MISC: WWW Wednesdays- 10th May 2017

Hello, hello. I’ve missed taking part in WWW Wednesdays the last few weeks. I was a little unprepared for the stress of my last essay. I couldn’t pick a topic so for two weeks I tried to write four different essays until I decided which one was better. But it’s done! Just 15,000 words stand between me and my MA! Hurray! I won’t bombard you with all the reading I’ve done since my last WWW post, I’ll just give you the highlights!

WWW is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Each Wednesday book enthusiasts share their reads by answering three questions:

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading “MISC: WWW Wednesdays- 10th May 2017”

REVIEW: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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Caraval had tough shoes to fill. A fantastical game set in a vaudeville style arena, where magic conceals a more sinister reality; it immediately reminded me of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. But The Night Circus is a battle between two talented magicians, set against each other by their guardians. In order to win the competition they must outdo each other by creating attractions for an enchanted circus. In Caraval, its ordinary people who are let loose in a world of mystery that brings out their darker sides. Despite the similarities between the two, Garber has created an original story that seemed surprisingly more insidious. Continue reading “REVIEW: Caraval by Stephanie Garber”

BOOKISH FINDS: Fantasy Fiction

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DSC_0219My grandmother is one of those rare creatures that doesn’t like fantasy fiction. She watched the Harry Potter films under duress and although she did develop a soft spot for Dobby (which she pronounces Doh-bee) she couldn’t get along with ‘all that flying broomstick nonsense’. Not a woman easily convinced, I knew I wouldn’t be able to change her mind. So I let it slide. Continue reading “BOOKISH FINDS: Fantasy Fiction”

MISC: An Evening with Stephanie Garber

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A couple of weeks ago I saw that Stephanie Garber was coming to Waterstones in Liverpool to talk about her amazingly successful debut novel, Caraval. Unfortunately it clashed with my university course, which meant I wouldn’t be able to go. The world was conspiring against me. Then, last week the group decided to have a Reading Week (I know, it’s an MA so everyone is alarmingly chill about the whole degree thing), and alas I was able to go. The only problem was, I hadn’t read the book and I didn’t have a copy.

I splashed out on the hardcopy on Amazon. It’s potentially the prettiest book I own, and I know that means nothing if a book isn’t good, but the publishers have just gone an extra mile with this book. You already feel yourself being pulled into a world of magic before you open the page.

Anyway, I booked my ticket and I was going solo. For me, that’s a big thing. There are a lot of times I haven’t done things I wanted to do because it meant doing them alone, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.

I was a little worried that I hadn’t read the book. I felt like people would instantly know before I got there and shun me, which is ridiculous. The book community in general are always super welcoming, and no one seemed to sense my unworthiness.

It was a really great talk. I didn’t feel excluded for not having read the book. James Rice, the author of Alice and they Fly, hosted the evening, and asked a lot of questions about the process of writing and how Caraval was written, rather than the intricacies of the plot. As an aspiring writer, it was comforting to hear that because a novel is a debut, it doesn’t mean it’s the first one a writer has finished. Caraval was Stephane Garber’s sixth novel and while it must have been frustrating to have five books go unpublished she perceviered. In the end, she said she was glad that the other novels hadn’t be picked up because they were gearing her up towards Caraval. In those books she learnt a lot about world-building and character development, not from the things that went well, but from the mistakes.

Meeting her at the end of the evening was a treat. She was so warm, and even though I blurted out that I hadn’t actually read the book, she was excited for me to read it and happy that I’d come out. I’m looking forward to more book events soon!

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