Monday, 25 July 2016

REVIEW || Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Book Title: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 8th March, 2016
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback, 698 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions… Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?
It’s really nice to get a chance to delve back into a world which I found so much enjoyment within but early on I found myself reading it just for the sake of nostalgia rather than any real intrigue, and the excitement soon faded. There’s no amazing writing style to be found - I hate to say that I came to the realization that I found Clare’s writing highly average in this book and it was something I noticed now more than I have in any of her previous works that I have read. Now, it’s been more than two years since I’ve read anything of hers but that’s the honest opinion I have to give now and that doesn’t mean that its bad, in fact it’s really good writing, it’s just not what I had been ready to experience.

The angsty relationship, or lack of thereof, between Emma and Julian was almost unbearable and as annoying as teenage romantic tropes can be. Emma has such a great potential to be a powerful female character and embodies some badass aspects we didn’t see in Clary, yet I feel as though her substance of character chiefly relied on Julian - I realize that they are parabatai and this is somewhat understandable but there was so much more which could have been done with her character.

Yet, it does end up being gratifying in the end because we all have our guilty pleasures.

I think this book was really relying on the fact that its readers are going to already be familiar with the world of shadowhunters, with nuances to old characters and tales woven before these characters’ time - whilst there are descriptions of pivotal incidents and phrases it is acting thought its picking up where the other series have left off (which in a sense it has, following the events of City of Heavenly Fire.) However, I don’t think that’s a great enough reason to not give this new series starter some greater lure than just the premise of continuing the world with another mystery. And I do think it could be a contribution to not hooking new readers on Clare’s writing and into her series. On the other hand, as someone who is knowledgeable in all of these series it was wonderful to hear about familiar characters again.

I did begin enjoying the book much more around the two-hundred-page mark and didn’t have so much constant criticism for it as I had done the previous few chapters. I’m in no way saying that this is a bad book, far from it, but I did have high expectations to fall in love with it strongly and almost immediately and that just didn’t happen. Mark Blackthorn was a saving grace in terms of plot progression, as intended he added an entirely new layer to the story which renewed my hope for this novel and the series as a whole. 

He also ended up being my favourite character and the one which I felt could illicit the most empathy. In spite of all my critiques, the most rewarding part of this work as a whole was the element of family – and furthering that, human nature. And it needs to be stressed as so. I can’t fault what Clare has brought to light in Julian, his siblings and the situations that shape people and who they are, difficult though they may be. It’s an innumerable quality that I don’t think was so strongly touched upon in any of Clare’s previous series, at least in my own wholehearted opinion and it did well becoming an admirable quality of this novel. 

At the end of the day, I was reluctant to put this down and I had butterflies as I turned the last few pages. And I will be buying the sequel, I unequivocally need to know what happens next.

Rating = 3.5 Bookish Birds

Thursday, 30 June 2016


Hey guys,

Just quickly, let me know if you like this style of post or if it doesn't work, or if you want more or whatever. Hope you enjoy, it's something just a little different. If you read it like a book, so in pages. And in the third last line of 'Why do I love writing?' it should say I love the... You'll see.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, see you next week. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016


Hey guys!

How are you? Today I'm going to do a tag! Yay! This is a tag that went around Booktube quite a bit last year and I really liked to watch these videos. I think it's really interesting and fun and I hope you enjoy it. Warning, this post will be lengthy. Sorry!
So the tag is The Time And Place Book Tag and was originally created by Jen Campbell. (Watch the original here) Essentially, all you do is search your bookshelf and pick out ten books that you can remember where and when you first read them. I haven't got ten books, but I still got some books and I still going to do the tag. I think it's going to be a really fun way to share some of the books on my shelves and the memories I have of them. Enough chit chat, and we'll get right in to it.

The Bed and Breakfast Star by Jacqueline Wilson

I first read this book when I was about six or seven. I remember going to my schools sale of work, and hunting around the toy table and the book table. I'm not sure if it was the same sale as the one I bought a giant panda at but that's besides the point. My mum bought me a bundle of ten Jacqueline Wilson books, because I had already read one and enjoyed it. I don't remember all of the books in the bundle but I do remember this book being in the bundle. I read all the books, and this was my favourite. It sat on my bedside table, and every night I would reread bits. There were whole pages I knew inside out because I used to reread them so much, and I still to this day love The Bed and Breakfast Star, because it was probably one of the books that made me a reader.

The Tracy Beaker Trilogy by Jacqueline Wilson

When I was nine, one of the people my mum used to work for was pregnant with her second child. My mum had already been asked if, when the women went into labour, she would go to their house and look after their other child. My mum agreed, and one evening they phoned. My dad was away working, and so I came with my mum. That night I read this book whilst everyone watched TV and then read it before I went to sleep. The next morning, I remember the struggle my mum and I had to get the TV to work, and to give the child their breakfast and get them dressed. I missed a day of school, and whenever I think about this book, I think about that couple of days.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

When I was ten, my school had composite classes, and my teacher was a woman most had been scared of at one time. I actually really loved her and she was one of my favourite teachers in the school. I remember we had to have a book for when we finished work so we wouldn't disrupt anyone. I picked out Little Women, and started it, but after about three chapters, I wasn't enjoying it and I asked my teacher if I could swap my book. She wouldn't let me, and told me to carry on with it, because she thought I would enjoy it. I did carry on with it, partly because I was scared not to, and loved it. Little Women is now one of my favourite books ever, and every time I read it I remember not being allowed to swap the book for a different one. I'm actually so pleased that my teacher made me carry on with the book.

Just Friends? by Melissa J Morgan

When I was eleven, my sister got married in Cyprus. My mum, dad and I went out for a week. Our last day we were flying home at like nine at night, Cyprus time, but we had to check out at like eleven. We went and explored, and found this little bookshop. Everything was really cheap, and in it I found 'Just Friends?' which is the ninth book in the Summer Camp series. I got the book, and it always reminds me of the good times in Cyprus, from the taxi to the hotel, which I legitimately thought I was going to die in, to the wedding, to the night of the mezze, to the Sunday I spent wasting euros, and the time spent with my family. Cyprus was such a good holiday spent with my family, and I love the memories I have from there. This book reminds me of those memories.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

2011, my granda broke his hip. He broke it one Friday in March, and was scheduled for surgery on the Saturday, but because he had kidney problems, the pain relief administered to him didn't work, and therefore surgery was pushed back to the Sunday and he was given different pain relief which made him kind of out of it. On the Saturday I didn't go in to see him, instead I went into the waiting room. There, I think he was there when I went it, was an old man wearing pyjamas, slippers and a dressing gown. He had an eye patch. I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and he noticed I was. He asked me what Harry Potter it was and I told him. He said he hadn't read that one, and then we started to talk about Harry Potter. After a few minutes, the man got up, said good ye and left. He shuffled out of the room, and I just remember saying, "I just had a conversation with Mad-Eye Moody." Obviously he was nothing like him, but I remember thinking that, and that thought kept me calm in what was a really scary time.

Those were five books I have memories of, and that was the Time and Place Books Tag. I'm not tagging anyone as I don't who has or would do this tag so instead anyone who wants to can count themselves tagged. I hope you liked this post, and let me know some of your memories associated with books. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the post and see you next week.

Thursday, 9 June 2016


Hey guys,

This is a post I've been wanting to write for forever. Earlier this year I read a book. A YA book that I loved. And I found a comment from someone who wasn't as fond of the book as me which I looked at. And the person had fair comments, but at the end, they reviewed the content, such as language, sexuality and drugs and alcohol. Now again, everyone has and is entitled to their own opinions. But, I am a young adult. I swear, my friends swear, We use bad language. Young people do, obviously not everyone, but people do. And young people have sex. It's a fact. Young people may in fact fall pregnant. That's okay. Young people do drugs, and go to parties and get drunk. I respect this persons opinion, but it infuriated me that they almost judged the book purely on what, in my experience, occurs. Young people having sex and swearing and drinking does occur. Not only did it infuriate me, but it made me question. Question why people state things like sex and drugs aren't okay for YA. Question what they would want in a YA. Question not only YA that's published, but the YA that I'm attempting to write, and the YA on WattPad and other sites. I'm not going to lie, the stuff I write is dark, and depressing. It's not jolly. But I keep this picture in my mind of someone one day opening my book, and reading because they need help or they want escape, or because of one of the other reasons people read books.

I turn to books when things are happening in my life that I'm struggling with, and that I can't deal with, in an attempt to find a solution, or help or just to be able to cope. Others read for the same reason, as well as to escape the stresses of the daily world to a limitless world of your imagination, where thousands of adventures are possible with many thousands of different characters. It's a constant, a permanent home. If books didn't exist, I would be able to cope with things that happen in my life, and I know others wouldn't.

I realise that little of what I've said so far is about what's okay in YA. But I think everything should be okay. I don't think there should be limits. Life knows no limits. Nothing is age restricted in life. Anything can happen, and at any age. So why do people insist on restricting books. Why do people insist on limiting these things that provide so much comfort, and hope. A book is paper with black print words that can transport you from your problems, to a new world, and can help you. A book is a home, filled with hope and answers. It's a hiding place and a how to guide. And often a how not to guide.We don't limit adult books, because they're grown ups, but they don't necessarily seek as much comfort or help from books as young adults do, especially when we're faced with a challenge for the first time. But for young adults, YA is a guide to life, and to what to do in every situation, from boys to bras, from sex to seducing, from domestic violence to death. There's a YA book for everything, we just have to let it happen. We shouldn't be reviewing books and judging them because they mention drugs, drink and sex, we should be praising them for doing so, because one young person out there is going to pick up the book to read it for the advice it may contain. If life has no limits, why should YA books? Everything is okay for YA.

Thank you so much for reading this. All opinions on this are my own unless stated. I mean no offence to anybody, and I understand that everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion. This is just mine. Let me know what your opinions are on what's okay in YA. A massive thank you to Cat, Georgia, Orli, Arianne, Charli, Rachel, Rita, Sophie, Nina, Cicely and Amber for giving me an insight into the reasons as to why they read. I hope you enjoyed the post, and see you next week.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

OH, HEY...

Hey, guys.

Remember me? Yeah, been a while. So 2016 has been mental. I had prelims in January, which are like mocks, and I had to improve and work hard to get ready for my exams. I've had so many tests. Like so many. Every week. Test. In April I spent so long starting to get ready for my Scottish Higher exams, which I have done. I did them in May, and they seem to have gone okay. Throughout all this I have been attempting to write a first draft of something. It's not done. It's not good. It's taking a lot of my time. I don't have huge amounts of time to myself, and when I do, I'm either watching YouTube, reading or writing. So blogging, it's been sitting on a shelf, gathering dust.

But that's changing. Now I am aware that I've said this a few times before. But we're going to scratch away my last two years of blogging because they are practically non existent and I'm going to start afresh. New (school) year, new start.

June's going to be weird. I'm going into my final year of school, and I have many brand new subjects so I think I'll be working myself into the negative hours again, same as last year. Instead I have a week, this week, to write enough posts for June and the first week of July, and then through out July, I'll be writing away. So the posts will be book discussions, ideas, many things. There's hopefully going to be a post on writing, and maybe a little lifestyle. I don't know yet. We'll see. I'm really excited to be back, but it will be a little stressful for the first few weeks, so comment replying might not happen. I think post day will be Wednesday or Thursday, depending. I'm really not sure right now. This is going up on a Thursday but the other posts may all be Wednesday's, I don't know. It depends. We'll see. Anyway that seems to be it for now. This was just a quick post to let you guys know that I'm back. I'll see you next week some time. For now, bye guys!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


Hey guys. Today, I thought it was about time that I wrote my Christmas book wishlist for Santa, so that him and the elves can see if I can have my presents. It's only a book wishlist because that is easier, and it's only a select few because otherwise I could be here forever.

So that was five books on my book wishlist for Santa. Comment down below with some of the books that are on your wishlists and I'll see you tomorrow. See you guys.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Hey guys. How are you. Are you feeling festive yet? I certainly am. Today I have a post centred around on of my favourite things. Lush. If you don't know what Lush is, it is a cosmetics brand that makes fresh, handmade products that are free from animal testing, You should check them out. I love Lush, and especially over Christmas. They have some amazing products out as limited exclussives for Christmas, and today I thought I would give a guide to Lush Christmas must haves, whether they be for gifts or for yourself. They'll mainly be bath bombs, because that's what I've sourced most of, but I'll throw in some other things. Enough rambling from me though, and instead we'll get started.


First up we have Butterbear Bath Bomb. This is a sweet, simple vanilla and cocoa butter bath bomb that turns your bath water so silky and moisturising. I love it and it's so simple and delightful, as well as inexpensive so is a great treat or gift. It smells like vanilla and cocoa, shocking, and I think this is one of those gifts everyone will like.

Next is Dashing Santa Bath Bomb. This is perfect for lovers of a citrus smell. It is a cute little bath bomb that whizzes around your bath, like Santa is dashing. As I say it is very citrussy smelling but if you like those sorts of smells I recommend this.

If you want a warming bath bomb this Christmas I recommend the Cinders Bath Bomb, It is a warming scent of warm fruit punch essentially, and has popping candy in it for that extra little something. This is one of my favourite Christmas Lush products, and I recommend it to everyone because I think it is that good.

For a more relaxed scented bath, I would suggest the Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb. This bath bomb has the same scent as the Twilight bath bomb, and is such a lovely bath bomb. It lets of lots of colours and I find it very soothing to watch. It, personally, feels like it is value for money and I think it would make a delightful gift.

My final bath bomb recommendation is the lovely So White Bath Bomb. This is a beautiful apple scented bath bomb that has hints of rose. It is a slow burner, so is really enjoyable and leaves your bath water a beautiful colour. After a So White bath, your skin feels so mouisturised. I think it's delightful.

So those were the bath bombs. I'm not going to talk about soaps, so my next category is...


Or should I say gel? I have only one recommendation for this, and that is Snow Fairy Shower Gel. This is a candyfloss scented shower gel and is very sweet. It is a Lush Christmas staple and everyone has tried some at some point. It is lovely and, as you can get it in different sized bottles, it makes the perfect gift.

And onto my final category...


The first of two bubble bars I'm going to talk about is Candy Mountain Bubble Bar. This is a vanilla scented bubble bar that is surprisingly cheap. You can get more than one bath out of this and this turns your water a pale pink and gives you lovely bubbles. You crumble a little under the tap, and it is just lovely. A perfect gift.

The other bubble bar I'm recommending is Magic Wand Bubble Bar. This is a Snow Fairy scented reusable bubble bar that you hold under running water, or swish in the bath water. It causes lovely bubbles, and turns the water a lovely pink colour. It is delightful and makes the perfect gift for someone.

Those are some great Lush Christmas gifts, for someone else or for yourself. I know I have left out a lot but those are a great place to start. For gifts you can even get boxes of different Lush products. Let me know if you are a Lush lover, and what you would buy someone from Lush. Also please comment with some Christmas questions for me to answer. I'll see you tomorrow.