Goodbye Days Playlist Blog Tour!

31575528Today, Bee and I are lucky enough to get to celebrate one of my favourite books of the year, by one of my favourite authors ever, Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. As part of the GD Playlist Blog Tour, Jeff has picked five songs that speak to the book in some way.

Today’s song is Avalanche by Leonard Cohen!

Jeff Says: This song is mentioned specifically in Goodbye Days. It’s not the brightest spot of realism in the book, since it’s the rare teenager in 2017 who’s going to be super into Leonard Cohen. But still. I had to include the song there and here. I couldn’t tell you exactly why this song is so emblematic of grief for me, but it is. The lyrics don’t seem to have any direct connection to grief, but that’s ok, because grief is often irrational anyway. The imagery of an avalanche is so powerful and consuming. It has no regard for what’s in front of it. Nothing can stop it. It covers you up so you can’t breathe. This is what grief feels like.

Goodbye Days is a really powerful book. It’s saturated with grief, and sometimes that’s overwhelming. Emotions are going to pour out of you whether you can help it or not. Just the concept of recreating a loved one’s favourite activities makes me want to tear up, let alone actually doing it. But, I really like the emphasis the book places on celebrating life, and sharing stories. It’s sensitive, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, to know that you can find friendship anywhere.

A Maddie and Bee Goodbye Day would be identical, just like us. There’d be a take-away reading list of all our favourite books, a visit to the library, a screening of our favourite Disney Channel Original Movies and Mary Kate and Ashley’s ‘Winning London’ from back in the day, with colourful wool so people can knit while they watch.

What would your Goodbye Day look like?

Jeff Zentner.jpegJeff Zentner is the author of both The Serpent King (2016) and Goodbye Days (2017) and can be found on Twitter and his website!

Be sure to check out the other spots on the tour which can be found on the graphic in the side bar!

Would You Rather (Book Edition)

We already have a post for December 1st and 2nd, so Maddie and I decided to try and do Blogmas! So without further ado I have been tagged in the Would You Rather Tag that has been going around booktube and the blog-o-shere. I was tagged by Diary of a Booklover and I do believe that this tag was created by RayKayBooks on YouTube. (Original video here!) Would you rather…

1) Read only trilogies or stand alone novels?

I love a good stand alone novel, and I think it’s so amazing that an author can create a complete set of characters, perhaps in a new world and make us fall in love with the story over the course of only 300 pages. As much as I like trilogies, more often than not there tends to be the trend of the ‘not-so-great sequel.’ There are quite a few series/trilogies that I definitely would’ve happily left at book one. So stand alones for me!

2) Read only female or only male authors?

I don’t think the gender of the author matters when I pick out books. I am interested in women’s fiction, and would like to study it critically at university, but that won’t stop me from picking out books written by men – it’s important to read a mix of both. I know I’m supposed to come down on one side, and I’ll admit that the majority of the books on my shelf are written by women, so even though  this question is super tough, I’ll go with read only female authors because I read to read every single thing that Morgan Matson publishes.

3) Buy books online or in store?

I’m all for supporting book shops, but there aren’t any book stores closest to me, so I find myself buying online more. But that doesn’t stop me from being in bookshops as often as I can, even if I can’t afford to buy anything!

4) Have books made into movies or tv shows?

I don’t actually watch a lot of TV shows, and there is nothing I hate more that something being dragged out for a ridiculously long amount of time, so it really depends whether it’s a stand alone or a series. I’d like to see more book series being made into TV shows (I’m super excited for the TMI TV show, but I am NOT excited for the re-casting) but I live in the UK so even if they did make an AMAZING series adaptation of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, I’d have to wait, like, a million years before it became available for my region.

5) Read five pages a day or five books per week?

I’m off to university next year so five books a week would be great!

6) Be a professional reviewer or author?

AUTHOR. I have my ten year plan set out for how I’m going to get myself into the publishing industry and becoming a best-selling author is stage three. But I don’t think I’ll ever give up reviewing books as a hobby.

7) Read only your top 20 books over and overread only new books?

Here is a list of my Top 20 books. There’s no way I could give them up, but I would chose to only read new books so I could find new favourites, but have Maddie read my favourites to me. There, that’s not cheating.

8) Be a librarian or a bookseller?

A librarian, without a doubt. Unlimited books whenever I want? Yes, please!

9) Only read your favorite genre or all genres except your favorite?

YA is my favourite genre in broad terms, and I don’t have a favourite sub-genre, so I’ll cheat and say I’ll be forever reading YA. Because I will be. It’s stage two of the publishing plan.

10) Read only physical or only ebooks? If I had the money and space I would read only physical books, if I didn’t have unlimited funds or storage then my Kindle – called Roger – will suffice.

Thank you so much to Alma for tagging me! This was a really fun tag, and if you haven’t thought about these questions yet, then you definitely should!

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

SShadow and Bonehadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Published by: Indigo
Format: Paperback
Series: Siege and Storm (#1) 
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

I didn’t think I was a massive fan of fantasy, until I realized that the majority of my favourites were, indeed, fantasy. Which is why I am so glad that I picked up Shadow and Bone (although I may have been persuaded to do so because COVER LOVE.)

You’re chucked head first into the world, which even after finishing the book I’m not sure I completely understand. I guess I will just have to fill in any gaps by just rereading, and rereading, and rereading. But, on the other hand, in a fantasy novel that’s almost exactly what you want. You don’t want fifty pages of explanation, and I think Shadow and Bone almost had the ratio of plotline of to backstory completely perfect.

I really liked the main character, Alina, I thought she was head strong and she dealt with her new surroundings and situation extremely well, even though she’d just been horribly separated from her soul mate – we will talk about the ultimate cuteness of Mal later, don’t you worry. I loved being in the Little Palace, despite the Dark undertones (intentional pun.) Genya was also a wonderful addition, because when you lose one best friend then someone has to be there to fill in the slot.

The Grisha powers, although slightly hard to keep track of, were interesting and unique, and the concept of amplifiers kept the story going. I love it when protagonists are actually willing to learn new things, so Alina ticked that box for me. It was very reminiscent of Poison Study by Maria. V. Snyder, especially with the fight training and the alluring but dangerous love interest. I imagine Alina and Yelena being close friends, the similarities between these girls do not stop at the ‘lee-na’ suffix. I’m interested to see where the King ends up at the end of this series because treasonous talk was everywhere. I love some good forSHADOWing. (That one was unintentional.) I’m looking forward to the sequel immensely, and hope that it isn’t just going to be an ‘on-the-run’ sequel, as that could be mildly disappointing, but if necessary then so be it.

Mal. Where to begin? He was wonderful, and I’m so sad that he only had a cameo role in the first half, but was relieved when he was there full force in the final third. I’m quiet partial to a love triangle that is executed well, and liked this one even more because it wasn’t bittersweet as I do not like the Darkling. Well…maybe a little bit. I’ve prepared myself for the likely probability that Alina ends up with my less preferred candidate, but I still hold out hope for Mal. Maybe if he can’t be will Alina then a lovely secondary character will be introduced to pose as his new love interest. Or he dies. But I’d rather not think about that unfortunate scenario.

With such a raving review it might come as bit of a surprise when I say that my star rating is only 3.5 out of five. This is because there were moments were the plot got a tiny bit dry and I had to encourage myself to continue, this was made up by some plot twists and some plot gems that I was not expecting. Overall, I love the characters and am invested enough in their story to continue. Also, the 3.5 was a tactical decision as I have a feeling that the series is only going to get better so rather than saying the series plateaued at 4 stars I can say it was a beautiful journey of a rising incline in the star spangled rating system.