Time Travelling Through Books

For a lot of people, books offer an escape. It takes seconds to pick up a book and become immersed between the pages. But it’s not only the book’s world you’re transported to! Whenever I reread a book, I find myself flooded with memories of the first time I read it. Books don’t just stay with you, you stay with books.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I bought my first copy of this book when I was in France. We were visiting a fortress in this tiny, cobble-streeted village. After a little bit of exploring, we discovered an English book shop. It was one of those stores that didn’t really organise the books into genres. I was just scanning the shelves when I came across a used edition of Inkheart with the movie cover. That day, I went back to where we were staying and immediately started reading. Once I’d read the book, I realised the town we were in was a lot like Capricorn’s village! Now, every time I pick up Inkheart, I’m back in that converted French barn with a flagstone floor.

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

This book means summer. Despite the subject matter not being all that summery, I read it during the holidays, when a lot of our friends were reading it too. The movie was scheduled to come out the following year. I can practically feel the sun warming my skin whenever I glace at the spine on my shelf. Maybe it’s all those hot desert scenes?

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

This book was at the bottom of my suitcase for a holiday to Germany and, if I remember correctly, I started to read it quite late in the trip. I read it super quickly and was so annoyed with myself that I’d left the sequels at home. How I managed to survive another week without continuing with the story I don’t know! At the same time, I read Destined by Aprilynne Pike, which was the last book in a series that I loved with all my heart. I was deeply affected by the death of a main character and experienced my first ever reading slump – led face down on the hotel bed, sobbing uncontrollably. Not the best holiday experience, but certainly memorable!

The Clearwater Crossing Series by Laura Peyton Roberts

We’re pretty sure we read every one of these books sat on Bee’s bed, flipping through the pages like there was no tomorrow. The year that it took us to complete this 20 book series was pretty great. The characters were there for us just as much as we were there for them. Because the series was so episodic, it was like we were watching a cute teen sitcom. When we look back to the summer that we finished this series, it’s hard to imagine us sat on a bed because we truly were transported to Missouri.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Although it’s not one of my favourite books by far, I remember reading it with Sarah in her back garden. It was a really hot day, and I’d forgot to wear suncream, so my shoulders got a little burned by the time I’d finished the book, but it was worth it. Sharing a bench with a best friend is a great way to read, no matter what the potential health risks!

Review: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

fire studyFire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Fantasy, Adventure
Published by: MIRA Ink
Pages: 441
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5 stars
Poison Study (#1) | Magic Study (#2)
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

There is no doubt that this was an epic finale to a trilogy. Yelena really did come in to her own, and harness the power she possessed since ‘Poison Study’. However, I must admit that ‘Fire Study’ was my least favourite of the series, even though it was still excellent and to say ‘least favourite’ makes it sound a lot worse! Continue reading “Review: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder”

Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

poison-studyPoison Study by Maria V Snyder
Published by:
Mira Ink
Pages: 409
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★.5
Where to Find:
GoodReads | Amazon

If you watch our videos, you probably know that Bee absolutely adores ‘The Chronicles of Ixia’ series and will happily call Yelena from the ‘Poison Study’ quartet her favourite female character. So, I thought it was about time that I saw what all the fuss was about. Boy, was I pleased with the result! ‘Poison Study’ is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Usually, when I’m reading a book, I notice multiple similarities with something else. I think it helps that I haven’t read much of the high fantasy genre, but after this, I’ve very excited to read more of Bee’s favourite books! Continue reading “Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder”

Character Development

‘Character Development’ is a phrase that we throw around a lot at Heart Full Of Books, because the phrase ‘good character development’ (or something along the same lines but with a far more exited tone) is the accolade of all accolades in a review!

Everyone has an idea on what character development is, but when we talk about it in our reviews we don’t mean the act of creating a character, we mean the process of putting a character through situations that change the way the character thinks or feels. Character development can sometimes be pinpointed to an exact moment, other times it’s a series of events that the protagonist reacts to in small ways, but by the end of the novel their outlook may have changed, resulting in a happy ending.

Truthfully, it’s a hard thing to define, and sometimes it can be a hard thing to notice. The more you read the easier it is to assess characters against one another. As readers we create our own scales of character development that relate to characters we know have had some pretty excellent CD. Personally, I look at Morgan Matson’s novels. Emily from Since You’ve Been Gone, being a perfect example, when I read a contemporary I think, “did this character change as much as Emily did?” but I should probably clarify that even if characters don’t change in the same ways, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a change! I can’t compare Emily to Yelena from Poison Study because they’re in different worlds and genres. What’s character development from Emily’s caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis in regards to confidence, isn’t the same as Yelena’s fight against the patriarchy and her coming to terms with her magical abilities. But most importantly both character went though a palpable change! Character development is simply overcoming flaws and weaknesses – or at least coming to terms with them *cough* self acceptance *cough*

In our opinion, what makes character development go from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ is if the character’s CD makes the reader think about themselves. If a novel makes me think about who I am as a ‘character’ and if I change as a result of the protagonist’s CD then that’s even better! I love being able to come away from a story and apply what the character has learned to my own life, it’s pretty excellent.

We like to mention and comment on character development as much as we can in our reviews, and hope to emulate our favourite authors ways of including CD in our own writing. Let’s just say if we say ‘excellent’ and character development in the same sentence that book has made it to the favourite list.