Wrapping Up The Week (5th March – 11th March)

I didn’t want to admit it, but I’ve been in a reading slump for the last two weeks. It wasn’t necessarily because I wasn’t enjoying the book I was reading (I was), it’s just that I didn’t have the motivation to read for some reason. I wasn’t getting hooked like I normally would and there’s been a lot going on in my life. Although, I do have some good news. I am reading a new book that has captured my attention and already I am over half way and I only started it last night (I will discuss what book it is down below). Bye, bye reading slump!

The week definitely went by quickly, with a lot going on at work and looking forward to the meal I had on Friday with the whole team. All in all, it’s been a relaxing weekend as well. Saturday was spent not doing too much, but today we went out to a nature park for a 3-mile walk, and we even spotted a little rabbit hopping around. I’ve spent most of the last two days reading and it’s made me feel a lot better.

Books I read and reviewed…

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While I haven’t got a review up yet (I’m hoping to do that tomorrow), I finally finished reading To Kill A Kingdom, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It might have taken me a little longer to read, but it was fun, entertaining and showed a different take on sirens, pirates and mermaids. I can’t wait to let you all know my thoughts on it.

I am currently reading…

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I. am. hooked. This collection of stories has taken my breath away and I am loving every second of it. This is the first book I am reading by Leigh Bardugo (I have the Six of Crows duology on my shelf and Shadow and Bone on my Kindle) and I am so glad that I chose to start here. My favourite tale so far is the first one, Ayama and the Thorn Wood. The illustrations are beautiful and I love how with each page that gets turned there is more added to them until you reach the amazing double-spread image. I can’t wait to read the last two stories in the collection.

Posts from the week…

February Book Haul – Book Buying Ban Was Successful

With a reading slump comes the lack of blog posts, but I am hoping that over the next week there will be more for me to talk about, especially when the next couple of books I want to read. I’m being very open with what I’m reading this month, so there’s no TBR for March and I am completely okay with that.

My WIP…

I’ve decided that I need a little time away from my manuscript to gain some new perspective on the story and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. Ideas are constantly running around my head of how I can make the story better and I make sure to write them down before I forget. The next week will be spent relaxing, reading and hopefully, come next weekend, I make a start on really diving into the edits. I can’t wait!

Other Fun Stuff…

I mentioned heading out for a meal with my work colleagues, which was fun as I don’t always get a chance to talk to people in the development team as I’m part of the marketing team. Apart from that it has been a very relaxing week with not a lot of fun stuff going on at the moment. I’m trying to catch up with YouTube videos and TV shows, such as Riverdale.

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I’m sorry for being a little MIA lately, but I’m going to try harder for next week. I never realise how much I miss blogging and talking to you all until I have moments like this. I hope you all had great weeks! Let me know what your best book from the week was in the comments.

Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

the hazel wood

Title: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Date: 8th February 2018

Publisher: Penguin

I was one of the lucky people that got accepted to read this on Netgalley before the release date, and I was really excited because I had heard so much. The Hazel Wood was one of the strangest books I have read in a long time and while I was intrigued by the idea, I felt that it could have been a lot darker. I was expecting creepier tales and settings to dominate the book and I was a little disappointed that they didn’t. You can definitely see the inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and while I enjoyed this book, I wish we got to see more of the Fantasy setting.

For her whole life, Alice and her mother, Ella, have constantly moved from place to place, bad luck following them wherever they go. Until one day they hear that Alice’s grandmother, Althea, an author of a book filled with dark fairy tales, dies in the Hazel Wood, they finally settle down. They were wrong to feel safe and one day Ella mysteriously disappears, leaving behind nothing but a message telling Alice to stay away from the Hazel Wood. Unable to do that, she embarks on a quest to rescue her mother from the people that have supposedly come from the world of fairy tales.

I will say that I prefer the second half of the book to the first, because at the beginning it felt very Contemporary with not a lot of Fantasy elements. I understand why, but it would have been nice for our characters to get to Hinterland, the place where the fairy tales reside, instead of milling about in the city and travelling by car. However, I really enjoyed the dark and strange world of Hinterland and the Hazel Wood. Some things might not have made sense (do fairy tales ever make sense with their rhymes and what not), but I thought that the descriptions of the world were great and intriguing. I loved the idea of the ‘story’ characters and how they acted. Not to mention, there were a couple plot twists that I didn’t see coming, which is always a nice surprise.

Alice is the kind of character who doesn’t care much about anything, except for her mother that she will do anything for, even if it means travelling to a far off place they have no idea if it even exists. I wanted to like Alice, and I did in parts, but she isn’t the most likeable character, often being rude and ignorant (which is understandable later on when we learn of her background). However, I enjoyed reading about Finch, the rich boy who helps Alice with her mission. He was so lovely and tried to help, even when he probably shouldn’t have because Alice was awful to him at times. Because of that it was a little awkward reading some interactions, especially when it came to mentioning his race (as he’s dark skinned) and Alice always seemed to bring up how entitled he was because he had money.

I wish we had a chance to meet more of the fairy tale characters from Hinterland and I would have loved to know more of the tales, instead of the few that are mentioned. The book definitely would have seemed more interesting if there were more fantastical elements to it. The pacing of the book was mainly good, with only a few slow parts, but I think most books have them in places.

Overall, while there were things I would have improved on and parts I didn’t connect with, I enjoyed the idea of the story and the majority of The Hazel Wood. Was it the most amazing book I’ve ever read? No, and I think that’s because I was expecting it to be something it wasn’t. I am intrigued to know more about the world, just not so much about how it works alongside the ‘normal’ world. After a long time thinking about this book, I think that a 3 star rating is what I will give it.

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