The ABC Book Challenge: *I*

My Post (5)

Since getting back to blogging over the last couple months, I’ve really wanted to add something new to my weekly posts. And lo and behold, I’ve been inspired by fellow blogger Soffi @A Book. A Thought. (Follow her!) Soffi’s ABC Book Challenge posts were so fun, I decided I just had to do my own!  So, every week I’ll be posting my favourite, most memorable books and books from my TBR, moving from A-Z.

Previous ABC posts: A + B + C + D + FG+ H

(PS. Whoever came up with this challenge, I don’t know who you are but thank you!)

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*I*

Memorable Titles 

Each of these I books are memorable to me for different reasons. Markus Zusak’s I Am The Messenger (or sometimes titled The Messenger) is one of the books I read when I was younger that I remember thinking was one of the most adult-y books I’d ever read. It’s a seductive and mysterious book and I love it to bits. If you know me and my blog at all, you know that I’ll Give You The Sun is one of my most beloved books of all time. Please read it if you haven’t already, you will be swept away by Jandy Nelson’s mesmerising, colourful storytelling. Illuminae, first of the Illuminae Files Series is a gorgeous, suspenseful and entirely unique science-fiction that I really need to re-read. I read the whole series on my kindle, and at the time I had no idea what a mistake that was! I really need to read it in its hard copy glory. In Search of Us is easily one of the most inspiring and moving books I’ve read this year about a mum’s past and her daughter’s present.  The Invisible Library is the first in the gorgeous, clever and surprising series of the same name, about books, magic and spies. Truly a unique gem that should not be missed! I Stop Somewhere is a thoughtful, raw and relevant depiction of rape culture and a girl’s isolation. Beautifully written and powerful. Lastly, I Was Born For This, Alice’s Oseman’s latest book, is such a fun, compelling read and it just had be here with the others because I admire Alice’s creativity and storytelling so much!

 

To Be Read

Normally I would go through each book in this TBR section with  little reasons why I want to read them, but I think these really all speak for themselves. Three of them are 2018 releases I didn’t get around to reading and won’t til next year, and two are definitely on the top of my 2019 new releases radar. Though I have to admit I Wish You All The Best is the book I am most excited for overall!

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Message me with your thoughts/if you’d have any of these on your list!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

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ARC Review: A Place For Wolves by Kosoko Jackson

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I received an ARC of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I had no idea what I was falling into when I started reading Kosoko Jackson’s A Place For Wolves. I knew it was a story about love between two teenage boys and that it was set during the start of a war, brimming with danger and violence in the stark Kosovo winter. I had no idea how breathtaking and riveting this book would be, nor how much it would make me think and feel.

A Place For Wolves is about James,  a black gay teenager who moves from America to Kosovo with his adoptive, do-good parents in the late 90’s, leaving behind his sister and best friend, who has just started university. In Kosovo, James meets Tomas, who he never expects to fall for, but they fall for each hard. At the height of their romance, a slowly brimming war finally comes into force and James and Tomas are forced to fight for survival and the path back to their families together.

What I didn’t know before reading this book is that it’s set before and during the Kosovo War in 1998. A war I knew nothing about until because it was not something I was ever taught about or came onto my radar in the news. Now that I do know about it, I am grateful to Kosoko Jackson for reminding me that in ignorance we as a people forget about the horrors of war whether in the past or the present, that the deaths of thousands of people in war should not be forgotten or taken for granted. War is a terrible, brutal construction of power and violence and it is happening every day. Always be thankful for the life you have and for your family. Thank you, Kosoko, for reminding me of that and educating me on an horrific event that occurred in my lifetime that I had no idea existed.

Next the moving setting and historical aspects, Kosoko Jackson’s writing skill is astounding. His story that depicts humour, love and family in the face of fear, brutality and survival in such a whimsical and clever style of prose. The book is written in alternate chapters that offer us different perspectives of the story. Letters from James to his sister Anna engage readers with the story up until the war began and the remaining chapters told from James’s perspective reveal the present, as James and Tomas run for their lives. Both storytelling techniques were equally engaging to read, the letters lighthearted in comparison with the other chapters, which were heavier and depict the war. The contrast in both of these perspectives, were just that: a powerful way to deliver the perspective of how James’ life changed when war was thrown onto his life’s path.

Alongside Kosoko’s brilliant weaving of history and storytelling, the third thing I loved about A Place For Wolves were the characters. James is a smart, brave and clever teenager and as a black gay guy he knows what life is like under the gaze of judgement and discrimination. I thoroughly enjoyed his narration and the journey he went on throughout the book. James’s relationship with Tomas was strong and adorable, I loved reading their scenes together and thought Tomas was the grounding force that James needed at such a scary time. There are many other memorable characters in the book, including James’s parents and some that, through James’s perspective, you are drawn to hate because of their part in the story.

If I could have asked for one more thing from this book, it would’ve been to spend more time with Anna. I loved James’s letters to her and it would’ve been just an extra special thing if we’d actually been able to see more of her.

To sum up, I would definitely recommend this novel and definitely intend to buy a copy of it for myself when it is released in April, 2019. A Place For Wolves is a tremendous, memorable book about the conflict of war and about holding on to your life and your loved ones with all that you’ve got.  Thanks again Kosoko Jackson, your book is a true gem.

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Let me know what you think/if you’re planning to read this book!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

 

My first poetry publication

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A couple of months back a poem of mine, “Machine”. was accepted for publication on Amaryllis Poetry and today it was finally published!

I’m so excited to have been given the opportunity and for a little part of the world to read my work. I’ve been writing poetry since a young age and it’s something that I’ve always loved as a way to explore feelings and creativity outlets.

Read my poem here: Machine, A Poem by Jasmine Blackney

Thanks for reading!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

Top Five Wednesday: Bookish Wishlist

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This week’s topic is a Book Wish List, which is of course brilliant and exciting for this time of year for readers like me! I decided to make my list a combination of books I’d love to own and bookish items I’d love for my reading area/bedroom. So here goes, let me know what you think or if you’d want any of these beautiful items yourself! 😊

 

1.

 Harry Potter Box Set 

uk-hpn7-british-harry-potter-hogwarts-set-detail2-1200-700x700.jpgI love all of the Juniper Books box sets, I honestly don’t know which one I’d pick. This Hedwig themed one is pretty gorgeous, though. I also really love the Bloomsbury House editions, too, though it would be a struggle to decide what House to get! I am a Hufflepuff, but I’d love a mixed-house set, maybe.

2.

Watership Down Poster

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This Watership Down poster from Redbubble is pretty beautiful. I would very happily pin this up in my home.

 

3.

Bookish cushions

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There are so many cushions like this on Etsy and I want them all. Perfect for the reading area, you know, when I eventually have one.

 

4.

Bookish Candles

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Again, I am in danger of wanting so many of these delicious sounding bookish candles that are available on Etsy. Yes, please.

5.

The Labyrinth of Spirits

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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Being between homes/countries right now, I can’t really own many hard copies. But this is one book I desperately want to own. Once the paperback version comes out at least. I own the rest of the series in paperback and don’t like to mix and match with hardcovers, because I’m fussy that way.

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T5W was created by Lainey @gingerreadslainey, and is now hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to join, go to the Goodreads group by clicking here.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Cosy Christmas Reads

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I am so happy to get back into Top Ten Tuesday. I used to participate back when The Broke and the Bookish ran it, but now it’s ran by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I couldn’t be happier to come back into TTT with this Cosy topic, otherwise known as the topic that lets me talk AGAIN about some of my favourite books that I would absolutely pick up and read in bed with a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate right now. None of my choices are really winter/Christmas themed, though. I’m from Australia, so normally this wouldn’t be the time of year I’d be thinking about warming up in bed with a good book, but seeing as I’m living in the UK and will have a cold, hopefully snowy Christmas (come on snow, where are you?), I thought it was very appropriate and a nice way to get into the holiday spirit. Besides, these are the same books I’d read while trying to eat my Christmas chocolates before they melted, which is one of the joys of Australian summertime.

So, here’s my list! I have probably spoken about each of these books a number of times already on my blog (in fact, I know I have) so apologies for that! But there is a reason why these are my favourites and I can’t stop talking about them 😊.

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1.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Saenz 

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A beautifully written story to warm all hearts and minds.

 

2.

The Dark Tower

by Stephen King

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The finale of a masterpiece in gobsmacking storytelling.

3.

All The Bright Places 

by Jennifer Niven

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A book that means a lot to my fiance and I, the first we read together.

 

4.

Radio Silence 

by Alice Oseman

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A book about the strength of friendship, self-love and connection.

 

5.

Anna and the French Kiss

by Stephanie Perkins

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A heart-swooning contemporary romance, one of the first I ever loved.

6.

The Shadow of the Wind 

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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A mysterious thriller that is also about the love of books.

7.

I’ll Give You The Sun 

by Jandy Nelson

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Hands down of the most remarkable, intricate, moving books ever written.

8.

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet 

by Becky Chambers

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A story set in outer space with incredible characters and scope. Amazing!

9.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K Rowling

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Of course, I would have to read the whole series through. Magic ✨

 

10.

Watership Down 

by Richard Adams

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My favourite book. That is all.

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Message me with your thoughts or link me to your TTT if I haven’t seen it already!

Happy reading this holiday!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

The ABC Book Challenge: *H*

Since getting back to blogging over the last couple months, I’ve really wanted to add something new to my weekly posts. And lo and behold, I’ve been inspired by fellow blogger Soffi @A Book. A Thought. (Follow her!) Soffi’s ABC Book Challenge posts were so fun, I decided I just had to do my own!  So, every week I’ll be posting my favourite, most memorable books and books from my TBR, moving from A-Z.

Previous ABC posts: A + B + C + D + F+ G

(PS. Whoever came up with this challenge, I don’t know who you are but thank you!)

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*H*

Memorable Titles

So, H might just be my favourite list of books so far for my Memorable Titles! Wowie. First and most importantly, Harry Potter. I would’ve put the whole series up in the above images if I could, but it would’ve been a bit extreme in size, so the first book is there to represent a series that means so much for me and always will. Just magic. If you’re someone who hasn’t read it yet, I am begging you to. (Yes, I’m looking at you, fiance, gosh.) The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favourite modern classics, so powerful as is a lot of Margaret Atwood’s books. I still haven’t seen the TV show!  The Hate U Give is a must-read for everyone, I truly believe that. Angie Thomas deserves so much praise. I finally read His Dark Materials a couple of years ago on my fiance’s recommendation (Um, why haven’t you still not read Harry Potter again??) and it was like finding a new home in a series again. The Hobbit is a fantasy/childhood classic I simply can’t ignore and the same goes for Holes, which I distinctly remember picking off the library shelf and reading in one day. Honesty is a gritty and lovely book  and I wish I could find someone to talk to about it! It’s truly mesmerising and made me cry. How To Build a Girl is one of the most hilarious and entertaining coming-of-age books I’ve ever read, and Johanna is a one of a kind character. Lastly in this list of favourites (phew, really does feel like a long one) comes The Hunger Games, an iconic YA series I just have to include here because, well, many reasons!

 

To Be Read

I absolutely love Aristotle and Dante (of course), so I really would love to read more of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s books. He Forgot To Say Goodbye is one of his older ones and wow, it sounds good! Technically, I’ve read what I can of Heartstopper on tapas, but I would really to read the hardcopy. Plus, I admire Alice Oseman so much and would love to support her more! How To Be Famous is the sequel to How To Build A Girl, so obviously I am very excited to read it! How To Make A Wish sounds like a beautiful story about love and hard times, just my kind of book, really. The House of the Scorpion is the first of highly reviewed series I’ve been wanting to read for so long but one that I’ve really struggled getting a hold of. Hope I do, soon!

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So there you have it. What do you think? Any of these books on your lists? I’d love to hear from you!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords 

Blog Update

 

Hi 😊

I’m feeling like a bit of a ghost blogger at the moment. There are plenty of books to review and plenty of other posts to write, such as my thoughts on the rather disastrous and extremely disappointing Crimes of Grindelwald, bookish Christmas Wishlists and my feelings about being a beginner Netgalley ARC reader and reviewer. Some of these posts may see the light of day! But at the moment I am struggling to find the time to read let alone blog in between a holiday, worrying about/planning for future life stuff, trying to finish writing my current WIP (a contemporary YA) and spending many hours playing ARK: Survival Evolved. I am addicted and that is very new for me because I am not a gamer! I guess more accurately, I wasn’t before. It’s so much fun taming dinosaurs, farming, exploring and building in the game. I am surprised by how much I’m into it! So, of course, my attention has been elsewhere lately. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will find more time to update my blog!

Today I will be posting another ABC Book Challenge, though, so not all is lost! 😂

You’ll be seeing me around more soon. When I’m not too busy with my dinosaurs, that is!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords