On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: a partridge in a pear tree.
The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favourite stand alone?
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. This book has so many different elements to it that connect together so sweetly. It is light-hearted and romantic, but also dark and conflicting. I loved the expressions of feeling and reading from multiple points of view gives a feeling of completeness and a connection to every character. It is lyrically written and has remained my favourite book of all time for some years.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: two turtle doves.
Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?
Gabriel and Nathan from the Half Bad series by Sally Green. I love the contrast between Gabriel, who is so honest and forthright about his feelings, with Nathan, who couldn’t be more unfriendly and far from affectionate. The series is so well written and so heartbreaking that you don’t need to hear gushing lines about their love or romantic clichés on every page. You see the sincerity and your heart breaks for Nathan in the finale of Half Lost. I won’t spoil it, but I couldn’t stop crying.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Three French Hens.
In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?
I have to say The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I read these books in 2017 and they stayed with me for the five-star plot and the original format that the novels are written in. Each one is presented as a collection of files and logs. It takes information from everywhere and helps you build a picture of what is happening aboard the ships and in the mind of my favourite AI of all time.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: four calling birds.
Since series usually consists of four or more books, what is your favourite series?
The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson! I love the way everything about these books is premeditated and ties together. For me, the reading experience is about putting the story together yourself, rather than being told what has happened. Brandon Sanderson creates an unforeseeable plot that is full of twists and turns and a cast of the most interesting and dynamic characters I have ever encountered. He is a master of fantasy and his Mistborn series continues through eras and generations. I love it and can’t wait for the next book to be released.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: five golden rings.
One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?
I love complex villains and also the idea of redemption. Every character is fallible and I’m having trouble choosing. My instinctual choice is Rumpelstiltskin, especially in the complicated way he is portrayed in some of the Once Upon a Time graphic novels. I also like the idea of having Stella’s madness being the villain and the true monster of the Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: six geese a laying.
Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favourite world/world-building?
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is a thing of beauty if ever I saw one. I loved how strange yet well put together it was. Who else could think of a giant disc atop four elephants and a giant turtle? He makes his crazy work for him.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: seven swans a swimming.
Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?
Pantalaimon from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. When I was younger we had a dress up day at school and I came in as Lyra with a gold spray painted compact mirror and a small mouse safety pinned to my shoulder. I also named my first Gerbil after Pantalaimon even though it was male. There was something about the daemons that made me obsessed. I loved the idea of being able to talk to animals and to have one special animal that would always be there.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eight maids a milking.
Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?
The 1000 Recipe Cookbook by various authors as it belonged to my grandmother who bought it in 1981. Not only does it have sentimental meaning to me, it also has a mean sausage casserole recipe that I’ve made for my family many times. A timeless resource! I learned to make a cheese sauce from this book.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: nine ladies dancing.
Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favourite kickass female lead?
Doaa from A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea by Melissa Flemming. She is such a brave-hearted and spirited woman. The fact that her story is true makes her all the more inspirational to me. Doaa is an ordinary Syrian woman during a time of conflict, but she has an extraordinary will to join protests and reclaim her country despite the inherent danger.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: ten lords a leaping.
How about your favourite leading lad?
Edward Elric from the Full Metal Alchemist series Hiromu Arakawa. I love the determination and the sacrifices he makes for his family. Some would say that Alphonse Elric sacrificed more, but I feel like his sacrifice was made unknowingly. Edward knew what would happen when he wanted his brother back and did it anyway. A heart-wrenching series from start to finish but my leading lad stays upbeat (for the most part).
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eleven pipers piping.
What is your favourite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab takes music to new extremes. Monsters such as August use music to eat the souls of sinners. It sounds very morbid and possibly scary but the way it is told, from August’s point of view, makes it more understandable and you can’t help but connect with his humanity. I also thought the way the monsters were made from human atrocities was very original and would highly recommend reading this novel.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 12 drummers drumming.
Drum roll please…what is your favourite read of this year?
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenburg has just blown me away. A monumental work of art and storytelling that surpasses anything I’ve ever read. I’ll be writing a full review of it in February 2018 so keep a look out!
Homeless Helper from https://unknowntimelord.wordpress.com/
Margarida from https://icthusbookcorner.wordpress.com/
Lori from https://majesticreadingblog.wordpress.com/