Sunday, 17 May 2015

Why I'm All For Paperbacks!


I've had this post idea for a while and in that time I have started to edge slightly towards hardcovers. Only slightly. It think it's because the corners don't bend as easily in my rucksack. Isn't that annoying? Anyway, I am still a paperback fan and these are my reasons why:

Lighter to carry

So you know I carry my books in my bag. That's not the only thing in my bag. I normally have folders and a huge bottle of water and it's just a delight to know that I can carry a book too without a lot more extra weight. And I always have a book with me.

No dust-jackets

This is my number one pet-peeve about hardcovers. The book bends one way and the dust-jacket goes the other, plus it slips. All. The. Time. (I normally end up just putting the dust-jacket aside until the book goes back onto the shelf once read). On the other hand, you've got your naked paper back. That's right, it's naked. It doesn't need to wear a jacket. It wears it's real cover out in the open for all eyes to see. What a beauty. 
I have a little story about dust-jackets on books. Have you heard of the Gone series by Michael Grant? Well, my copy of Plague was a hardcover and came with a dust-jacket. Yes, very nice and sophisticated. I take the dust-jacket off and the cover is upside down. Okay, okay, maybe the jacket was just on the wrong way, right? Right? No. The pages were the other way up from the cover! What?! Each time I read the book without the jacket it looked like I was reading it upside down!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Reading Positions

Drawing by Quentin Blake, from Matilda by Roald Dahl

This is a bit of a list/discussion post. We all know how hard it is to find the perfect reading position and be able to maintain it for however long it takes us to put the book in question down. Seriously, it's near impossible. You lay down in bed with your reading companion in hand, and five minutes later you're tossing and turning all over the place to get comfortable again!

This post is inspired by the illustrations by Quentin Blake in my favourite childhood book, Matilda by Roald Dahl. Leave me a comment below if you also adored this as a child.

1. The laying-in-bed style

Ohhhh yeah! That classic reading before sleeping position. Sounds like heaven. That is, until your arms hurt! Try laying on your side and half your face gets squished and you can't see one side of the book (even worse if you wear glasses and end up with half a skull of agony!). We've all been there, haven't we? Like every single night until our eyelids force themselves shut.

From Matilda

2. The sitting-in-the-armchair/sofa style

We do sometimes venture out of the comfort of our little nests (bedrooms) to read. The television sometimes come on as we are definitely certain that we can multi-task. Yes, fab. Totally works... nope. Our legs are usually curled up underneath us while we devour about a hundred pages because, let's face it, this reading position means business! You don't go into this kind of reading-position without a trusty cup of tea and some kind of fuel a.k.a. snacks and plenty of them.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Book Review: Cleo

Author: Lucy Coats
Rating: 2/5
Publication date: May 7th 2015

I was so looking forward to this and was extremely disappointed. I've never read historical Egyptian fiction before so my mind was completely open to the idea of it. Cleo is a modern twist on this and I will definitely not be basing my idea of the genre off of this one novel.

"Her precious mother is dead - and it isn't an accident! The young Cleopatra - Pharaoh's illegitimate daughter - must flee the royal palace at Alexandria or die too. As her evil half-sisters usurp the throne, Cleo finds sanctuary at the sacred temple of Isis, where years later she becomes initiated into the secret Sisters of the Living Knot. But now Isis's power is failing, Egypt is in danger, and Cleo must prove her loyalty to her goddess by returning to the Alexandria she hates. She must seek out the hidden map which is the key to returning Isis's power - on pain of death. But will she be able to evade her horrible sisters? And will she find dreamy Khai, the ├╝ber-hot Librarian boy she met as she fled Alexandria years before? Cleo's powerful destiny is about to unfold..." (From Goodreads)

I found the plot incredibly anti-climatic. There's this initiation type thing concerning the character Cleo and the Goddess Isis. Now, it was set up in a very you either live or die way and yet the result was kind of brushed off as if it wasn't much of a big deal. It should have been a big deal!

I also struggled to connect with Cleo as a narrator. I found myself wanting her friend Charm to join the scene to make my reading experience slightly more enjoyable. I don't know whether it was because the voice of Cleopatra was used in a teen character or something else that makes me dislike Cleo. I just don't know. She was difficult to sympathise with. In the story she suffers from the loss of people she loves but somehow forgets about them quite easily.

This book is the first in a planned trilogy and is the ending quite obviously sets up for this as there is no real concluding chapter. I think there is potential for the next books to be more engaging than this one but I can't see myself reading them.

Overall, I liked the ideas behind the story but, for me, it just didn't work.

Thank you for reading!