5 underrated books that need some lovin’

Heyy bookish hoomans. How are you all? Reading many books? Befriending many dragons? Reading many books about friendly dragons? Sadly, I haven’t read a dragonish book in a long time and I feel a bit queasy being away from them, but I’m just about managing.

Anywho, as you probably know if you’ve been here for numerous decades, I tend to read quite underrated books. Hyped books… they freak me out a bit. But I am trying to get into some – currently I’m reading The Maze Runner series and am liking it so YAY.

But yeah we’ve established that I love me some underrated books. I like to give a fresh opinion that other people haven’t yet, so that if the book is good, it can become not-so-underrated. I’m just nice like that I know. And because I’m so nice, today I shall shareth with thou a smol list of underrated books that I love and therefore need more love. We just need to accept that sometimes my love just isn’t sufficient enough, ok? I’m only a lil blueberry in this big world.

(click the booky photos to go to their goodreads page)

1) Lascar ~ Shahida Rahman

 Lascar was written by my friend’s mum and she self-published it so it’s way too underrated and that makes me sad because it’s an excellent book. Something books don’t always do is take you on an adventure with them but this one took me on the wildest one, and I learnt so much about different cultures and about history and I loved it. It’s been awhile since I read it, but you know those books that you can’t remember well, but do remember that you really liked them? Well this is one of those books. GO READ NOW PEEPS.

2) Time Captives ~ Morgan Huneke

This trilogy is sooooo good! It’s a real struggle to find good Christian fantasy that’s not The Chronicles of Narnia, so finding this series made me as pleased as pie. The characters, the storyline, the writing… true, there were a lot of characters to fit into three short books, but I did like the main ones. The lengths of the books themselves were just right, the plot hardly ever slowing, but sometimes that meant lil aspects were rushed. If you’re into Christian fantasy though, this trilogy is definitely one to check out.

3) The Positively Last Performance ~ Geraldine McCaughrean

I AM ALL TEARS because this book is so good but no one has read it?? But the author is quite well-known? Her famous books don’t even have the best reviews, but books like this one, her lesser known works, do have high reviews, but so few of them like I just do not understand this? The writing is so enchanting and this book needs some appreciation please I beg. Just a cuddle will be enough; but you could read it too ya know, just as long as you’re giving it the love it deserves because it deserves a whole haunted theatre full of love, okay?

4) Mimi ~ John Newman

Aww this book ❤ my sister gave me a couple books to read a few years ago because she doesn’t like my taste in books (how dare she?) and I thought I wouldn’t like them but I gave this one a go because it’s short so it didn’t take long to read and actually loved it! No one really knows about it though because I think someone ate all the original copies? But my sister managed to rescue one and I’m glad she did because it so cyuteee and it’s about a family that’s falling apart and this lil girl Mimi who’s trying to stop it from falling apart. Honestly it’s the sweetest story that should be read by anyone who has a heart and wants it broken.

5) Nim at Sea ~ Wendy Orr

So y’all may or may not have read/seen/heard of Nim’s Island but what about its sequel, Nim at Sea? Also known as ‘Nim’s Island wasn’t even that great and this one is so much better but is somehow mysteriously hidden from the entire world’. This book was my childhood (well, part of it. I read other books too) and I’m still upset that it’s not as appreciated as Nim’s Island because it’s a way more developed story, especially for a children’s book. ‘Tis precious and needs a hooman to buy it cupcakes and read it (but not at the same time because that could get messy).

So there y’all have it! Some books to add to your ever-growing TBR and to please love and maybe adopt as your childlings. Seriously, why have these books just been ignored? Where is the justice in the world? Where is our humanity??

Have you read any of these? Please give them love because you have no reason not to because they are excellence.

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Cake flavoured books tag and a slice of cake appreciation

Heyy bookish peoples. I’M BACK with my usual habit of stealing tags from bookdragons across the globe, today specifically Cait @ Paperfury’s Cake Flavoured Books Tag, which she stole from bookstagram so I guess we’re all thieves round here. I haven’t done a tag in awhile and this one is food related so I just couldn’t help myself. I’m hungry, okay?

I hath stolen most of the categories (questions? sections? I don’t even know) from Cait with a sprinkling of my own because I’m sorry but I do not like cheesecake – one of the original category thingies. Or tiramisu for that matter. Buuuut I did keep tiramisu in just to torture myself because I can’t spell it and yes I’ve spent 10 years in education but they don’t really teach you how to spell different deserts?? Weird, I know. One day I’ll become a teacher and put this right but for now I’ll just have to sit through the endless hours of learning about useless things like numbers and equations that won’t help with my life whatsoever unless I become a calculator when I’m older, which I don’t plan to, but you never know. Life is like a box of chocolates.

Anyway, let’s start this tea party, shall we?

(Minus the tea, add 104% more cake.)

(Huh, maybe maths might be useful after all.)

(click the booky photos to go to their goodreads page)

1) Chocolate cake (a dark book you love)A Series of Unfortunate Events

For a children’s series this one’s pretty dark, at least in my opinion. Reading this as a kid I was so cool with it, but rereading it now has made me realise just how dark these books can get. Probably because I’m a more elderly human now, the subtly-weaved in dark humour is definitely noticeable. But yeah, this be one of my favourites.

2) Vanilla (a light read)The Boy in the Dress

Awwww this book!! True, it is more of a kid’s book which is why it was a light read, but so enjoyable and it actually touched on some deep topics but still remained fluffy. I haven’t seen the film in a while but I remember really liking it and thinking it was adorable too. Great light read, très squishy characters.

3) Red velvet (mixed emotions)The Eyre Affair

Soooooo looking back on it now, I did enjoy this book overall, but it was quite slow-moving until halfway through the book when things spiced up a bit. I figure I didn’t get a long amazingly with this book because it was more aimed at adults, so there wasn’t a whole lot of excitement, no offense to adult books. Maybe I’ll like this book more when I’m wrinkly? Who knows.

4) Coffee cake (a book you didn’t finish)The Dragonfly Pool

Not too long ago, I picked up this book but it started off a little dull, which is why I ditched it. I’m pretty sure I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time, or maybe my expectations were too high because of Star of Kazan – a brilliant book by the same author – but eh, I might throw caution to the winds and take another stab at it sometime in the near future.

5) Carrot cake (a book with great writing)The Book Thief

So this one is nonnegotiable. The Book Thief has the most enchanting writing I’ve come across in a book and the story is told in such a beautiful way that I fell in love with it by the first chapter. The unique formatting, the squishable characters… they’re all well and good, but the writing? Magical.

6) Tiramisu (a book that left you wanting more)The Two Princesses of Bamarre

When I finished reading this book the first time around, when I was about 9 or 10, I’m pretty sure I cried because I loved the story so much and didn’t want it to end, and it was made worse by the fact that there’s no sequel, so I was a distraught lil pumpkin. Fortunately I got over myself and reread the book recently, not feeling exactly the same way about the ending? But maybe that’s a good thing otherwise I’d be a mess, let’s be honest here.

7) Cupcakes (series with 4+ books) – All the Wrong Questions

THIS SERIES AHHH ONE OF MY FAVES. If I was to be 100% honest (which I am all of the time anyways, obviously) then I’d have to tell y’all that… lean in close, children, a lil closer… *whispers* I may or may not prefer All the Wrong Questions to A Series of Unfortunate Events THERE I SAID IT, THE TRUTH IS OUT. But don’t tell Sunny or else she may decapitate me.

8) Fruit cake (a book that wasn’t what you anticipated) – A Dream Not Imagined

I had such high hopes for this book… alas, it did disappoint me a lil. The writing style was good and I liked it but, the plot? I don’t know, we just didn’t get along well, so maybe it’s a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing because others did enjoy the book! Which is why I thought I would, but I didn’t as much as I’d hoped. Don’t mean you can’t give it a go, though 😉

9) Lemon cake (a book that surprised you) – Theodore Boone

Ah this book!! It was sent to me by a relative and I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but I WAS WRONG thankfully because I loved it and it kinda slapped me right across the face because I wasn’t expecting to. The plot just messes with your mind but in a good way and ARGH it’s so well done, please go read now.

10) Victoria sponge cake (favourite British book) – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Of course, being a Brit, I had to throw in a lil of the bestest ever British book series (second to only Harry Potter), otherwise known as The Chronicles of Narnia. My favourite of the series is definitely The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because the story is a kind of introduction to what Narnia has become after the whole The Magician’s Nephew ordeal, and I just love it, bless this book.

So there y’all have it: a slice of cake appreciation! Although not too much otherwise my stomach might hold me hostage and conquer my blog. Yeah I know, that sounded a lot weirder than I meant it to, I’M SORRY. I’m just a lil hungry so I’m gonna go eat some food now.

Have you read any of these books? Feel free to be a thief (A BOOK THIEF HAHA) and steal this tag like I did because I’m a great role model.

A stroll through sun and storm

The Scorch Trials ~ James Dashner

Heyy y’all! Recently I’ve been reading The Maze Runner trilogy and it’s so much EXCITEMENT. I’m also rereading A Series of Unfortunate Events, which is only the most significant series on this blog, being the first I ever reviewed. The last time I read this series was 3 YEARS AGO, peeps, and I can’t go another year without it. And also watching the Netflix show has made me miss it. I’ll probably post a review for the entire series when I’m done rereading it, so keep yo eyes peeled for that.

Also, I found this quote in a Neil Gaiman book that I only read one page of in school but the quote just jumped out at me so:

I knew how to visit the creatures who would never be sighted in the zoos or the museum or the woods. They were waiting for me in books and in stories, after all, hiding inside the twenty-six characters and a handful of punctuation marks. These letters and words, when placed in the right order, would conjure all manner of exotic beasts and people from the shadows, would reveal the motives and minds of insects and of cats. They were spells, spelled with words to make worlds, waiting for me, in the pages of books.

Beautiful, am I right? Anyways, as I said, I’m currently reading The Maze Runner trilogy and today I’m reviewing the second book, The Scorch Trials! (Here’s my review for the first book.)

After escaping the maze with his friends, Thomas thought that would be the end of the experiments, that they’d go home and live normal lives again. But after Teresa mysteriously disappears, replaced by new boy Aris and all the people who rescued the Gladers from WICKED are discovered dead, Thomas knows that their trials aren’t over just yet. And when some well-dressed, rat-faced guy appears, telling the Gladers that they have the Flare – a disease that makes you cannibalistic – and the only way to be cured is to travel across a huge desert to a safe haven in just a matter of weeks, Thomas and his friends have no choice but to obey orders and take part in WICKED’s experiments once again.

This book was very, very average. Honestly I think that’s the best way to describe it. I was a lil disappointed because it was nowhere near as good as the first book, but I guess that’s because the first book in a trilogy is always exciting, as you’re introduced to a new world and new characters, the last book is the finale so it’s gripping right to the last word, but the second book is just there to fill in the gap. Obviously sequels can be really good, and there are many great ones out there but, in my opinion, this book wasn’t really one of them.

I liked Thomas and Teresa a lot less in this book, because most of the plot was centred around them and, as a result, there wasn’t enough of my darlings Newt and Minho which means I’m a very displeased pineapple because they’re my favourite characters. They literally had 20 lines between them. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but they were always being separated from Thomas whose brainforest the whole book is told from so they were hardly in it and I’m upset.

My squishies were pretty much replaced by Brenda, the girl who Thomas meets in the crazy people town, soooooo I ended up not liking her very much. I really, really don’t like how there have been only two significant female characters so far in the trilogy and Thomas falls for both of them. One minute he likes how Brenda ‘held his hand’ or ‘rested her beautifully-scented head upon his shoulder’ and then he feels guilty about it because he still has feelings for Teresa?? But then he regrets pulling away from Brenda? Like bro, please stop. You’re being chased by crazy people who want to eat your nose, you’re separated from your friends and you have a deadline to meet but all you’re thinking about is girls. C’mon dude, this is a dystopia, not some fluffy high school contemporary. PULL YASELF TOGETHER, THOMAS.

Buuuuut I didn’t overall hate this book. Sure, there was a lot of walking which we all know I hate, but the pacing was still alright, and the writing didn’t let me down. The ending did seem pretty parallel to the first book (as did kinda the whole story, just not as good) but I’m still super hyped for book 3!! I already know two people who die because I’m the spoiler queen and I’m NOT READY. DON’T DO THIS TO MY FEELS, PLEASE JAMES DASHNER, PLEASE.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣ (6/10)

4th Blogiversary, my mysterious absence and a ‘hello yes I’m back’ gift

Heyy bookworms. Yes! It’s that time of year again: my blogiversary. A time for throwing around cupcakes and thank yous to all you wonderful pineapples out there who read my blog even though I’m awful and haven’t posted in 2 months. Bless you, my children. You don’t deserve this kind of treatment and yet you remain on my bloggish island. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the likes, comments and kindness you’ve given for the past 4 years! Or however long you’ve been hostage reading my blog.

As ever I must congratulate Alyssa for being the top commenter (surprise, surprise 😉 ) with 126 comments. 126, peeps. I literally only have 125 posts. So thank youuuu Alyssa. Have a cookie.

Wow, 76 followers, 125 posts as aforementioned, 340 comments, 4753 views and the most awesome stat, my most popular viewing day, is… *drumroll* …Saturday!!

I know the question that’s on all your minds. Well there are two actually. The first being where in the name of Snicket have you been for 2 months?? And that is an excellent question which has a pretty stupid answer: I’ve been on holiday – which here means I’ve literally been asleep for 2 months. Your suspicions were correct, I am in fact a bear with a very messed up body clock.

The second question is if it’s your blogiversary, where is your lil competition that you do, ya know, EVERY YEAR, hmmm? The answer to this is hopefully a bit more sensible: my blog has been dormant for a whole 1/5 of a year so I thought I’d sort it out a bit first and do a competition near Christmas. How does that sound??

And seeing as I’ve been away for so long, here’s a little ‘hello yes I’m back’ gift, a lil snippety from another world (also known as the very near future) where cats have taken over and imprisoned all the humans. Be sure to tell me what you think 🙂

A thundering smack resonates in my ears, pain seeping to my side. The leader of the cats glares at me, snarling.

“Try escaping again, you’ll be the kitties’ lunch.”

Pain bites my side. I wince. “Monster,” I hiss, stumbling away.

“Excuse me?” the cat growls.

“MONSTER!” I roar, anger overcoming my wits, sudden strength flooding into me. I clasp the cat’s neck, my grip tightening as he begins to gag.

Dazed, I retreat, staring at the retching cat. Then I vault over the fence, zooming like the wind, finally escaping my prison.

But we humans can never escape the cats.

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Maze Runner ~ James Dashner

Remember, back in September, when I reviewed The Battle of the Labyrinth and named the post The Maze Runner because I thought I was funny? Well it turns out I still think I’m funny. And for anyone who’s wondering what the apple pies is going on, I’m reviewing The Maze Runner, not The Battle of the Labyrinth, but you can read my review for that here

When Thomas arrives in the Glade via a lift called the Box, all he remembers is his first name. He’s welcomed by a group of boys who call themselves Gladers – they explain to Thomas that they’ve all lost their memories and have been trapped in the Glade, an expanse of land surrounded by a towering maze that they must solve to escape. For two years, the Gladers have been keeping order, trying to survive and a small handful of them trying to escape by learning the maze’s patterns to figure out a way home, but so far with no luck. Every night, the doors into the maze close and the Grievers – terrifying half creatures half machines – roam the maze. Three days after Thomas arrives, the first girl ever enters the Glade and that’s when everything begins to change, when the weekly supplies stop arriving and when, one night, the doors to the maze don’t close…

So, I definitely get why this book is so hyped. ‘TIS MAGNIFICENT. I didn’t really realise or appreciate how excellent the book really is until the plot behind the maze and why they’re all there began to slowly come into focus. It was just so so clever and it made me understand why the book is one of the most popular YA novels of our generation. SO GOOD PEEPS.

The writing was a lil tricky at the start because it felt very thick with description, but I quickly got used to it and soon the story was flowing beautifully. I think the reason why I got used to it early on is because the writing style felt very similar to my own – I’m big on describing every little detail at the very start, but gradually the descriptions calm themselves and flow smoothly, the details becoming less crowded. The short chapters also helped the story to spill freely, keeping me drawn in, especially when almost every chapter ended on a cliffhanger and I just had to read on before I burst with suspense. Sometimes I was petrified just to turn the page over. This book grabbed hold of all of my feelings and I felt so immersed in the world, I could hardly escape it.

Most of the reviews I read before reading the book complained about the language the Gladers use: ‘klunk’, ‘shuck’, ‘shank’ etc… but for some reason the words just made the story more enjoyable? I adored the way they spoke, Newt particularly, and these words they all used because it just added to their character as well as to this world that we’re not familiar with. I know authors put these words in books to replace worse words and make it more suitable for young people and all that, but for me it really just made the Glade so much more interesting and the fact that Thomas didn’t recognise the words made me as a reader understand how Thomas felt not knowing anything about his old life or the new one he has to live in the Glade. It’s a very small aspect of the story, but made a big difference to me.

So, Simi, what are your thoughts on Thomas? Well that’s a great question. And the answer is: I don’t really know. He was likeable I guess, although it was infuriating at the beginning when he was asking loads of questions, then getting all worked up about it. I know if I went to the Glade, I’d be just as confused but bruh you don’t have to shout at people on every other page!! Maybe the author was trying to make us understand how confusing and aggravating it would be to lose all your memories and be dumped in the middle of a maze you’re forced to solve, but that didn’t stop it from annoying the french fries out of me. Buuuuut when he finally shut up I began to like his character a bit more. Although him and the girl, Teresa? Eh, I wasn’t really feeling it. Their relationship felt a bit awkward and angst-y and I didn’t like it much. Don’t get me wrong though, I did like Teresa and I’m excited to learn more about her. She reminded me a bit of Annabeth, the classic badass heroine who ‘don’t need no man’ (but still ends up with one… OH WELL).

And it wasn’t just the similarities between Teresa and Annabeth that gave me a hint of nostalgia…

Minho nodded and faced the crowd. “Be careful,” he said dryly. “Don’t die.”

“Great. We’re all bloody inspired,” Newt answered.

Sounds a bit familiar…

“Greeks!” Percy yelled. “Let’s, um, fight stuff!” They yelled like banshees and charged.

Memories… *sniffs*

Speaking of Newt and Minho (having a crisis because HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE MINHO PLEASE HELP); they were definitely my favourite characters, followed by Chuck. They were all just the cutest, Newt and Minho being all badass and confident and argh I love them soooo much, and Chuck was just adorable and so brave for his young age. All three were Thomas’ friends even when everyone else was against him… my squishy heart belongs to them all. And I know Alby, the leader, wasn’t that great a person, but I totally ship him and Newt to the end.

That ending… it was probably my least favourite part of the book because eh, it wasn’t exactly boring, I just didn’t like it much. I mean, that might have been because it BROKE MY SOUL (yes, I’ve become Voldemort). Many tears were shed, many hearts melted, MANY PEOPLE KILLED. I’m a river of feels. The River Simi, in fact. It may take me a few centuries and tubs of ice cream to recover.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (9/10)

8 of the best (and worst) parents in the bookish world

Heyy bookdragons!

So, if there’s one person (or two) who can really influence and shape a character in a book, it’s their parents. I owe a lot to my parents because they made me the sweet little pineapple I am today and I’m very grateful because everyone loves pineapple, buuut what about parents in books?? Don’t they deserve some appreciation? Well yes, Bobby, they do indeed and today I’m giving a slice of my appreciation to, not only the best parents in books, but also the worst because neither can just be ignored now can they? And ’tis the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day so I couldn’t resist having a parentish themed post.

I’m sort of linking up – but not really because the linkup was weeks ago but oh well I’m slow when it comes to everything linkups – with Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m squishing two posts, best/worst mums and best/worst dads, together to create a list of the best/worst parents, 4 of each, because WHO HAS TIME TO DO TWO SEPARATE LISTS OF 10 WHEN THERE ARE COOKIES TO BE BAKED AND BOOKS TO BE EATEN. Now, less chattering and more, um, blabbering.

Warning: this post may contain spoilers for the books that these parents appear in, so don’t cry if you haven’t read Harry Potter and I spill the first names of the Weasley’s parents because it’s your fault, Arthur. I did warn you.


Hans and Rosa Hubermann (The Book Thief) – not only were they willing to take in a starving, pretty much homeless little girl – who steals food and books and Rudy’s heart – when they were already practically starving themselves, but they also managed to do the best job at being the cutest lil parents. Hans was the sweetest jelly bean, teaching Liesel how to read, and just being an all-round son of a babe. And Rosa, darling Rosa, had buckets of sass and feisty-ness but deep down she had the biggest heart and together they’re everything you want in a family.

Uncle Monty (The Reptile Room) – well this ‘parent’ needs no hesitation before being put on this list because we all want an Uncle Monty in our lives. A cake-loving man with a house full of snakes?? Seriously, what more could you want? Uncle Monty is the reason snakes are my favourite animal: he appreciated and loved them even with their reputation… And he also appreciated and loved the Baudelaires who sure needed some of his cake and care. This man is just an angel.

Hades (Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus) – I know there’re many great parents in these series – Percy’s mum and stepdad, Frank’s badass grandma – but can we please talk about Nico’s dad because this man needs some appreciation. Every godly parent in these series sucks but Hades? Can we just take a second to remember the time he gave Nico A ZOMBIE CHAUFFEUR because that’s what the ‘mortal parents’ do like I ACTUALLY CAN’T. He’s the cutest cheesecake with the squishiest heart for his offspring and I want to give both him and Nico a cuddle.

Molly and Arthur Weasley (Harry Potter) – well no bookdragon can deny this one. The Weasleys were basically family to Harry, as well as 7 OTHER CHILDREN like how did they not go insane?? I don’t even know how they managed to care for one Weasley child, being a poor family too. To me they seem quite similar to the Hubermanns, with calm and cute Arthur, and feisty but loving Molly, and they basically took Harry in and treated him like their own. Argh, my heart hath been melted. Also, they raised Fred and George? Bless them.


Edeltraut von Tannenberg (Star of Kazan) – I read The Star of Kazan a longgg time ago, but I do remember how much I disliked this woman. What kind of person pretends to be a poor orphan girl’s mother, for the sole purpose of snatching her fortune she was left by her cute old lady friend who died? I know you want to be like Count Olaf but woman can you please have some respect? No one can compare to Count Olaf and, seriously her friend just died and you want all her money. She doesn’t even deserve to be on my blog, but The Star of Kazan is an excellent book so I’ll allow it.

Lady Abbington (A Dream Not Imagined) – so this lady is just crazy. In my last post I reviewed A Dream Not Imagined so for my full opinion you can read that post, but in short: this woman is a physco. She abducted an innocent child just because of a grudge. This is only very slightly illegal? I think this woman might need some help. Her husband was pretty horrible too, as well as her daughters, but none of them was as bad as this woman. Like fair, she let Ellie go to the ball but SHE ALSO ABDUCTED ELLIE AS A CHILD, soooooo. And at the end she didn’t even apologise to Ellie. Urgh I spit on you, Lady Abbington.

The Mallahans (All the Wrong Questions) – these two aren’t as horrible as the others on this list, but they’re not exactly winning Best Parents of the Year. Moxie’s dad is lazy and depressed, which I get, his wife left him, but he could at least try to care for Moxie. If there’s one thing I hate in books, it’s when single parents basically neglect their children because they’re depressed and don’t even think twice about how their kids are feeling about losing a parent (e.g. Mimi’s dad). And Moxie’s mum isn’t much better: she ditched Moxie and her dad to become a snazzy journalist in the city and yet Moxie is still a babe and a half.

I stopped looking at her typewriter and looked at her eyes. Their colour was pretty interesting, too – a dark grey, like they’d once been black but somebody had washed them or perhaps had made her cry for a long time.

“My mother got a letter from the city and left for a job with another newspaper.”

“When are you joining her?” I asked.

Moxie looked quietly out the window for a moment, giving me an idea about who had made her cry.

If that doesn’t break your heart I don’t know what will.

The King of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre) – I can’t even put into words how much I dislike this guy. I mean yeah, it’s hard, your wife died so you’re stuck with two girls and a whole kingdom to care for, but I was kind of expecting you to actually try to do a good job of it instead of lazing around, not taking care of your daughters, or you know, that kingdom on your doorstep. When Meryl got sick he didn’t even care and when Addie went out to save her sister instead? Didn’t give two hoots. He’s just a wimp who doesn’t care about his family and argh I do not likey.


So there you have it folks, the best and worst parents, in my opinion, in the bookish world. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go bake some cookies and eat some books.

Who’re your favourite/least favourite bookish parents? Do you agree with mine? Lettuce discuss.

My first ever fairytale retelling??

A Dream Not Imagined ~ Shantelle Mary Hannu

Heyy y’all, today I’m reviewing A Dream Not Imagined which I’ve wanted to read for so long now, mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever read a Cinderella retelling, or any fairytale retelling for that matter. I wanted so badly to check one out because I love fairytales (blame Disney) sooooo here I am, reviewing, as far as I’m aware, my first ever fairytale retelling. Cue flailing, excited screaming of Disney songs and maybe a few flying glass slippers here and there…

Ellie Abbington has always wanted more than her dull life as a maid for her upper class family, has always longed to escape and live happily ever after, far from her stepmother and stepsisters. And it looks like her dream might come true, very soon… When a handsome prince arrives in town, Ellie seizes her chance to meet him with hopes that he might, just might, be her escape. But it just so happens that her stepsisters are after the very same prince and a ball is being thrown so that the prince can select a wife. How can Ellie compete with her wealthy sisters? However, when Ellie is permitted by her stepmother to attend the ball, all hopes of a happily ever after are crushed by the prince himself, a man who is not all Ellie thought he would be. Who is there left to trust now that her dreams have been ruined? Distraught at the turnout of the ball, Ellie is confronted by an elderly maid who encourages her to turn to God instead. Following the wise maid’s advice, Ellie puts her trust in God, and her life begins to change…

So, I didn’t hugely like this book. I liked how, by the end, Ellie realised that having a rich husband isn’t the most important thing in the world, so I guess there’s a good message behind it all, but I didn’t really like the actual plot or the characters.

In regards to the storyline, it was original with the horrible Prince Charming and the charming peasant boy; buuut still predictable. I felt like the whole ‘duchess’ concept was just included to emphasise how awful the prince really was, but otherwise was pretty unnecessary.

Ellie’s backstory wasn’t wholly believable either. Um, who abducts an innocent child just because their father rejected you, even though what you had was only a fling?? I honestly think Lady Abbington (Ellie’s stepmother) is insane. And Lord Abbington, wasn’t much better. I thought this was going to be a pretty lighthearted, squishy lil romance, with a twist on the original tale, but the writer literally says that Lord Abbington abused Ellie. The worst part is that it was only subtly slipped in once, and then there was nothing else said on the matter. He could be sent to prison for assault, but Ellie didn’t seem phased by it at all throughout the story. I just think that, if you’re not going to put some emotion and maybe a bit of detail on how it really impacted Ellie, then there’s no point just adding the fact that she was abused as a side note.

Ellie instinctively jumped back and grabbed for a weapon, remembering Thomas Abbington’s tendency for physical violence toward her.

That’s literally all it said. No elaboration whatsoever.

And the Duke? He was just annoying and pushy and, in my opinion, wasn’t much of an improvement from the Abbingtons.

Also the Prince was THE WORST but he obviously has to be that way for the sake of the story. I liked how him being horrible was proof to Ellie that some dreams, like marrying rich princes, really aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The Prince wasn’t the classic gentleman and, although I didn’t like him at all, I liked the twist on his character. Buuuut then that handed the charming role over to Rowen, the peasant boy. I know he was sweet, but he seemed almost unrealistically kind to Ellie that he did slightly annoy me, which sounds a bit pathetic, I know. Although I can’t really complain because he was probably the only good character. What I did want was a little more backstory on him. I know the book is a novella, but Rowen was a pretty underdeveloped character and just seemed to me the sweet lil guy to fill in the gap for the classic ‘happily ever after’. Also, rushing into things much at the end?? But, again, it’s a novella, I GET IT PEEPS.

What about Ellie herself, you ask? Well, I know she’s a maid and is allowed crazy, ambitious dreams, but there are better dreams than just marrying a wealthy, handsome prince. Although I liked how her dreams changed, she still seemed slightly simple minded and dull throughout. I definitely wanted more on the stepsisters though. And, um, where did the other maids go?? It’s a novella, I KNOW, but I wish the writer had focused more on developing the secondary characters instead of the whole ‘duchess’ backstory.

Overall, it was a lil dull in places, with a pretty cheesy romance that was slightly predictable BUT I didn’t completely hate the book!! It did have an enjoyable writing style – meaning that I’d definitely read another one of the author’s books – it was just this particular story that I didn’t like very much. It has, however, prompted me to find more retellings so YAY.

Which retelling should I read next? Have you read A Dream Not Imagined? If you haven’t, then do immediately right now straight away and tell me whether you like it or not! Spill all the thoughts.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣ (5/10)