no sense to the people who’ve not read the books. I like Nina, but I feel like this could’ve been cut. It would’ve been better to have those scenes as flashbacks when Nina and Matthias have an actual part of the Six of Crow timeline.

The main problem I had (aside from the racism) was that it seemed a tad rushed. Everything seemed to happen too fast. I like fast pace, but I feel like there were areas that could’ve been a bit more developed. Such as Alina ‘training’ – that barely seemed to happen. Baghra was barely in the show. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. I feel like they could’ve added in an extra 2 episodes to develop certain parts more.

Will I watch Season Two: Hell yes!
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Chat with me!
Who was your favourite character? / What was your favourite part?

Books · Discussion

2021 Reading/Bookish Goals

Hello everyone!
New Year = New reading goals!
I don’t really like setting resolutions, I feel like it’s too much pressure and setting up for failure. So instead I just make a few casual goals with no real pressure involved.

Goal 1/Goodreads Challenge: 52 books

In 2020 I read 53 books, while contending with uni and a reading slump! So I think 52 is definitely doable. Hopefully, I’ll read even more after uni is finished for good. I’m going into my final semester (yikes!) so my reading will slow down for this first half of the year and hopefully pick back up after finals!

Goal 2: As always, I want to read more diversely

That includes race/disability/sexuality. I made an effort last year to read more Black authors, but I pretty much neglected other kinds POC books. I want get some others in this year too. I also need to up my game with LGBT reads and something I neglect entirely is disability rep.

Goal 3: Stop forcing myself to read when I simply don’t feel like it

Last summer I forced myself to read even though I was in a slump and I think it made it even worse! It’s definitely okay not to want to read, yes even as a book blogger/instagrammer/influencer/whatever. You should only read if you actually want to. I think there’s a lot of pressure to always be reading and pumping out book content, but if you’re not enjoying it, don’t force it!

Goal 4: Get my physical tbr down

Anyone else feel like they spend more time researching and buying books than actually reading? I used to be the kind of person who would buy one or two books and read them, then buy more. Since joining the online book community I have been buying and hoarding books far too much. I have yet to count my physical tbr, but I know I have a lot of unread books sat on my shelves. My aim is to stop buying so many books and read the ones I got. I’m pretty much on a book buying ban for the foreseeable future. (Apart from uni books, I need to buy those!)

Goal 5: Read a book with over 1000 pages

Last year I completely neglected big books, I’ve randomly developed a fear of huge books? I used to demolish big books and I loved them! I want to read a big ass book and hopefully, break the fear cycle.


What are your reading goals for 2021?

Books · Discussion

Books for My Younger Self

Hello Everyone!
It’s been a while, I’ll have *another* life update soon.

Today I’m going to talk about books/series I’d recommend to my younger self / wish I’d read when I was younger.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Mr. Scott's 7th Grade English: The Percy Jackson Problem

I read Rick Riordan for the first time as an adult, but I really wish I’d read him as a kid. I absolutely love his books, they’re obviously aimed at children but I think they’re amazing for all ages. However, I didn’t read as a kid and I feel like these books would’ve gotten me into reading at a younger age.


The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

6 YA Fantasy Series to Binge-Read When You Don't Want to ...

I haven’t hidden my distaste for this series, so you might be wondering why I’d include this series.
I didn’t like this when I read it last year, but I was 22 ish. It isn’t really aimed at me, although I believe YA can be enjoyed by all ages, I think this one suits younger readers best. I think I actually would’ve really enjoyed this series when I was younger and less versed in fantasy books.


Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Spellslinger (Series) | Spellslinger Wiki | Fandom

This criminally underrated series is one of my favourites. It’s very YA but very good. The humour is great and can be appreciated at any age. I wish this series was around when I was a teen, I feel like I could’ve really related to Kellen, the main character, when I was younger.


Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Black Brother, Black Brother: Amazon.co.uk: Rhodes, Jewell Parker: Books

My reading was definitely not diverse when I was younger, I wish it had been. I’m trying to remedy that now, but I wish I could’ve experienced it from a younger age. I certainly never read books with characters like me, there was a whole lack of mixed race characters (still is, really). Diversity in books has only bloomed in recent years, which is great. I’m glad kids now can experience books with characters like them!


What books would you recommend to your younger self?

Books · Discussion

The Most BORING Books I’ve Read

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Hey guys!
I’m back with a chatty post about books I found boring.
There are some classics, some popular YA & fantasy.. so unpopular opinions ahead.
Hold onto your mug because some tea is being spilt today!

Let’s start off with the Classics:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

After reading (loving) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, I decided to move on to Emily Bronte, fully expecting to enjoy it. I had heard it was one of the best classics from multiple people, it is widely loved and praised. However, I cannot say a good word about this book. It was PAINFUL to read. I honestly have no idea how I finished it.
Every character is the worst, everything is confusing and it’s just insufferable. HOW anyone romanticises this book is beyond me, it is not romantic. Please seek help if you think this is a healthy relationship depiction.


The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Oh. My. God.
This was a required read at uni. I was so bored. The writing is horrendous, the characters are horrendous and there is absolutely no plot to this book. It is a complete and utter waste of time.


Ivan Hoe by Walter Scott

Another required read…
I think this may be the #1 most boring book I’ve ever had to read. It was so painful to read. Way too much description. Everything was too much. I hated it.


Unpopular Opinions Time!!

Popular Books:

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone Trilogy, 3): Amazon.co.uk ...

I’m going to say it: Leigh Bardugo is so overrated. The Grishaverse is so very mediocre overall but this book takes the cake! I liked Shadow and Bone, I did. It wasn’t brilliant but it wasn’t bad, it was enjoyable enough. The second book was meh. THIS, this was awful. It was boring, slow and had the worst series conclusion I think I’ve ever read.

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

The Foxhole Court: Volume 1 (All for the Game): Amazon.co.uk ...

The amount of praise I see for this book and series is unreal. This is so trash and awful, I honestly cannot understand the hype whatsoever. I completely missed what everyone else saw. This book is so uninteresting; the characters so mundane. I remember nothing about the actual plot, I just remember the feelings I had. It’s that unmemorable.



The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss | Waterstones

Here’s one that fantasy fans will kill me for…
I found this book so unbelievably boring. It took for forever to read it and I didn’t like anything about it. Another case of me not being able to see what everyone else is seeing… I didn’t think the writing style was anything special, yet everyone claims it to be so beautiful and amazing??

Kvothe annoyed me for 95% of the book, he is honestly the least interesting person in the story AND is a giant asshole! At this point, I have wiped the plot from my memory, it was completely forgettable.


Do you agree with any of the books I mentioned?

What is the most boring book you’ve read?

Books · Discussion

New to Me Authors I Want to Read More From

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Talia Hibbert

I discovered Talia Hibbert last December when I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown. It became one of my favourites and I absolutely adored the sequel too! I cannot wait to get more books by her. Her sense of humour is amazing and perfectly aligns with mine! She creates such ‘normal’/relateable but swoon-worthy romances without the cringe. I need everything she’s written. It’s so addictive and amazing!


Tiffany D. Jackson

I borrowed Let Me Hear a Rhyme on a whim from my library’s app. I had never read anything by this author and had never heard of her either. I ended up really enjoying it!
The writing style was engaging and easy, yet dealt with some really important topics. I knew after finishing this book I wanted to pick up more from her. I look forward to reading her other books!


Emily Henry

Oh my god, Beach Read.
Discovering this book was the best thing ever. I loved every moment.
I assumed this was a debut as I’d never heard of her before but NOPE! Emily Henry has more books and since I loved Beach Read with every fibre of my being, I will be picking up more of her books for sure!


Alice Oseman

I read the Heartstopper graphic novels this year and fell in love!
I’d seen Alice Oseman’s books around booktube & bookstagram a lot but I had never read anything before. I picked up vol 1 of Heartstopper as it was cheap on kindle and I DEMOLISHED it in one sitting. It was the cutest thing ever!
I can’t wait for more Heartstopper and to pick up Alice’s other novels!

 

 


What new-to-you authors do you want to read more from?

 

Books · Discussion

Reviewing my 5-star predictions

reviewing-my-5-star

I have two posts up of Predicting 5 Star Reads (here and here) so I thought I’d give an update to what I’ve read/ haven’t read from the list and my ratings!

Both lists are made of 5 books but I managed to put Obisidio on both lists (oops).

From the first post:
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor – Unread
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – Unread
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan – 4 Stars
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas – 3 Stars
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff  – 3.5 Stars

I don’t own Night of Cake and Puppets yet so I don’t think I’ll be reading that anytime soon. I do own The Fifth Season so I will definitely be reading that before the end of the year!
TBM – Not as good as I hoped but a solid 4 star read.
ACOFAS – One of the most disappointing books ever. It was crap.
Obsidio – Another disappointment, it wasn’t bad, I just expected better.


Second post:
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – 4 Stars
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Unread
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – Unread
Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – On hold

Skyward
– Was good but slow.
MoN – Will be reading this very soon!
Nevernight – Will also be reading soon!
POTOT – I tried to read it but I wasn’t feeling it. May try again in the future.

I’ve realised I’m not that great at predicting five-star reads. I think I go into books with way too high expectations. We shall see if the remaining books will be five-stars, only time can tell!


chat

What book did you think would be a five-star read but wasn’t?

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Books · Discussion

Predicting 5-Star Reads! #2

predicting-5

 

1) Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Brandon Sanderson is probably my favourite author.
This is YA and Sci-fi! Which are two of my favourite things.
I have no doubt I love absolutely love this – I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book! I can’t wait to pick this up really soon.


2) Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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I love Laini Taylor’s writing! I did like Strange the Dreamer but it wasn’t a 5-star read for me. It was just too slow for my taste but I did love the main character, Lazlo Strange and the world it was set in. I’m hoping Muse of Nightmares will step up from the first one and be a 5-star read!


3) Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Image result for obsidio illuminae files
I really enjoyed the first two Illuminae books. I have no idea why I haven’t picked this up yet but now I need to reread Gemina before picking this up. I liked Illuminae and I loved Gemina. So I have extremely high hopes for this book. I need to reread Gemina ASAP and get to this ASAP!


4) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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As I just mentioned, I like the Illuminae Files, but I actually heard of this book long before the Illuminae Files. I saw an ad for it just before it was released and instantly added it to my Goodreads because it sounded good. It has been on my TBR ever since. So ridiculously long.

 


5) Priory of the Orange Tree

Image result for priory of the orange tree

This one is a bit of a wildcard. I tried to read The Bone Season by the same author and absolutely hated it. This, however, sounds like it would be something I would enjoy. I love high fantasy and magic and dragons. So I do have some hope.


chatHave you read any of these? Were they 5-star reads for you?

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Books · Discussion

Popular Books I’ll (probably) NEVER Read

Hey guys!
Welcome back or if you’re new welcome to my blog!
Today I’m going to tell you some books I literally do not give a damn about what so ever, therefore, won’t be reading them.

*Warning: Unpopular opinions ahead*

1) ANYTHING Cassandra Clare

Image result for cassandra clare covers

None of her books sound interesting to me. I’ve heard her stuff and she, in general, are problematic. So, I really don’t care enough to read her stuff.


2) ANYTHING John Green

Image result for john green books

I am no contemporary lover but there are a few I like and I am willing to reading it. However, John Green’s books have no appeal to me. From everything I’ve heard about them, they’re overhyped and just not my thing at all.


3) Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Image result for harry potter cover

I have zero desire to read the Harry Potter books. They literally have no appeal to me. I didn’t read them as a child, they have no nostalgia for me. It’s too late for me. I don’t even like the films, I barely made it through the first film. I was bored to tears. I thought it was really crap. So it’s safe to say I will never be reading these books.


4) The Book Thief by Markus ZusackImage result for The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’m really not a fan of historical fiction in general but WW2 especially. It’s quite possibly my least favourite time period ever. I have no idea why I dislike it so much. I learnt so much about WW1+2 in school that I don’t want to keep hearing about it. Don’t get me wrong; I know it’s a really important time but I find it so boring. Everyone loves this book but I just can’t bring myself to suffer through it.


5) Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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I realised I really hate anything circus related. I hated The Night Circus and other books with circusy things. From reviews from bloggers/booktubers I trust it just doesn’t sound good to me. I’ll give it a pass.


What’s a popular book you’ll never read?


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Books · Discussion

Things I LOVED About Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas | Discussion

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Hey everyone! Happy Saturday 🙂
This is a discussion/chatty post about Kingdom of Ash; so there will be SPOILERS!

SPOILER FREE review here

*SPOILER WARNING*


1) The Character Development of EVERYONE

Cannot praise SJM enough for the amazing character development for practically every character. Such a vastly different set of characters from the beginning, I have loved watching them grow. *sobs*

It’s so beautiful to see how far Aelin, Chaol + Dorian have come since the beginning. I am so glad they get to reunite and remain friends.
Manon’s character development has been insane, I started off hating her with a passion but now I actually like her.
Lorcan’s character development is another of my favourites! He went from such an ass to a total sweetheart and I live for it.

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2) The Ships

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This book was a bloody armada of ships.
My favourites being: ELORCAN. Followed closely by Rowaelin
Two words: Lorcan Lochan. I live for Elide and Lorcan. If this ship had sunk I would’ve lost my shit. They’re perfection.
Rowaelin are just goals, as always.

Least favourites being: Lysandra + Aedion & Manon + Dorian
I was totally okay with Lysandra and Aedion until Kingdom of Ash; these two are probably my least favourite characters but Aedion, GOD. In this book, Aedion is such an asshole. He treats Lysandra SO BAD. I hate him and I cannot believe she forgave him.

Even though I managed to actually enjoy Manon in this book, I still don’t feel like Dorian and Manon are well suited?? Everyone seems to love them but I don’t get it.


3) The Feels

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Cannot even tell you how many times this book made me cry. I cried so much. I think this book is the only book I have ever cried over multiple times throughout.
I cried for Aelin; her being tortured was heartbreaking.
I cried over the Thirteen; I seriously did not see this coming. ALL THE THIRTEEN GONE WITH MANON WATCHING. Cannot cope.
Even shed a tear for old Gavriel. So lovely how he sacrificed himself for Aedion. *sniffs*

ELORCAN getting together. Cries. Elide going out on the battlefield to find Lorcan and willing to die with him. Oh my god, the feels.


4) The Pacing

This book did not feel almost 1000 pages long. The pace was written so well; it felt so short?! I could’ve read double, honestly. Everything with perfectly placed, there were no slow or boring parts; it was just perfection.

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5) The Cover.

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Last but not least; the cover! I think it’s my favourite of the whole series. It’s just so damn gorgeous. The colour scheme is just to die for, I love the white background of all the books but this one is just perfection. (I definitely prefer the UK Paperback to the US Hardcover, not a fan of the yellow)


What are your thoughts on Kingdom of Ash?


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