The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

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Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.
When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.
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Rating: 4 stars

First things first, last year I was absolutely obsessed with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a web-series on YouTube. (If you haven’t heard of it get right on over to YouTube and watch it. NOW. To help you along here’s the first episode):

I absolutely loved it. It was literally my life during my second year of university, and I probably spent more time following the huge amounts of interactive media that went along with the series (e.g. Twitter) than I did writing assignments. Anyway, I think any Jane Austen fan would enjoy this series, unless you’re one of those people who gets offended by any slight alteration to the master piece that is Pride and Prejudice, in which case I’d advise to stop reading.

This book is basically a written form of the series, with a lot more detail and extra scenes that we obviously don’t see in the videos. The book is written in the form of a diary although after reading this book, and having attempted to write a diary myself, it is not a very realistic diary. But who can say the web-series is considered realistic?! So I feel this point is invalid when talking about how good or how bad the book was.

Evidently, from my rating, I enjoyed the book. How could I not after devoting so much of my time to the series?! What I loved most about the book was Lizzie’s voice. It was extremely entertaining and I felt it captured Elizabeth Bennet in modern form perfectly. It was intelligent and witty and highly enjoyable. The adaptation from page to screen and back to page again was very well done, considering the time in which they wrote the book. I particularly enjoyed reading more about Lizzie’s relationships with her parents and sisters.

However, there were aspects that left me still wanting more. I feel they published this book out of fan demand and yet they barely embellished at all on the most important aspects (in a fangirl’s eyes) of the story: Darcy’s first “proposal”, and Darcy’s second “proposal”. The parts I really wanted to know more about and there wasn’t anything new. Even the ending was incredibly rushed compared to the rest of the book and it was a little underwhelming. The book would have got the full five stars if the ending was better constructed. There was a week after Darcy’s second “proposal” that the viewers didn’t really know anything about and I thought this would have been a great thing to embellish on in the book but nope. We get a small amount of clarification. BUT NOT ENOUGH!

But overall, I do think this is a book worth reading if you love Pride and Prejudice adaptations. I did enjoy it despite its set backs and I probably will read it again at some point.

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Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea. 
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I’ve only really got into poetry in the past year or so. But I believe I have loved this poem all my life, I can’t even remember when I first read it. It’s so beautiful. 

Book Haul [#4]

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I know… another book haul… I have a problem this month. 

We have The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. 
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The tales of The Silmarillion were the underlying inspiration & source of Tolkien’s imaginative writing. He worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to final form. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it’s the story of the 1st Age of Tolkien’s world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the Rings look back & in which some of them, such as Elrond & Galadriel, took part.
The title Silmarillion is shortened from Quenta Silmarillion, The History of the Silmarils, the three great jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves, in which he imprisoned the light of the Two Trees that illumined Valinor, the land of the gods. When Morgoth, 1st Dark Lord, destroyed the Trees, that light lived on only in the Silmarils; Morgoth seized them & set them in his crown, guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Feanor & his people against the gods, their exile in Middle-earth, & their war, hopeless despite all the heroisim of Elves & Men, against the great Enemy.
The book includes several other, shorter works beside The Silmarillion proper. Preceding it are Ainulindale, the myth of Creation, & Valaquenta, in which the nature & powers of each of the gods is set forth. After The Silmarillion is Akallabeth, the story of the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the 2nd Age; completing the volume is “Of the Rings of Power & the 3rd Age,” in which the events of The Lord of the Rings are treated in the manner of The Silmarillion.

I love The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. So it’s only fitting that I read this right? I love the elves too, so even more of a reason to read it. I’m just ashamed that it has taken me this long to buy it!

Then we have The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.
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The second book in The Kingkiller Chronicle.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of his family, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.
Now, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

I’m currently reading The Name of The Wind, the first book in the trilogy, and I love it. It’s brilliant so I had to buy the next one. I would definitely recommend these books. If you’re looking to read more Epic Fantasy then I would start with this trilogy. 

The 3rd book is The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper.
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Cooper’s famous adventure brings the wilds of the American frontier and the drama of the French-Indian war to vivid life. Featuring the classic character Natty Bumppo, it is a moving, memorable depiction of courage, passion, and forbearance, and a precursor to the Western genre.

This was bought on a whim. I’ve never read anything like this before, so I thought its about time I tried. It sounds good. 

The last book is Longbourn by Jo Baker.
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If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice,the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. 
Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own. 

This sounds rather awesome. Downton Abbey meets Pride and Prejudice?! Yes please. 

Favourite books of 2013

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Just a list of all my favourite book/series that I have read this year. I’ve read a lot of books this year and it was so hard to put them in order.

1) Penryn and End of Days series by Susan Ee (Angelfall and World After)

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Amazing start to a series which I believe will be five books. I honestly can’t wait for the next book.
Angelfall: review
World After: review

2) Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice)

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A series that I should think everyone is familiar with. Entertaining, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately fantastic. I read this series in one swoop in August and still find myself revisiting it to reread snippets.

Series review.

3) Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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The second instalment of the Throne of Glass series. This is how sequals should be done. Better than the first book and the first book was pretty great. A series everyone should give a go, because there really is something for everyone.

Review

4) His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers (Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph)

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The first two books in a trilogy. Brilliant books about assassin nuns. What more can make you want to read this book?! Love love loved it.

Grave Mercy: Review
Dark Triumph: No review available.

5) The Duff by Kody Keplinger

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Love this one a lot. Perfect for a quick read. Great characters even if the storyline is a little predictable.
Review.

6) Maus by Art Spiegelman.

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Just… wow. All I can say really. Pick this up, you won’t regret it. If you do… there’s something wrong with you.
No review available.

7) The Monk by Matthew Lewis

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One of the few classics I read this year. It’s insane. If you looking for something shocking this is what you need.
Review.

8) Study Series by Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study)

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The male hero in this is to die for. I love him. Haha… But there is so much more to these books than the romance. Wonderful fantasy trilogy, with a strong heroine.
No reviews available.

9) Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed, Dreamless and Goddess)

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All about Greek mythology. I know a lot of people stay away from this when reading Young Adult but I would definitely recommend giving this series a change. It is so action packed and fast paced its great. I’m not overly fussy when it comes to mythology so it would suit someone of the same opinion.
No reviews available.

10) Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure)

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Yeah, another vampire series. But WAIT! with a twist: It’s set in a dystopian world. This series has so much potential to be one of the best Vampire series out there. Its not soppy, and these vampires are no push overs. People who have read Kagawa’s Fey series and disliked it may be put off by any of her other books. BUT PLEASE give this series a go. The writing, the world building, the characters AND the plot is utterly mind-blowing.
Short reviews but its something…
The Immortal Rules: Review
The Eternity Cure: Review