Fairy Tale Friday- A Rose From Homer’s Grave

This was a short and strange little tale. It is all about a rose that grows over Homer’s grave. Homer as in the very famous poet. A nightingale falls in love with the rose however, the rose never blossoms for it. The rose is adamant that it won’t blossom for the nightingale because the nightingale’s song cannot compare to Homer’s poetry. The nightingale dies. The rose dreams that a Frenchman will come and pick it, preserving it in a book and that dream came true!

An odd little fairy tale this week!

Next Fairy Tale- The Jewish Girl

Comparing ‘We Come Apart’ by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

We Come Apart

How did I get it?:
Netgalley- thanks to Bloomsbury

Previously read by the same author:
Sarah Crossan-
The Weight of Water
Apple and Rain
One

Synopsis:

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?

For fans of Una LaMarche’s Like No Other, this illuminating story told in dual points of view through vibrant verse will stay with readers long after they’ve turned the last page.

Thoughts before you started reading We Come Apart?

CHRISSI: I was really intrigued to read another book in verse again. Especially after really connected with Sarah Crossan’s ‘One.’

LUNA: Partly “this will be spectacular” and then “oho what if it doesn’t deliver”…

What did you think of Nicu and Jess?

CHRISSI: I have to admit that I liked them from the beginning. I really enjoyed how Nicu’s story was told. He was different to how the rest of his peers interacted and I really think that was captured perfectly from the very beginning. I felt sorry for Jess from the start. She clearly had a troubled life and I thought this was portrayed beautifully.

LUNA: Both their voices pulled me into the story from the start, yet I connected more with Nicu. I think it’s having an inkling of understanding about how confusing and isolating school/society in another country is. I certainly got the confusion about sayings. With Jess I learned to like her the more I got to know about her.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: It captured my attention from start to finish. That makes a great book!

LUNA: There wasn’t a single moment in this book that made me think “this is it” and so I want to answer: Everything. It’s not quite right though. I think it’s how easily I got lost in We Come Apart. The words, characters and story.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I can’t say there really was a worst bit for me, as I thoroughly enjoyed it all. I would have liked to have known more about what happened next to Jess and Nicu.

LUNA: The ending. I know it was the right ending, but SPOILER WARNING, it was not the riding-into-the-sunset one I hoping for. Which completely doesn’t make sense because usually I don’t buy into the “fix-it” all solution yet with everything that was happening to Nicu and Jess I wanted something to work out for them. I think that’s a testament to how much I ended up caring about both characters.

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: Jess becoming less conscious of how she appears to her friends!

LUNA: I liked how the friendship between Jess and Nicu developed. The conversations at the beginning, how Jess starts to stand up to her friends. (Term applied loosely).

Was We Come Apart what you expected?

CHRISSI: It was more than I expected!

LUNA: Yes, my apprehension about this book not delivering on my high expectations was unfounded. It did. The only thing that did surprise me was that I was able to put the book down (I mean I had to due to other commitments but I didn’t loathe having to do it) – it gave me the opportunity to digest and think about what I was reading.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Of course!

LUNA: Absolutely

This Week In Books #49

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book to get to Goodreads!

Margot & Me I'm Traveling Alone (Holger Munch & Mia Kruger, #1) Don't Look Behind You

NOW– Margot and Me- Juno Dawson- I am just about to start this book by Juno Dawson. I’m excited to read it as I always enjoy Juno’s work. I also love the authors that are quoted on the front cover!

THEN– I’m Traveling Alone- Samuel Bjork- I finished this book last night. It’s the next book in the ‘Talking About…’ feature that I do with my sister Beth. Our review will be coming up within the next few days.

NEXT– Don’t Look Behind You- Mel Sherratt- I didn’t realise this was a series, but I’m hoping that it stands alone quite well! We’ll see…

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave a link to a similar post that you do and I’ll stop by later! Happy Reading! 😀

Ten Underrated Books That I’ve Read In The Past Year Or So

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, it’s all about underrated or hidden gems that we’ve read within the last year or so.

Some of these have got some good ratings on Goodreads but I don’t feel I see them around enough for how good they are!

For the Goodreads page, please click on the book image!

A Boy Made Of Blocks- Keith Stuart

A Boy Made of Blocks

I don’t know if I’ll ever stop promoting this book wherever I can. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful read which explores the relationship between a father and his child who has autism. It’s much more than just about relationships. It’s a stunning read and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Strange Star- Emma Carroll

Strange Star

Emma Carroll is another great writer who I wish more people read! 🙂 This is because I think her writing is so impressive. I always feel like I’m inside the story. This story is inspired by the creation of Frankenstein!

Dead Romantic- C.J. Skuse

Dead Romantic

Such a unique story. It’s about a girl who wants to create her perfect boyfriend from dead parts of others…

Crush- Eve Ainsworth

Crush

This book is incredibly raw. It centres around an abusive teenage relationship!

Orangeboy- Patrice Lawrence

Orangeboy

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book!

V is for Violet- Alison Rattle

V for Violet

Alison Rattle’s books are always underrated in my opinion.

The Next Together- Lauren James

The Next Together (The Next Together #1)

I know that this book has received mixed reviews, but I really hope people aren’t put off by it!

The Haunting- Alex Bell

The Haunting

Everyone’s all about the author’s book Frozen Charlotte which is awesome, but I prefer The Haunting.

Between The Notes- Sharon Huss Roat

Between the Notes

I really enjoyed this contemporary YA read.

Born Weird- Andrew Kaufman

Born Weird

A very unusual, unique read!

What are your underrated or hidden gems that you’ve read recently? Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

Paper Butterflies

Paper Butterflies

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price?

Thoughts:

I had heard about this book from so many people either book bloggers or fellow teachers. Yes, this was a book that a lot of the teaching community have read and gone on to recommend. I can totally see why, although I would warn that it is an incredibly tough book to read. It’s not easy to read at all, yet something about it completely pulls you in and you don’t want to put it down, despite it being incredibly heart-breaking. I didn’t want to put it down, no matter how traumatic the reading experience was.

The story centres around June, who is a girl of mixed race who lives with a white family after the death of her mother and her father’s second marriage. June has to put up with an absolutely awful stepmother. She endures mental and physical abuse at the hands of her stepfamily. It did really feel like the classic evil stepfamily but completely intensified. It was incredibly shocking and harrowing, but the writing just made you keep on reading. As a reader, I wanted to know what was going to happen to June and whether she would get a happy ending.

We read about the abuse she suffered through June’s tales of her life and as an adult, her struggle to cope and move on from the abuse she has suffered. What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was told through the eyes of June. The eyes of the abused, not the adult June’s perspective, but from the perspective of June whilst such terrible things were happening to her.

There were light moments throughout when we experienced June’s relationship with Bliss. It made me want to have more moments of June’s happiness. I wanted everything to turn out well for her but then the story took an unexpected twist towards the end. I certainly didn’t see it coming and found it engrossed me even more than before.

This book is special. I know that it will stay with me for a long time.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

An incredible, heart-breaking book that I simply couldn’t put down!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Pupil Progress…

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching Lower Key Stage 2. My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week has been an interesting one down to some knee problems… *insert eye roll here* However, I think it’s been an okay week and my problems aside, I think my class are progressing well.

This week we had a pupil progress meeting which happens either half-termly or termly. We sit down with senior leadership and talk through every child and see if they are on track to meet age related expectations by the end of the year. We talk about our concerns and every child is really given a thorough conversation. If I’m honest, I find these meetings quite stressful. Sometimes, a child has come up too high from another teacher (judgement differs so much, it’s surprising!) which means we have to fill in the gaps they have and push them on. I found out that quite a few of my current class were scored very high which means they have to be beyond age related expectations…ARGH. So I have quite some work to do over the school year.

I have plans to extend those who are supposed to be ‘beyond’ within the next few weeks. I’ll do my best, as always, but I’m trying to not let it stress me out or stress the children out. It’s not worth it for just a label of ‘beyond age expectations!’

Stacking The Shelves #156

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Received from Hot Key Books

Margot & Me

I absolutely love Juno’s writing, so I’m so intrigued to read this book. I aim to read it within the next week or so!

Bought:

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

I do really want to read this book and I can’t believe that I haven’t yet, but I’m concerned that it’s such a beast at nearly 700 pages! A current almost 600 page read has taken me nearly a week as I’m so busy! I do intend to read it this year though.

The Graces (The Graces, #1)

I have been intrigued by this book by so long that it was time to pick up a copy. I hope to prioritise this book soon!

Lyrebird

I love Cecelia Ahern and have heard such wonderful things about this book. It’s time to add it to my collection…

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your haul and I’ll stop by. Happy Reading!