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What I am Currently Reading

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I am currently reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I have been wanting to read this book for a while now but the recent release of the film adaptation really made me go out and buy it. It had been recommended to me a lot as it is a crime book however it is written in a great way. The story is a great mystery. How did this crime happen and who did it?

I have read about half of the book so far and I really like it. The format of the book really helps to keep you intrigued as it is split into sections of the investigation. Chapters based off of how they are completing the investigation. Each interview is given its own time to be said and explored. The idea of the crime is also so very exciting. It seems like an impossible crime and being able to read on the find out all the clues and discoveries is very exciting.

It is a very intricate storyline with the ‘impossible’ crime having to be explained and figured out. I am surprised the book is as small as it is due to this and how they managed to fit this investigation into that amount of pages.

I am really excited to finish reading this book, I would say more than usual as it is a story I have become invested into. I am looking forward to exploring who commited the crime and how they did it.

I know this is a short blog post but I Just wanted to share what I am reading currently and how I would recommend to anyone who haven’t read it to do so. It is a great book and I have heard great things for the rest of the book.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment if you have ever read this book or would like to)

‘The Lost Witch’ By Melvin Burgess

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The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess was part of a recent subscription box service I received that I have written a previous blog post on and I have just finished reading it. It is based upon a young girl, Bea, who discovers she has powers. These powers are something that she has never experienced before and she has to come to terms with this alongside a witch hunt headed straight for her. The book is a young adult fiction and one which I enjoyed reading.

This is a book that I generally would not have chosen and I am glad it was a part of this subscription box as I really liked the novel. It has a good balance of character development, mystery and magic to create a great novel. I liked the structure of the book as well as it is chapter based with each chapter being reasonably small in length which allows for easy progression and targets.

The characters in this book are a real strong point as all of the main characters are extremely well thought out and developed. The main character of Bea is likeable and realistic even although she is a witch. She has a real innocence about her as she tries to come to terms with the new discoveries she makes every day and you see a real vulnerable side throughout the book which would be expected with a young teenager.  The other witches you meet throughout the book are also very well developed. This is something I didn’t expect however as there are a few of them and they are not necessarily the main character. Each witch is explained and met in a concise yet informative manner which allows for an insight into who they are and why they are that way. However, I feel as though when we meet back up with Bea’s dad his mental state wasn’t explored enough and I didn’t comprehend fully how he got to that stage.

I found the storyline intriguing and it kept me wanting to read on however I felt as though the ending didn’t do the rest of the book justice. The whole novel is leading up to a climax where it is the witches versus the hunt however I felt as though it was very anti-climactic. It was expected to be a big immense battle which it wasn’t. I also felt as though it was rushed. A lot of time was spent building this moment up but when the ending occurred I felt kind of disappointed. I feel as though even although there was a conclusion it wasn’t one that left me feeling as I had completed this book. I think the ending would have been a lot better if it had a few dedicated chapters specifically to it to be able to explore the possibilities and why it had ended in the way it had. Either that or chapter dedicated to what happened after the moment between the hunt and the witches and to see how Bea handled it alongside the other witches.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book as it is a great read with a great adventure. It has a young female lead and a great storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would love to read other books by this author.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or would like to in the future)

What would make me give a book a 5/5 rating?

  1. Well-developed characters. To me this is the most important part of a book. If a character is not well-developed then they can often be unrealistic or hinders the intended storyline. You may be more focused on trying to understand the character rather than exploring the storyline and events.
  2. It has to be well structured. This can mean different things to different people so it is completely personal. I prefer having shorter and a larger number of chapters rather than one continuous prose or large sections as it allows me to see progress much easier and provide myself with reading targets. For example to read a chapter before I go to sleep. Even although this is preferred I have read book that are more of a continuous prose and enjoyed it however it has to be written in an engaging way to keep me reading.
  3. It stimulates your brain. A good book has to engage your thoughts and allow you to regularly form your own opinions and feelings for the book and its characters. You must be fully invested into the book and want to continue reading in order to fully enjoy the storyline.
  4. Well-written. The book has to be well-written in an engaging way. This completely depend on the genre and target audience but if, for example, your boo is aimed at a younger audience or children then you have to write it in a way that engages them. Easy to understand language and quick sentences. Whereas crime novels may focus on the correct terminology and language. A book that I have read that was extremely well-written was ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by Andre Aciman. It is written in a beautiful manner that is almost like poetry in the way it flows throughout the pages.

These are a few important factors that I judge a book off of but this isn’t what everyone would prioritise. I personally prioritise character development whereas others may choose the structure. This is my opinions and I hope it helps you to find yours.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment what makes you rate a book 5/5)

WARLORD by Chris Ryan

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Warlord by Chris Ryan is the fifth installment in the Danny Black series and is a great read. I have just finished reading this novel and absolutely loved it. It is at times brutal and quite gruesome however, I do feel this adds to the realism as it something that would actually occur. As it is the fifth installment and I hadn’t read the previous books I initially thought I would struggle to keep up with the characters. I do not feel as though I did struggle however as the characters and story line was well developed. There were certain small references to the previous books but not enough to confuse the story line of this book. As a whole this book is one in which reading the previous installments are not vital.

It features SAS team member Danny Black and his team who try to fight the world of drugs, violence and cartels in Mexico. This novel features a fair amount of violent scenes and shocking events so do be prepared for that if you are going to read the book.

I feel as though Danny Black is a likable character. He is a very serious and determined man however he does show his fear and grief. His reputation is portrayed as a trusty and brave man who has been through a lot but has yet came out the other side. The characters are all well developed and understandable even though it is the fifth book. The characters are all portrayed excellently and are very realistic.

This novel is fast-paced and filled with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The book is very well written and you can see how Chris Ryan’s personal experiences influenced and aided this as it felt as though you were there with the characters and within the story line throughout.

I would highly recommend this book however you should be prepared for gritty and violent events within as well as a multitude of emotions. It is an emotional roller coaster which sticks with you even after reading.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on the Danny Black series or other books similair)

Book Box Club

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Book Box Club is a subscription service where a box is sent to you monthly which contains a book and other goodies related to the chosen theme. It is run by Libby Harris and Kate Morris-Double who are friends who both live everything book related. I stumbled upon this whilst on social media and loved the idea. I immediately purchased my first box which happened to have the theme of Witchcraft. I really liked all the items I received which is also a bonus!

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When I first opened the box I saw the leaflet with all the information about the items that were in the box. It tells you all about what you received and the theme the box was based upon.

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Some of the goodies that were in the box are above. First thing I noticed upon opening the box was the potion bottle filled with bath salts with mystic scents of mint and jasmine. This item was created by Midsummer Child who has a shop on Etsy where you can but this product. The next item I noticed was the Luna Lovegood Candle by Madame Fiction who also has an Etsy shop under that name. It is an exclusive plum and rhubarb candle inspired by the whimsical witch Luna Lovegood. On top of this you also received Hocus Pocus earrings by Fairy Fountain Gifts (Also on Etsy) which are little earrings featuring a broom riding witch. You also received A Spell for Wildflowers so you can grow your own little garden. I loved all these items and especially liked how they are all by individual and small companies.

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However, my favourite item that I received (excluding the book) was the Portable Magic Book Pouch by Tea Cake Art to keep your books save whilst you take them around with you. It features a Stephen King quote on the back ‘Books are uniquely portable magic’  with a spell bounding illustration on the front.

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The book that was included in this months box was The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess which features a story in which an impending war and vicious witch hunt will take Bea away from her innocent summer and cast her into the dark and dangerous world of Hocus Pocus. As her powers grow and enemies closing in she questions if she can’t trust herself who can she trust. I am really looking forward to reading this book and the fact it is something I wouldn’t necessarily be drawn to myself is another reason why I think this subscription box is a great idea. It takes you out of your reading comfort zone and allows you to explore other authors and themes. It also comes with a signed insert from the author. It also features an exclusive invite to an online book club with the author.

 

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This subscription service is a great idea as you get to receive a new book every month without the hassle of looking around for one yourself. It also takes you out of your comfort zone which is always exciting. The box is available to purchase on https://www.bookboxclub.com/ and if you order before the 6th of every month you will receive your box by the end of the month. Next months box theme is Tech Tribes.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on this subscription box or have other recommendations)

(PPS this post in not sponsored)

 

The Writer’s Toolbox

The Writers Toolbox by Jamie Cat Callan

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I have previously received a gift from my sister titles ‘The Writers Toolbox’ which helps you to write your stories and how to turn your thoughts into a written story. The box provides help with how to begin your story with the First Sentence sticks, as well as ways to help you develop a plot twist. There are also helpful tips on how to add drama to your stories and allow you to make your work more exciting if you are struggling. There are also a deck of ‘Sixth Sense’ cards which aid with phrases that need that extra bit of description.

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I think that this box is very helpful as I find writing quite difficult and especially find it hard to start a story. I think that I have a good imagination for being an author however I don’t have the confidence or skill to write a good story and I think this box is very helpful at beginning my writing.

There is also a book inside the box which I found very interesting as it is split into helpful parts such as how to use the toolbox and how to keep going when you are struggling. I think that this is extremely helpful and is the best part of the box. It is motivational and inspiring to read whilst trying to write your first or one of the first stories.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment whether you have ever used a tool like this to help you out whilst writing)