Image

BOOK REVIEW: Orbiting Jupiter

Wow.

Just wow.

I was not ready for the feels trip that this book sent me on. At 183 pages, it’s quite a short one, but I was still near to tears by the end.

‘Orbiting Jupiter’ tells the story of Joseph, Jack’s new foster brother with quite a disturbing past. Jack knows three things about Joseph:

  • Joseph almost killed a teacher
  • Joseph was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain
  • Joseph has a daughter that he has never met. Her name is Jupiter.

Joseph is only thirteen, yet has fathered a child. This is one of the shock moments throughout the book; it’s almost unbelievable, and you immediately start asking all the questions about him. How did it happen? Where were the parents? What about the mother? Where is Jupiter? Is she okay?

What we do know is that Joseph loves his daughter, and is desperate to find her and tell her how much she is loved. The story becomes the blind determination of Joseph, helped by Jack, to find Jupiter.

Plunging you into the cold winter of rural Maine, you feel yourself shiver as the days get colder and the snow begins to fall, but are warmed by the unusual friendship that Jack and Joseph share. It’s almost like defence; Jack ignores his friends at school and instead defends Joseph from the rumours. You can tell he wants to shield Joseph from the world. Joseph himself is heartbreaking – we get peeks into his life before joining Jack and his family. We see his love, his hurt, his determination, his abandonment. It’s enough to make you weep.

The ending was enough to make me scream. After all that? I won’t spoil it, but all it took was one small thing. The small thing spiralled, and left me broken and empty and gripping the pages in pure shock.

Final thoughts: Grab a tissue box, you’ll need them after this rollercoaster. 5/5

Advertisements
Image

Books to read: September

September is upon us, and that means Autumn! Which also means Pumpkin Spice lattes, snuggly jumpers, cosy socks and, of course, huddling in a blanket to read some books! I’ve lined up a few that I’m gonna try to read this month, and if I don’t finish them, I’ll roll them over to October!

September-1.JPG
A Change Is Gonna Come

I’ve read a few of the stories in this book, but haven’t got around to reading it all properly yet! Oops…I blame that on my bookshelf/book piles/book post taking over my bedroom. BUT! I’m going to be reading the Change book this month to its entirety, and can’t wait to finish it!

September-2.JPG
After The Fire

This one has been sat on my TBR pile for a couple of months, and I’m not doing it justice by having it sit there gathering dust. I’ve heard that it’s a brilliant read, so I’ve added it to my September list to finally get around to it!

September-3
The Fandom

I was really lucky to be sent a proof of The Fandom from Chicken House (along with a badge which is amazing cos I love badges). It’s got everything I love in it – ComicCon, fandoms, nerds, and the characters are transported to their favourite fictional world. Here’s a question for ya: If you could be transported to a fictional world, where would it be?

September-4.JPG
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Long title, beautiful cover – although I’d much prefer if the medals along the side weren’t so distracting! This one is a coming-of-age novel about two boys who become friends – and that friendship will change their lives. I’m quite excited to read this one, and was even more excited when I found a copy at Waterstones Piccadilly!

September-5.JPG
Am I Normal Yet?

Another one that’s been on the shelf for a while – probably since the beginning of this year! It’s been recommended by quite a few customers at work too, so I’m going to finally give it a read this month so I can say I’ve finally read their recommendations!

September-6.JPG
Six of Crows

Let’s read a book about thieves and outcasts! YAY! But seriously, I still haven’t read this one and I’m SUPER excited to read about a bunch of outcasts that could very well be an unstoppable group if they don’t try to kill each other…
Of course, if I finish this one it’ll lead me on to……..

September-7
Crooked Kingdom

The next book in the series! You’ll have to wait and see if I finish the first one!!

That’s my challenge for the month – to try and read all of these books! Feel free to join me if you haven’t read any of these!

Image

🍌 GIVEAWAY 🍌

To celebrate me reaching 500 followers on Twitter, I’ve decided to host a giveaway! I’ll be giving away a book and some very cool little extras to go with it, and one lucky person will win everything! Let’s have a look at the prizes…

SIGNED COPY OF ‘NOAH CAN’T EVEN‘ BY SIMON JAMES GREEN

NoahCantEvenComp-1

Noah Can’t Even has been one of my biggest favourites this year, and I want everyone to have a chance of reading it! Simon will personalise the book to you when he signs too, so it will be extra special.

PERSONALISED POEM BY SIMON JAMES GREEN

Simon has very kindly offered an AMAZING prize to go alongside this giveaway – a poem written by Noah, the main character from his book ‘Noah Can’t Even’. Noah is certainly an amusing character, and to have his witty poetry will be a ONE-OF-A-KIND gift! This poem can be the subject of your choosing, so get thinking!

BLUE AND YELLOW STATIONERY

How would you be able to read ‘Noah Can’t Even’ without pointing out your favourite lines? Or doodling bananas into notebooks while you think of how great the book is? I’ve got some matching stationery to go with the book!

HARRY POTTER MAGNETS

NoahCantEvenComp-4.JPG

This is my own little personal touch – as you know I love Harry Potter to death. It’s also special as Simon James Green has just started his journey into the Wizarding World (which is just amazing, I wish I could experience them all over again). So, I’ve got some Harry Potter magnets for you to stick all over your fridges!

So! Thats the giveaway, how about we have some rules too? I know, rules are boring, but it’s gotta be done! To enter this giveaway, please read the below rules:

  • Must be following my twitter, @readable_life
  • Must Retweet the PINNED tweet for the giveaway
  • Must be living in the United Kingdom (No international entries, sorry! That’s for the next giveaway!)
  • No giveaway accounts! 
  • The giveaway ends on the 5th of October 2017. Any entries after that date will not be counted.

That’s everything! I wish you all the best luck in the giveaway, and have my fingers crossed for you! Good luck!

Image

BOOK REVIEW: George by Alex Gino

I’m always excited to read new LGBT+ books, and soon I’ll be writing a blog post of my favourite LGBT+ books that I’ve read. ‘George‘ by Alex Gino will be featuring on this post; it’s written for a middle grade audience too, rather than the norm of young adult.

George‘ focuses on George herself, a ten year old girl whose biggest dream is to act as Charlotte in the class production of ‘Charlotte’s Web‘. She loves the character and her elegant importance to Wilbur’s story. But her teacher says that George isn’t allowed to even try out as Charlotte…because George is a boy.  Although George knows for sure that she is a girl, the outside world sees a boy. With best friend Kelly’s help, George comes up with a plan. A plan to become her favourite character in the play – and to show everyone who she truly is.

George uses female pronouns throughout the book, which is very important as it allows the reader to truly understand the discomfort George is in. We see a day in the life of George; having to deal with her older brother, her slightly distant mum, the boys at school who shout abuse at her. We also see her dealing with the realisation at being transgender; hiding makeup and fashion magazines in her wardrobe, combing her hair differently when in the safety of the bathroom, and wishing to be the female character in the play as it feels more natural than a male character. The small acts are so important to her, as it allows her to feel like the girl she knows she is.

I enjoyed ‘George‘, and liked how it was written for a younger audience to gain a better understanding of transgender individuals. The writing was a little bit more basic that what I usually read, but I think that still really worked well so that children aged 9 and up can understand without being overwhelmed with terminology.

‘George’ is an important little book for young people – whether they are experiencing gender dysphoria, are transitioning, or even if they want to read a story that will further their understanding. It’s important for young people to have representation in books, and whether this book is for them or a friend, ‘George’ will be a great recommendation for all ages.

Final thoughts: A great little book about following what is true in your heart and mind – 4/5.

BOOK REVIEW: Pax by Sara Pennypacker

If ‘The Fox and the Hound’ makes you cry, then ‘Pax’ will make you weep. This is a wonderfully written story about the bond between boy and fox, and will have you holding out hope for a happy ending.
The book follows both Peter and Pax, with alternate chapters for each character. Peter has been forced by his father to give up Pax, the fox he has raised and cared for since he was a cub. This is the first instance of sadness in the novel, as Pax doesn’t know the outside world at all. He’s pretty much domesticated, so to be out in the wilderness all alone is a scary thought. Pennypacker makes this fear burst from the page as, chapters later, Pax waits all alone in the woods at night. He’s hungry, cold, and doesn’t know the sounds that are filling the woods.

Both characters meet helpful friends along the way to make their journey back together a lot easier. Peter meets the bold and unfiltered Vola, my favourite character of the novel. She’s carrying a lot of her own baggage, and her character is brilliantly explored as she grows from a hardened, cold individual to someone who softens to teach Peter some great lessons. Pax, meanwhile, meets a fiercely protective vixen named Bristle, and her excitable brother Runt.

Pennypacker has done a fantastic job of making you feel exactly what what the characters are going through; fear, exhaustion, determination. As you continue through the story, you’re desperate for the two characters to reunite so you can release the breath you’ve been holding since the first chapter. Coupled with poignant illustrations by Jon Klassen, ‘Pax’ is written with beautiful description and touching scenes. The fox chapters are the best – and incredibly clever too. We are shown their communication through sniffing, body language, and movement – while their speech is shown via italics. It’s definitely a memorable, yet moving tale, and I’d love to read more of Pennypacker’s writing.

Final thought: A beautifully written yet sad tale of friendship. 4/5 Stars

The Harry Potter Tag

I’ve been tagged by the lovely SunkissedScribbles to take part in the Harry Potter Tag – yay! You may know that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, but if you didn’t know that then you’ll enjoy my post answering all the Harry Potter questions. So, sit back, relax, and read on!

What house are you in?

I am a proud Hufflepuff. I’ve been sorted twice by Pottermore and both times have been put into Hufflepuff, which I’m very pleased with! Our common room is near the kitchens, so plenty of cake!

Hufflepuffcrest

What is your Patronus?

I’ve just had to reregister on Pottermore to do the Patronus quiz, and it turns out that my Patronus is an otter! Perfectly fine with that, otters are cute and they’re clever!

What is your wand?

Pottermore tells me that my wand is vine wood with dragon heartstring core, 12 3/4″! At home though, I have Luna Lovegood’s wand on my bookshelf as she is my favourite. I do like dragon heartstring though!

What would your Boggart be?

No question – a spider. Or anything with more that four legs. Any creepy crawlies. Shudder.

What position would you play in Quidditch?

I’ve always thought of myself as a Chaser, as I don’t think I could deal with the huge responsibility a Seeker would have. 150 points to catch a tiny winged ball? No thanks, I’ll take the huge red Quaffle instead!

Would you be pureblood, halfblood, or muggle born?

I think the most interesting wizards and witches are half blood – could you imagine having both the wizarding world and the muggle world? I think that would be amazing to be a part of two of those worlds.

What job would you want to have after graduating Hogwarts?

I think I’d enjoy working at one of the wizarding bookstores – who wouldn’t? – or I’d love to do something that involves working with all of the magical creatures. Like Newt Scamander but not taking a case full of creatures everywhere. Give me a job working with Nifflers all day?

Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

The Invisibility Cloak

Favourite book?

The Order of The Phoenix, for many reasons. The introduction of Luna, and the fact that she became such a strong character for the group. The companionship of Dumbledore’s Army, and having that purpose and drive to help Harry succeed. The inclusion of the Inquisitorial Squad. Fred and George’s dramatic exit from Hogwarts, and all the pranks they left in the school. The threat of Voldemort and Harry’s desperation to make people see sense. Ahh, I love it so much.

Least favourite book?

It has to be the Chamber of Secrets, if I have to pick one. It’s just one that didn’t grip me as much as the others.

Favourite film?

Prisoner of Azkaban! After the first two films let me down a little, it was so amazing to have this film be that little bit darker. It was also brilliantly directed and I was very impressed when I saw it. Plus the inclusion of Lupin!!

Least favourite film?

I’m going to confuse you here; Order of The Phoenix. I saw it three times in the cinema, and each time I thought I’d fallen asleep because so much was removed. I know it was the biggest book, but how can you cut the legendary ‘Weasley Is Our King’ song?! Or how Cho’s friend ratted out Dumbledore’s Army and was hexed because she signed the contract? Or even the fight between the Weasley twins and Harry against Draco, resulting in Quidditch bans? It was such a shame to see my favourite book butchered and broken up into something barely recognisable. The only good thing that film did was perfect Luna.

Favourite character?

Have I mentioned Luna yet? Duh. Luna is my absolute favourite – she’s unique, kind, and loyal to Harry. She’s not afraid to show that loyalty when Harry is being attacked by the Ministry and the Daily Prophet, instead choosing to fully support him. Luna was such a free spirit too; always so carefree and interested in the strangest things! Plus she skipped everywhere. Luna is a brilliant character.

Least favourite character?

Mundungus Fletcher. The guy is such a slimeball and a conman, and always tries to weasel his way out of situations. His betrayal in Deathly Hallows only made me hate him more and see how truly cowardly he was as a person.

Favourite Hogwarts Professor?

This definitely has to be Professor Flitwick! I love the idea of learning Charms, and he was an excitable teacher who I’d definitely enjoy learning from. I didn’t understand why they changed his appearance in the movie though; going from a bearded, white haired man to a dark haired, stern looking prof?

Least favourite Hogwarts Professor?

I didn’t like Professor Quirrell. Yes I know he was being possessed by Voldemort, but he was weak as shit and did nothing at all. I feel like his DaDA lessons would have been incredibly dull compared to those like Lupin or Mad-Eye.

If you could save one character from the finale battle, who would you save?

Fred. No questions asked. George didn’t deserve to have his brother ripped from him, and I cried so much when I read it. I still cry when I see it happen in the film.

I hope you enjoyed my Harry Potter tag! Please feel free to do the tag yourself if you want to. I’m tagging JemimaAmy and Rachel to take part in this tag!