April Reading Wrap Up

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Hello everyone! 

May is here! That means it should be Spring right? So where is the warm weather? Did I sleep through Spring and Summer or something? Well hopefully it'll be warm soon so we can bring on the summer contemporary romance books :-) 

April was an amazing reading month for me, I read a whole ton of books! If I'm honest I did cheat a little, by reading some short stories and graphic novels, but they were all part of series I needed to catch up on I swear. You might notice I did binge a lot of books by the same authors, I find it much easier to immerse myself in a fantasy world if I read all the books very close together. I like to live and breathe the world and its characters, it helps me connect with the story. 

My favourite of the month has to be Katherine Arden's The Girl In The Tower, which makes her my favourite author two months running. This book is the much anticipated sequel to The Bear And The Nightingale. It follows Vasya as she journeys across Russia trying to find her place in the world. Along the way she gets embroiled with savage bandits, treacherous politics and daring horse races. This would all be simply exciting, if there wasn't the added element of fear of discovery. Vasya has to masquerade as a man to survive. What will happen when her identity is revealed? And what is the gathering darkness in Moscow? Vasya will have to dig even deeper into her soul if she wants to save her people.


Now I hear you all shouting "Stop rambling and get on with the ratings", so without further ado here they are: 


  1. In The Village Where Brightwine Flows by Bradley Beaulieu - 4 Stars 
  2. The Doors At Dusk And Dawn by Bradley Beaulieu - 5 Stars 
  3. The Tattered Prince And The Demon Veiled by Bradley Beaulieu - 4.5 Stars 
  4. City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars 
  5. Of Sand And Malice Made by Bradley Beaulieu - 5 Stars 
  6. City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars 
  7. The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden - 5 Stars 
  8. Snotgirl #3 by Bryan Lee O'Malley - 3 Stars 
  9. Snotgirl #4 by Bryan Lee O'Malley - 3 Stars 
  10. Snotgirl #5 by Bryan Lee O'Malley - 3.5 Stars 
  11. Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson - 4 Stars  

11 books you guys! How did I even achieve that?! I am beginning to think I might be a little too generous with my ratings or maybe I'm just lucky with the books I choose? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and don't forget to tell me what you read in April :-) 

xoxo

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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Monday, 30 April 2018

Hello everyone! 
Recently I've been loving watching Booktube Tag Videos, they look like so much fun and there are so many that you would never run out! Watching all those tags put me in the mood to do one on here too, so me being me I did loads of research to find one that would put me in the mood for Spring :-) 

The tag I've chosen is the Beauty and the Beast tag, feel free to join in on any questions that take your fancy! 
1. “Oh what a guy, Gaston!” A villain you can’t help but love-
Julian from The Forbidden Game by L. J. Smith, he tries so hard to be evil, but his good side always wins out. Yes he pushes all the characters into a horrible, gruelling game where they face cruel trials, but you can tell he actually wants them to win. He can't fight his better nature. 
2. “Here’s where she meets Prince Charming” Your OTP- 
Ooh this is a hard one! There are so many great couples out there. Obviously, like the rest of the world I want Cassandra Clare's Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood to be together forever. However, my heart beats for Henry and Clare in Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife. They captured my heart from the first page and I don't think I'll ever read characters like them again. 
3. “I want so much more than this provincial life” A character destined for greater things. –
This one has to be Percy Jackson from Rick Riordan's amazing books! You just know he is going to be great, aside from the whole demi-god thing I mean. He's a solid guy, he loves his friends, he loves his Mam and all he wants is to be good at something. Even if he wasn't the son of Poseidon, he would still have a cracking destiny. 
4. “Be our guest!” A book that made you hungry.- 
Haha this is such a weird question! Hmm, I think this has to be J.K. Rowlings The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Honeydukes sounds like a dream, their chocolate would be the best on earth :-) 
5. “Beauty and the Beast” Opposites attract. 
Definitely Baz and Simon from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I know Baz is supposed to be the villain, but in a lot of ways he is the light and Simon is actually the dark. Simon has a lot of unresolved issues and makes a fair few selfish decisions. Meanwhile Baz sacrifices his own desires to protect people and hides his nature, defying his family's wishes. They are perfect opposites, but they match.
6. “But there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see” A character who is more than they appear- 
Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter series is so much more than a spoilt rich kid. Just think about the parents he had, I can't imagine he had any support growing up. He would have been under so much pressure to make his father proud of him, something Lucius could show off like his flashy house and wand holder. I doubt Draco ever got praise or affection, just corrections and contempt. Maybe if Harry had been more understanding in sixth year and reached out a hand he would have had a chance. 
7. “I was innocent and certain, now I’m wiser but unsure” A book that changed you in some way- 
Can I say The Time Traveller's Wife again? That book teaches me something new every time I read it. The first time I read it I simply enjoyed it, the second time it broke me and remade me anew. Reading it from an adult perspective, instead of a teenager, made me really understand Clare and her need for a child. 
8. “Kill the Beast!” A book you picked up because of hype. – 
This one has to be All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Man I wish I hadn't picked up this book, Finch irritated the life out of me, but then the ending! He leaves her a suicide trail to follow, wtf! Nope, this book was not for me. There is no romance in suicide, it is sad and someone should have helped him. I wish the author had focussed more on that. 
9. “I’ll never shake away the pain” A book or moment that always makes you cry- 
Okay I cry really easily, so this one is a tricky one. I guess the wedding scene in Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson, it is such a joyful and triumphant moment. The beauty and emotion is in the small details and it gets me every time! 
10. “How does a moment last forever” A book that you’ve loved since you were little.- 
Easy, The Kin by Peter Dickinson :-) This was the first big book I read on my own and I loved every second of it. I have read and re-read this book many times over the years. This tale of a group of kids in the early days of speech never fails to inspire me. Their resilience and ingenuity is so real and I find myself rooting for them at every new chapter! 
So now that I have waffled on for far too long, I'd like to tag the following amazing bloggers: 
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it :-) Feel free to answer the questions in the comments below and let me know your favourite reads! 
xoxo
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March Reading Wrap Up

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Hello everyone! 

I think, *crosses fingers*, that Spring is finally here in the UK to stay. We didn't get any of the snow forecast for the bank holiday weekend and it's finally starting to get sunny! I love Spring and summer, and not just for the warmth, flowers and outdoor activities, but because I find that I am much more productive in the lighter months. I read more and tend to do more re-organising, which is especially good this year as Mr. GingerSnap and I have some exciting changes coming up, but I'll talk about those at a later date :-) 


Staying true to my usual habit of wanting to read more in Spring, I read 10 books in the month of March. Now for some of you that sounds like quite a reasonable number, but I work very long hours so for me that is a huge number! 

If I go into detail on all the books I read then you will be here forever... So I'm just going to give you my star ratings and talk about my two favourite books of the month: 


  1. The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden - 5 Stars
  2. The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin - 3 Stars
  3. Call The Midwife by Jennifer worth - 4.5 Stars
  4. Blood Upon The Sand by Bradley Beaulieu - 5 Stars
  5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber - 5 Stars 
  6. Lady Susan by Jane Austen - 4 Stars
  7. The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell - 5 Stars
  8. Daphnis And Chloe by Longus - 4.5 Stars
  9. Happily by Chauncey Rogers - 4 Stars ( full review here! )
  10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars
My two favourites were Clockwork Princess and The Bear And The Nightingale. Clockwork Princess is the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and oh my lord did I cry at the end! I probably cried solidly for the last 150 pages, it was so heart wrenching and beautifully written. Cassandra Clare crafts such stunning prose that it really gets under your skin. In this book Tessa is getting ready for her wedding to her dying fiance Jem, but they might not make it that far. The army of automatons is on the move and they want Tessa at all costs! 


Look at this spine!! <3 

The Bear And The Nightingale was arguably one of the biggest debut fantasy releases of last year. As a big fan of Russian literature I was super excited to get into this one. It is strongly interwoven with Russian fairytales and mythology, creating an ethereal and spellbinding world. It follows Vasya as she grows from a child to an adult woman in the countryside. After her mother died giving birth to her, he father remarries a very pious woman. Her stepmother gradually beats out all the old superstitions of the village and imposes her own strict religion. Nobody realises how dangerous this really is, only Vasya can see the decline of the local spirits protecting the house. As their spirits fail, an old evil creeps into the village and only Vasya can do anything about it. 


If that intro for The Bear And The Nightingale doesn't tickle your fancy, nothing will! For the next month I am going to continue Wild Reading and just pick up whatever I fancy reading next :-) At the moment I am reading City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and Matilda by Mary Shelley. What did you enjoy reading last month and do you have any books you want to get to next month? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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Sequels I Can't Wait To Read

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Hello everyone! 

How are you all doing? Enjoying Spring so far? I certainly am looking forward to some sunshine :-) Today I thought I'd tell you all about the sequels I am most excited about! As many of you know, I am thoroughly addicted to series as they allow so much more character development and let me stay immersed in a particular world that much longer! So here they are in all their glory:

1. The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden


This is the much anticipated sequel to The Bear And The Nightingale. This story follows Vasya after she flees her village branded as a witch. She rejects the two choices for women, convent or marriage, and instead dresses as a man and seeks freedom. All I know about this one is that it delves deeper into  the old magic coursing through Vasya's veins as she figures out who and what she is. 


2. Legendary by Stephanie Garber


This is the follow up to Caraval, which took the world by storm over a year ago. Caraval is an enchanting book and thoroughly stole my soul! The end of Caraval leaves us with Scarlett and Tella free from their father's grip and enmeshed in the world of Master Legend, the leader of Caraval. This series is spellbinding, filled with magic and danger. Legendary follows Tella as she embarks on a dangerous quest to revel Legend's true name, but if she does it will mean the magic of Caraval dies forever... Excited much? Hell yes I am!! 


3. Veil Of Spears by Bradley Beaulieu 


Words cannot describe how excited I am for this one! This is the third book in Bradley Beaulieu's series following Ceda as she tries to assassinate as many of the twelve kings of Sharakhai as possible. The last book, Blood Upon The Sand, left us with a major cliff hanger and I can't wait to see where Ceda will go next! Will her and Emre find each other? Will she survive? Will anything be salvageable from the ashes of a city burned by a war? We'll see :-) 


4. Smoke And Iron by Rachel Caine


I have been waiting for a year for this book to come out! The Great Library series is one of my favourite YA fantasy series of all time and this is going to be the fourth instalment. In the world of The Great Library all the knowledge in the world is controlled by library branches. However, some people want to fight against this. The smugglers do this covertly, as the name implies, but the Burners want to set the world on fire and rebuild it differently. They are radical and dangerous, but they might just be in the right... 


5. City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare 


Okay this is an old book, hardly news, but I still haven't finished this series. To be perfectly honest, I have been putting it off because I don't want it to end :-( That being said I am in a massive Shadowhunters phase at the moment and really want to read the rest and catch up before Queen Of Air And Darkness comes out :-) The Mortal Instruments series is such an amazing series, all the characters really suck you in and make you wish you were a part of their world. This series follows Clary and her friends as they battle demons and the shadow world to protect not just themselves but all the humans blind to the evil that stalks the world! Very dramatic right? 

So that's it, the top 5 sequels I can't wait to read! The real list is as long as my arm, so I thought I'd just give you the shortlist :-) What sequels are you excited for? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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Happily by Chauncey Rogers - Review

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Hello everyone, 

It's once again time for a book review :-) I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC (advance reader copy) of Chauncey Rogers' newest novel Happily. Chauncey Rogers is an American author and this will be his third published novel. I was really excited to get my teeth into this one as I love fairytale retellings. 


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No bonus points for guessing which fairytale inspire this one :-P

Happily follows Laure, a sassy street urchin, as she tries to gather enough money to escape a country she has grown to hate. She lies, she steals and has very few morals left, but then an opportunity presents itself. The King has decreed that the young woman who fits the ridiculously large glass slipper can marry the Prince and have access to the crown's money. Sounds like a dream come true for Laure! Teeming up with her new friend Luc, all she needs is a tiny glass slipper, one huge foot and enough time to reach the shoe. Sounds like a piece of cake right? Well fairytales are never that easy! 

Rating: 4 Stars 
Positives: witty characters, funny plot twists and fairytale logic 
For lover of: Amy Alward's The Potion Diaries, Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland

I found this story very engaging and easy to read, I read it across 2 days and was actually a bit sad when it ended. The narrative was very fast paced and clever. It featured every essential fairytale element: star crossed lovers, kingdoms at war, bandits and near misses. I particularly enjoyed the fairytale logic, switching from plot twist to plot twist at a ridiculous rate! It was great! 

The characters are well developed and full, there was definitely no rushing in writing them. There were no insignificant or filler roles, giving the story much more depth. I loved Laure's sassiness in contrast to Luc's open heart and generosity. This book was lighthearted and funny, making it the perfect spring read!

I would recommend this book to any fairytale lover or YA fantasy fan! It publishes on April 3rd so check it out! Let me know in the comments below if you have any retelling recommendations :-) 

xoxo

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The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock - Review

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Hello everyone! 

I'm back again with a book review, today let's talk about Imogen Hermes Gowar's debut novel The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock. This book has been massively hyped so I was equal parts nervous and excited to read it :-) 

The story follows the lives of Mr. Hancock and Angelica Neal as their stories intertwine. Jonah Hancock is an ordinary merchant until his Captain rushes to him in the middle of the night telling tales of mermaids and fortune. He has sold Jonah's ship and exchanged it for a mermaid. This mermaid is a far cry from the beautiful sirens of legend, it is ugly and deformed, yet captivates the senses. This mermaid fascinates the people of London, catching the eye of high society. Among them is the most infamous brothel mistress. She throws Mr. Hancock a party, with Angelica Neal, celebrated courtesan, as the sparkling jewel of the ball. Mr. Hancock becomes more fascinated with her than all the mermaids in the world, promising to acquire one for her very own...


The narrative of this story is stunning, the way it switches between the two protagonists is clever and spell-binding. I struggled to put this book down and found myself thinking about it all the time that I wasn't reading it. It's clear that Imogen did a lot of research into the mermaid phenomenon that swept through Victorian society. There are clear influences from the Fiji mermaid story, which if anything made this story more original. 

Jonah Hancock is silly and pompous, but relatable in his desire to impress the woman he cares for. The more you read about him the more you see he is sweet and kind, the sort of man you should choose over the attractive, but devious younger men of society. Angelica, though experienced in the art of love and sex, is naive and juvenile in her decisions, making all the wrong ones. She ignores her better sense and you begin to get frustrated with her at times. However, you grow to see she has a core of steel and can overcome situations which make others tremble. 


There is so much depth to this book. I completely understand the hype around it and have since found myself recommending it to people left, right and centre. Not only is the inside decadent and beautiful,  but the cover matches it! Just look at the cover design and those endpapers! I applaud not only the writer, but the publisher and illustrator too. 

I cannot recommend this book highly enough and it was a no-brainer 5 star read. I would say this is one for lovers of fairy tales, the Brontes and Philippa Gregory! Who else has read this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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March Madness - Wild Reading

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Hello everyone! 

How are you all doing and, most importantly, what have you been reading? As my regular readers will know, I set myself quite a few hefty books to read in February and, predictably, it pushed me into a slump. Now we are talking a big slump, not just a reading slump, but a Blog, Twitter and Instagram slump! Mr. Gingersnap always gets quite anxious when I stop reading, he knows how important it is to keep me happy :-) 

He then had the brightest idea ever and suggested that for March Madness I should do a reading safari that we will call Wild Reading! This involves picking books off my shelf at random and reading whatever I feel like reading whenever I feel like it. So far this is working out excellently and I am onto my fourth book of the month already! Which is already more than I achieved last month. 

In the end, I only read half my TBR last month: 



  1. The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar - 5 Stars
  2. Thief Of Time by Terry Pratchett - 5 Stars 
  3. Two On A Tower by Thomas Hardy - 5 Stars
  4. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green - 3 Stars 


I won't yet tell you what I have been reading this month, if I do then who will even read my wrap up at the end of the month?!? However, I am open to suggestions, that is the joy of Wild Reading :-) Let's make this a thing and tell me what your impulse reads have been in the comments below! 

xoxo

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