20 Years of Harry Potter!!

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Harry Potter came into my life probably a bit later on than a lot of people, however it came into my life at a time where I needed it most. I had been struggling with anxiety/depression and was incredibly lonely as I had just moved away from everyone. I picked up the first Harry Potter book and it absolutely changed my life.

I have been obsessed with Harry Potter ever since. Every time I read the books or even watch the movies, I feel like I am being reunited with old friends. I am so, so happy that Harry Potter will be with me for the rest of my life.

Happy 20th Anniversary to a story that captivated the world and encouraged reading in both young and old. I will forever be grateful to J.K. Rowling for her persistence in getting this story published.

How has Harry Potter impacted on your life? Let me know in the comments section!

Steff xx

The Tower of Dawn Cover Controversy

**MAJOR SPOILERS**

A many of you may already know, Throne of Glass is one of my favourite series. I fell in love from the first book and I became wholly invested in the story and the characters. I have read Heir of Fire so many times I have actually lost count. Empire of Storms ripped my heart out and I am still waiting for the last book so it can *hopefully* mend. So why, you may ask, am I writing this post?

Well, the now 6th book of the Throne of Glass series called “Tower of Dawn” had it’s cover reveal last week and it was underwhelming to say the least. Whilst it is only a cover and there are bigger things in the world to get cranky about, the cover has shown one of the problems this series.

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Throne of Glass is well known for it’s absolute lack in diversity. The only black person in the series was killed and used as a plot device, and every other character is white, straight and able-bodied. That was why, when Chaol ended up in a wheel-chair, fans thought that maybe this was the start of SJM including more diversity to her books. This was also why, when Empire of Storms came out, fans were pissed when Chaol was notably absent.

SJM told us all that the reason why Chaol wasn’t in Empire of Storms was because he needed his own book (which is why ToD became the 6th book in the series rather than just a novella). Unfortunately, it felt more like SJM didn’t know how to include a disabled character into the story, so she set him apart from the rest of the characters. All of a sudden she had a character who didn’t fit into the white, straight, able-bodied mould and she didn’t know what to do.

Then came the ToD cover. You will note that the rest of the books in the series have a person on the cover, wielding a sword or arrow or fire. The covers have an aesthetic that they have stuck to…until a character with a wheelchair came along. Rather than putting Chaol on the front of his own book, instead we get the picture of a city and a shield.

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Was this intentional?

Regardless of the intention, it doesn’t look good. It comes across looking like they haven’t put Chaol on the cover because he is in a wheelchair. It looks like they have once again set the disabled character apart from the rest of the series, even though his book is supposed to be the 6th book.

My next question is why they felt he couldn’t be on the front cover. I am becoming more and more concerned that Chaol is going to have some miraculous recovery and no-longer require a wheelchair. While I would be happy for Chaol, what is so wrong with having a wheelchair bound character who can kick ass?

My whole point here, is that I really feel like despite this story and character being a work of fiction, a character has still managed to be discriminated against. I have seen people say that this is a problematic series so why the hell are we pissed about a cover…but to me, the cover is part of the problem.

Like I said at the beginning, I absolutely love this series, but I am wholly able to acknowledge that whilst SJM has written a great story, she has made some pretty big mistakes in terms of diversity. At the end of the day authors can write what they want to write, however at some point if certain constructive criticism becomes repetitive…the author needs to change some thing. I can only hope that SJM starts listening.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree/disagree with what I am saying? Let me know in the comments section below.

Steff xx

Books I haven’t read yet because #intimidated

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a wonderful start to the week!! I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been terribly motivated with my blog lately. I’ve had a lot going on IRL so my inspiration for writing and thinking up blogs has been very low. So I apologise for my lack of presence both on my blog and commenting on your blogs. I promise I will try and get back into it over the coming weeks as things ease up a bit.

Anyhoo, today I was thinking about books that I haven’t read or finished because they are just waaaay too intimidating. I am gunna jump into it straight away so I don’t keep rambling.

Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien

I have tried reading the first book soooooo many times, but I always stop reading when they get to the cabbage patch. I think that is like, the first 100 pages. For one, I find Tolkien’s writing to difficult to follow but also, his stories are EPIC. Maybe I am just not ready for the epicness yet? I will keep trying and maybe one day I will get further than the cabbage patch…

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War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

I don’t think I’m the only person who is intimidated by this book. Have you seen how freakin HUGE it is? How can anyone write a book so big? It is my plan to one day start on this mammoth of a book, even if it takes me 20 years to finish.

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Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Another MASSIVE book. Like War and Peace, I really hope to start reading this book one day…maybe in 20 years when I have finished W & P…

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The Passage – Justin Cronin

I have this book sitting on my shelf and I feel really bad for not reading it yet because I have heard good things. But it’s big and then the other 2 books are big too. And then I heard there are vampires or something in it and to be honest I’m not really into vampires at the moment because of over-exposure after Twilight.

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A Song of Ice and Fire series – George R.R. Martin

I’m sorry But I feel like I am actually the only person in the world who hasn’t been into either the books or the television series. I have a real issue with really popular things becoming too popular and then not being able to go on the internet because of spoilers. I also have heard there is ALOT of sexual assault in these books which doesn’t really make feel inclined to read. If someone can tell me that these will be the best things I ever read then I may change my mind, until then…hmmmm not so much.

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We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver

I started reading this book but then got a little scared off it because it seems rather dark. I therefore put the book back on the shelf but I keep looking at it because I feel like I should read it.

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An Echo in the Bone – Outlander book 7 – Diana Gabaldon

I started this book and was loving it (as I have loved all of the books so far) however I spoilt the next book (Written in my own hearts blood) by reading Wikipedia. I now kind of know what is going to happen and I don’t want to deal with the stress. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have read ahead but it’s a really bad habit to get out of. So now I am too scared to continue because of feelings.

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The next 7 Wheel of Time books

*Sigh*….this series is turning out to be my Mt Everest. I started reading the series last year and was doing really well. I got through the first 7 without reading any other book in between. But then I hit a slump with this series and have realised I have SEVEN BOOKS to go before I get to the end. And for anyone who has read these books…they can be a bit tedious at times because of Jordan’s over-describing of pretty much EVERYTHING. Anyway, the plan is to keep trying…there’s just so many 😦

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Manga

I have always, always wanted to give Manga a go but have always been super intimidated by the lay-out. This sounds super weird but I have never been very good at reading comics so therefore never gave Manga a go. If anyone knows of some good Manga to start with let me know!!

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That’s all for today my friends. Do any of the above books intimidate you too much to read? Are there any books that intimidate you that aren’t on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!!

Steff xx

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello everyone, I’m having a sad week so far and therefore have not had much inspiration for blogging. However I came across this tag at Kiersten @ Once Upon a Spine and thought it would be fun. I haven’t tagged anyone, however if you want to do this one please feel free to do so 🙂

Best book you have read so far in 2017

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This is an incredibly difficult one because I have read so many AMAZING books. However I have to do with Red Rising because, well, it’s pretty much the best. Words cannot express how freaking awesome this series is!!

Best Sequel of 2017 so far

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This book was more than I ever hoped for and to be honest, would have to be some of Cassie Clare’s best work to date. It was funny, action packed and oh yeah, it ripped my heart out.

New release you haven’t read yet, but you want to

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I haven’t heard a bad word about this book, in fact, everywhere you look there is nothing but LOVE for this book. I therefore CANNOT WAIT to read this one!!

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

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I love this book already and I haven’t even read it. I love the Nevernight series soooooooo much, so this is a book that I am going to read in one (or two days), and I will most likely not eat anything because food WILL NOT be a priority!!

Biggest disappointment

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I have already ranted enough about this one. BIGGEST. DISAPPOINTMENT.

Biggest surprise

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Umm yeah, this book was a massive surprise for me. I honestly didn’t know if I would like it just by reading the blurb but….yeah…I fell IN LOVE with this book (and Six of Crows).

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

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Amazing, amazing, amazing!!! I absolutely cannot wait to read more from Angie!!

Favourite new character

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Not really *new*, but definitely Delilah Bard. I love her soooo much!!!!

Book that made you cry

Lord of Shadows – How could you Cassandra Clare?!?!

Book that made you happy

ALL OF THEM!!

Favourite book to movie adaption you’ve seen this year

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I still have no words. This movie was EVERYTHING.

Favourite review you’ve written this year

It’s not exactly a *review* but it’s a rant about a certain aspect of ACOWAR (I gave ACOWAR 4 stars in my review so don’t worry, it’s not a hate rant or anything like that). ACOWAR: The one where perfection becomes boring is exactly what it says it’s about. I loved Rhys but he was too perfect, so I had fun with this rant.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year

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Would you just LOOK at how BEAUTIFUL this book is!!!

Books you need to read by the end of the year

There are too many to mention, but GODSGRAVE is the only one I really care about at the moment.

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Well I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you read any of the above or plan to read any of the above?

Steff xx