Thursday, 22 December 2016

Book Review -- A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee

I just finished reading the book A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee from The Agency.

Here's a quick summary of the book: 

Mary is saved from death and then taken to a girls school by her saviours. After a few years of attending the school, she discovers that the school is actually a cover for an all-female detective unit called The Agency. At the age of seventeen, Mary is put in the position of a lady companion, in hopes of finding out what happened to the missing cargo ships of a rich merchant. Packed with mystery, suspense, action, and a bit of romance, this mystery presents a young but daring spy who tries to uncover the secrets of a rich merchant, but discovers some of her own past along the way.

I loved how well we got to know the main character (Mary) in the book. We hadn't gotten such a clear idea of what exactly had happened in her past, but we knew that it had shaped a large part of who she was. Mary was easy to connect with, and a likeable character. I definitely liked the concept of having a strong female protagonist in the book. 

I really liked this book, but something that I found a bit irritating was that there were so many subplots. Sometimes I got a bit carried away with these subordinate plots instead of focusing on the main plot, but overall, it wasn't overly distracting. 

I give this book a rating of 4 stars, because it was well written with a sturdy plot, and well-thought out characters. 

If you want to read a book that includes a strong female protagonist, as well as a book with a mystery to solve, I recommend this book to you!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Readabits Book Tag


Hey everyone!! Today I'm doing the Readabits Book Tag!

If you'd like to participate, feel free to leave a link to your blog in a comment below so I can visit your block and read your answers.

I actually did this book tag last year, but I just realized that I hadn't posted it. My answers aren't exactly the same anymore, so I did a comparison between my original answers and my older answers.

Let's get started!!

Readabits Book Tag

1. When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you get the chance or all the time?

Last year: I read whenever I get the chance. It seems that I read most often at home or in the car. ๐Ÿ˜„

Now: I read if I have time, but I often don't. I often read before I go to bed, but that often means that I end up going to bed much later than I had originally planned. I'll read when I'm on the bus or in the car, or at home, if I am ever at home with enough time to actually read.

2. What is your best setting to read in?

Last year: A comfy, cozy, warm place. Lots of blankets and enough light to read without trouble. Reading on my bed meets this criteria.

Now: I have to say, a comfy, cozy, warm place sounds great! However, it isn't often the reality! Hopefully I'll get to snuggle up with a blanket though, and read a few great books this winter.

3. What do you do first – Read or Watch?

Last year: Read first of course!! I always prefer to read a book before seeing the movie. It has only happened twice that I have seen the movie before reading the book. I didn't know that The Martian was originally a book!!

Now: Still the same.

4. What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book?

Last year: Physical books. I just love the feel of reading a normal book. It's just perfect. I don't know how to explain it, but hopefully you know what I mean. I find that E-books can get hard on the eyes after awhile and Audiobooks don't really seem to be my thing.

Now: Still the same

5. Do you have a unique habit when you read?

Last year: Not that I know of...

Now: Still the same. I think...

Thanks for visiting! This tag is really fun to do, and a bonus is that it is pretty quick! If you'd like to do it, go ahead! Comment your website link so that we can check it out. :)

Thanks for visiting and have an awesome day!

~ Pegasus

Book Review -- Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Hi everyone! I know it's been a really long time since either of us have posted something. Life has been pretty busy and stressful lately!

However, now that winter break is here, I've had more time to read! Yay! Over the past couple of days, I was reading a book titled Crank by Ellen Hopkins. To be quite frank, I didn't exactly find this book an enjoyable read. In fact, I particularly disliked it.

I found this book rather disappointing, and couldn't bring myself to finish it, so I will only be reviewing the first 3/4 of the book.

Here is a quick summary of the book:

This is a book about a girl who is struggling with an addiction to crank. She is attempting to feed her addiction, but she is also having to deal with the consequences of her poor choices.

For me, the characters in this book were very difficult to connect with. Specifically, the main character. To be honest, I was repulsed by her character, perhaps because of the numerous poor decisions that she made throughout the book. Nothing about her character is very likeable. She made poor choices, didn't care about herself or the people around her, was a drug addict, and wasn't trying to get herself into a better situation. To add to this, she was also letting the people around her control a large part of what she did with herself.

Although there were many things I disliked about this book, I enjoyed the way the book was written. The book was written through many free verse poems, which I found very interesting. I was amazed at how well a story could be told through a few verses. Ellen Hopkins is very good at being able to tell so much in just a few words.

It was extremely disturbing to see how a drug can completely destroy the life of a person. The main character started off as a character who seemed to have everything going for her: good grades, friends and good health. As the book progresses, we see how the main character begins to completely destroy her life because of her addiction.

Perhaps I didn't enjoy the book very much because of the topic and how it was presented rather as a good thing than a bad thing. This didn't settle very well with me. Because of how graphic the novel was, I found that it was too hard to read, and I didn't want to finish it.

Overall, I liked the style of writing, but I didn't really enjoy the story that was being told. I would give this book 2.5 stars out of 5.  Although this isn't a fantastic rating, I did like the writing style and would be willing to read some of Ellen Hopkins' work on other topics.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

10 great quotes from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

You might remember that a while ago, I did a book talk on To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which was an amazing book. As promised, here are some of my favourite quotes from the book. There were so many to choose from, but I narrowed the list down to 11 quotes. Enjoy!

To start off, let's go with the quote that gives the book it's title.

1. "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"

2. "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."

3. "Atticus, he was real nice."

"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."

4. "They've done it before and they'll do it again and when they do it -- seems that only the children weep. Good night."

5. "Summer, and he watches his children's heart break. Autumn again and Boo's children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough."

6. "Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad."

7. "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

8. "Some negroes lie, some are immoral, some negro men are not be trusted around women - black and white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men."

9. "I think that there is just one kind of folks. Folks."

10. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Those were just some of the quotes that stuck with me, but there are even more. ;) Maybe on a rainy day I'll sort through a few more; we'll see.

I hope you enjoyed these quotes, and that if you haven't read the book, you'll read it soon!

Have an amazing day! :)

~ Pegasus

Saturday, 1 October 2016

GUEST BOOK BLOGGER!!!!! Book Talk -- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Hi everyone! It's Pegasus! And with me today, I have a special book blogging guest: Dragon!!

Hi! I’m Dragon, Pegasus’s friend, and I’m doing a guest book talk today!
Recently, I reorganized my book shelf, and I realized how many books I have that I haven’t read yet. I decided to try and read all of them this year, and Understood Betsy, a book that I’ve probably had for 5 years, is one of the first ones that I’ve finished. Here’s a quick summary. 
At the beginning, Elizabeth Ann lives with her Aunt Frances, Great-Aunt Harriet, and hired help, Grace. The whole household revolves around her. She is extremely sheltered, lest anything upset the sensitive, “impressionable” little thing. Aunt Frances, the aunt who makes herself primarily responsible for the girl, tries to understand her entirely and protect her from anything which may upset her. Elizabeth Anne never has to think for her self- in school, she is always focussed on getting the answer right, and at home, she has her aunts to do everything for her. The little bubble that is her life as she knows it come crashing down when Aunt Harriet gets sick and she is sent away to live with the Putney cousins. She’s grown up hearing about how strange her “queer Putney cousins” are and how they don’t know how to raise children, so she is unsurprisingly terrified to go and live with them. When she first arrives, she is perplexed and terrified by some of their ways of doing things. Over time, though, she comes to accept and appreciate the freedom and responsibility she is given here. She learns to think for her self, and instead of weakly trying to do what her aunts want her to, she makes her own decisions and forges her own path. She starts to care for a younger girl named Molly, and on multiple occasions, her newfound abilities are put to the test, when Betsy must get them both out of difficult situations using her wits.
Elizabeth Anne, or Betsy, as she comes to be known, is an amazing character. Her transformation from shy, timid, and nervous Elizabeth Anne, to strong, independent, and capable Betsy, was realistic and believable. I got really attached to her throughout this journey, and I cheered along with her. The cousins who take care of her, Aunt Abigail, Cousin Ann, and Uncle Henry, were also really great characters. They were excellent role models, and an good balance between being caring and loving, but also giving Betsy responsibilities and not being overprotective (unlike Aunt Frances). The rest of the characters, including Molly, Ralph, and ‘Lias, were also well-developed and believable.
The author, who wrote Understood Betsy in 1916, is credited with bringing the Montessori form of education to America. These values of independence, critical thinking, curiosity, and joy of learning and living are found throughout the book, adding a layer of commentary on modern education and parenting that make this book an interesting read for young and old alike.
I loved this book, but if I had to identify something that wasn’t so great about it, I would probably say the ending. The ending was what I wanted to happen, but it was a bit too “tidy” and unrealistic. 
Although it may not be an action-filled adventure novel, I appreciated this book for the meaningful character development and heartwarming description of life in rural Vermont. Overall, I’d give Understood Betsy 4.8 stars. It’s well written and perfect for what it is, which is a sweet and simple story about a little girl. 

If you’re looking for an uplifting and heartwarming story that also has a layer of thought-provoking commentary on society, you should definitely try Understood Betsy.

Thanks for letting me pop by! Have an amazing day! 


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Reading Habits Tag

Greetings fellow earthlings!! We haven't posted in awhile due to our busy lives becoming even more busy. It's been awhile, but here's a fun book tag called the Reading Habits Tag. Enjoy!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Not really, but usually I'll read on my bed, or on the couch. Comfy, cozy places are the best.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I wish I could say bookmarks, but I really only have 2 and I have not been able to find them lately. Usually I'll just grab whatever is nearby: receipts, ripped pieces of lined paper, etc. I really wish I had more bookmarks. It's really sad. Sometimes I'll just memorize the page number and then close the book. I don't like bending pages. I'm sure you can understand!!

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I can stop reading wherever, but I really truly prefer stopping at chapters, however I don't always have that choice as I am often busy. If I stop at a random page, I usual have to read a page ahead of where I stopped to get a better idea of what last happened.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Not really. Maybe. Possibly? Sometimes. Maybe if I'm starving or dehydrated.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Not really. I have no idea how anyone is able to watch TV while reading though. Impossible!!

6. One book at a time or several at once?

It has happened too many times where I read more than 1 book at a time. Nowadays, I am trying not to do that because it can get confusing. Even then, sometimes I still read more than one book at a time.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Anywhere. In the car, on a plane, at school, in a library, at home, in a bookstore, etc. You get the idea.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?


9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Sometimes. Maybe once or twice, but usually not. Sometimes I'll skip pages if the book isn't going anywhere and I want the pace to pick up, but I try not to.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I try to keep my books in pristine shape. I don't want a bent spine! Thank you very much!

11. Do you write in your books?


I tag One of the Bookworms from From The Light Side and Neha from Ink Affairs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have an amazing day!


Friday, 8 July 2016

How To Overcome Reading Slumps

Hello everyone!

If you're a a reader, you've probably come across the dreaded reading slump. Basically, a period of time where you just can't read. For whatever reason, you just can't. You don't want to pick up a book, and you have no desire at all to read. For some, this can be hard to overcome, so I've compiled a list of ways to overcome a reading slump. Enjoy!

1. Read something different!
I personally read a lot of dystopian, so when I'm in a reading slump, I like to read a different genre. Contemporary, mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, etcetera - there's plenty out there. If you're having trouble reading, maybe you're just sick of the same old genre - or the book itself.

2. Visit a bookstore or the library
If you pick out or buy a new book you really want to read, you'll probably be so excited about it that you can't wait to read it. This can get you back into reading.

3. Don't like it? Don't read it.
If you really don't like a book, don't force yourself to read it. There's no point in finishing a book you don't find entertaining. By the end of it, you probably still won't find it entertaining. It wastes your time, and will probably put you in a reading slump in the process.

4. Audiobooks are options too!
If you just aren't up to reading words off of a page, listen to an audiobook. Almost no effort required whatsoever.

5. Read something unusual.
Read something you wouldn't normally read. You can ask others for their personal recommendations, or just pick out something random from the library. Don't like it? Don't finish it. (Point number 3!)

6. Read something easy!
Whatever it is; a collection of poetry, short stories, or a novela, there's plenty out there that isn't a 600 page book. Maybe you just need a break and don't want to delve into a ten pound mystery novel.

So in the future, remember the following 3 key points to prevent getting into a reading slump:

1. Don't force yourself to read books you really don't enjoy.
2. Don't always stick to the same exact genre.
3. If you find that you're getting sick of reading, take a short break or read something easy/quick.

I hope these tips help you! Do you have any specific things you do to overcome and prevent reading slumps? If so, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. Have an awesome day!