book review · Uncategorized

The Austin Family Chronicles Mini-Reviews

Hi Team! ’tis the season of rereading! I’m lately super into reviewing books in series or groups, possibly because I’m lazy but also because I like to see how books interact. Yesterday’s post was about the Austin Family Chronicles as a whole; today I cover each one individually. (and if you like this, should I keep doing it?)

Continue reading “The Austin Family Chronicles Mini-Reviews”

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books · discussions · Uncategorized

LitCrawl Recap!

I went to a literature festival a few weeks ago, and I thought that it would be fun to do a whole recap on Virtually Read! This was the first proper book festival I’ve been to—at school we used to have a writing and mountain festival which was cool but a bit random, and I’ve obviously gone to some bookish events, but this was a proper festival. I was going to do lots of things anyway, but then I won some competition on their facebook page and got four tickets to the paid events which was cool. It was sort of at a terrible time (the weekend before I had two exams) but I was pretty over studying at that point anyway, so it was okay.

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Thoughts and Libraries

Hi Virtually Readers! I don’t know about you, but when I’m down there’s nothing which cheers me up so much as a library. I love liraries. They’re full of books. They’re full of people who care about books. They often have great views. Libraries are a refuge and they are important. Right now my two main libraries are the one at uni and the city library (but I also use Auckland’s Overdrive because it’s great) Both are huge, with multiple levels, and I’m going to interperse this post with some pictures I’ve taken there. These are the thoughts I have in libraries (usually the city library because at uni I tend to look for one specific book which will help me with research).

thoughts in libraries

Entering the library

  • ooooh look at all the books
  • wait which books did I want
  • let me return some books first
  • I’m just going to wander through the YA section and stroke the spines
  • now I’m going to look at the ‘librarian recommends’ shelf because I trust librarians
  • well I’ve already read most of these
  • hmm this looks interesting
  • I’ve been meaning to read this
  • I’ll just wander over to the adult section because I read grown up books now
  • I love walking up and down the shelves because its! so! calming!
  • I’m holding twelve books and my wallet and my phone now and something is going to drop
  • wait I can’t read all of these in three weeks
  • OR CAN I
  • no Shanti you have a lot of assignments and books you haven’t read at home. be reasonable
  • but there are all these books here! it is unreasonable!
  • CHOOSE LIKE THE SENSIBLE ADULT HUMAN BEING YOU ARE
  • okay fine I’ll put these back
  • wait but what about this book? no no you do not have time
  • just gonna check the non fiction section because I like non-fiction too
  • look at all of these people who are enjoying the library it’s so nice
  • okay I should check all these books out now
  • beep! beep! beep!
  • HOW AM I GOING TO FIT ALL OF THESE BOOKS INTO MY BAG AND BIKE HOME I HAVE MADE A MISTAAAAAKE
  • books are never a mistake

so! I hope you guys enjoyed that insight into my brain and you weren’t spectacularly bored because maybe it was boring? I don’t know, but libraries are really important and if you have one, support it! even if they charge you two dollars to place holds and don’t have all the books you’d like to read. and take your friends to libraries, it’s a good test to see if the friendship will last.

what is your favourite libray that you’ve ever visited? do you have a library ‘bucket list’? (mine is to go to the New York Public Libraries and reture to the British library and sleep in a library) and would you lie to see more posts like this? tell me in the comments!

 

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‘Tis the Season of Rereading His Dark Materials

heya Virtually Readers! It’s a ’tis the season of rereading day again! Today, I’m talking about my rereading experience for His Dark Materials. I first read this when I was in sixth or seventh grade. I remember hat it was a marvellous adventure, and I remember that the ending was really sad. Since then I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how it’s very anti-religion–sort of the opposite to The Chronicles of Narnia, if you will. On this reread, I definitely kepth that in mind. I have a bind up of all three books, and I mostly read this in Lucknow, so I carried it around a lot, so these 900 pages have made my arms stronger if nothing else.

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season of Rereading His Dark Materials”

book review · books · shanti · Uncategorized

8 Reasons to read Ashbury/Brookfield

Hi Virtually Readers! A few months ago I was deep in some corner of the internet (aren’t we all) and found all these posts on inside a dog that Jaclyn Moriarty had written AGES ago, about her Ashbury/Brookfield books, a series of contemporary novels told entirely in found documents. They’re more companion novels, btw, rather than sequels. And I read the series over then next few months, finishing in September, and I loved them all. The books are Feeling Sorry for Celia, Finding Cassie Crazy, The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie, and Dreaming of Amelia (except I got confused and read Amelia before Bindy). Those links, by the way, go to my reviews. I loved the series, and now I’m going to give you some reasons to read it.

One, the books are all hilarious.

Because it’s told in documents, there are all different styles of writing to differentiate the characters. One character, Emily, is prone to malpropism (I shall rain over everyone). Another character thinks she’s really smart, and it shows hilariously in the writing. Then there are fake court summonings (SO FUNNY) and drunk blogging. Not to mention the situations the character get into which are funny…one character is hilariously convinced that there is a ghost and another runs away to the circus.

Two, they’re all mysteries.

Now I’m an idiot and it took until the fourth book for me to figure out that all the books were mysteries. I actually really liked this though; it’s a sign that the mystery is well incorporated into the novel, and the focus stays on the characters.

Three, melodrama

All of the characters are teenagers, and like teenagers are wont too, tend to exaggerate their own circumstances to be a little more important and life changing than they really are. (especially Emily. Oh Emily, how I love you) But there are just enough instances where something ~creepy~ is actually happening that you can’t quite be sure.

Four, friendship

There are so many strong female friendships; and even just friendships in general. Finding Cassie Crazy and Dreaming of Amelia especially focus on a trio of girls, Cassie, Emily, and Lydia, and they are very funny and very supportive and generally excellent. And Amelia and Riley are very good friends to each other, and I love that Ernst is friends with Bindy (also a bit of shipping there tbh), and also all the boys in Finding Cassie Crazy are great (except for some of them). I liked Seb particularly.

Five, creative and quirky documents

Remember the fake court summonings I mentioned up above? Well, they’re part of the documents that make up the story. It’s a lot like Illuminae, but less pretty. There are also these excellent messages from various ‘societies’ in the first book which help us get into Elizabeth, the main characters head. In every book except The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie, you don’t know why the docements have been found and collected; but they’re there, and they’re wonderful, and you just enjoy it.

Six, compelling characters

Sometimes with document based stories, it’s hard to connect to the characters, but Jaclyn Moriarty is so clever that this never happens. I especialy connected with Bindy Mackenzie and Elizabeth Clarry, in the first and third books, which are more centred on one person. The honesty of the stories, the issues the characters have, and the way that the documents they leave can and simeltaneously cannot account for their lives; somehow, it works, and all the characters are just so true to life.

Seven, surprises

I often guess plots, but Moriarty consistently surprised me. I never knew what to expect and quite what each clue added up to, and that made such a nice change. The endings are a little ridiculous, but still perfect.

Eight, ALL CAPS.

There are a lot of ALL CAPS as emphasis in the book. Very relatable if you’re a book blogger.

I do actually have some critiques of these books, which you can see in my reviews. Overall, though, they’re very clever, very enjoyable, and very funny and I think more people need to read them so go forth and do likewise.

Have you read any of these books? And what’s your favourite document based book? let me know in the comments!

 

book review · Shar · Uncategorized

Review: Genuine Fraud (genuinely not for me)

33843362Title: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: YA mystery/thriller

Themes: Friendship, murder, power, wealth and poverty

Blurb: Told in reverse chronological order, Genuine Fraud is about a girl who has conned her way into inheriting and heiress’ fortune. Now on the run, Jules refuses to let anyone take what she’s got away. But what did it take for her to get what she has? Where has she come from? And what happened to Imogen? Continue reading “Review: Genuine Fraud (genuinely not for me)”

books · Shar · tags · Uncategorized

Cake Flavoured Books Tag

Hi Virtually readers! As I’ve mentioned before, the last 2 months I’ve been a useless person who has barely commented/done much blogging at all. Why? Because I’ve been travelling! (To see where I’ve been going, click here and follow the Europe Diaries tag). Now I’m at home again, I will try to reply and everything. Before I start, though, I’ll do a monthly roundup of books I read because I feel like it.  Continue reading “Cake Flavoured Books Tag”