Posts Categorized: Discussion

Hangovers…of the bookish variety.

July 7, 2017 Discussion 2

I don’t know about you but I both love and hate bookish hangovers. They are great because they always mean that you have read something INCREDIBLE. But on the downside, that incredible thing is now over and trying to adjust back to normal life is HARD!

I recently read “Damaged Like Us“, the newest book by twins Becca & Krista Ritchie. You may know them as the authors of the amazing “Addicted” series. Well Damaged Like Us is the first book in the spin off series “Like Us”, which focus’ on the next generation of the Addicted gang.

Ever since this new book and series was announced I have wanted it. And then the synopsis was released and I wanted it even more. I literally spent pre-release week counting the days and I was clock watching right up until it’s midnight release on 27th June. I then stayed up until 4.30am reading, followed by a whole day in work. And what did I do in work that day you ask?

I read it again.

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We have the POWER!

August 26, 2016 Discussion 4

This post was originally 3000 words long. I may have had a bit of a rant and just let the words flow! You will be thankful that I then went back and edited and there are now a lot less words (and hopefully a lot less ranting!) but something important that I wanted to discuss.

My dad owns his own business and a few weeks ago someone wrote a negative review on the website. But it was more than just a negative review. It made accusations, false accusations, it used scary words. The kind of words that can really damage a businesses reputation

The person who wrote this review probably forgot about the whole thing a few days later. But those negative and untrue words will stick on that website and with that business for a very long time.

And it’s totally the same with books. We read a book, write the review, post it and then move onto the next book. I probably couldn’t even tell you what my last 5 reviews are.

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At What Point Do You DNF A Book?

May 9, 2016 Discussion 5

April was a really bad reading month for me, like REALLY bad! I have been reading 2 books simultaneously but haven’t reached the end of either. I hate it when I can’t read, it puts me in such a rubbish mood and also results in me having nothing to review on my blog! (hence the slightly quiet month!)

One of the books that I have been reading is Firstlife, a book which I was super excited to read and had seen some pretty good reviews for. The whole concept of the book is really unique and I was excited for some really cool world-building. Plus I LOVE the cover.

But I have been reading this book for an entire month and I still haven’t reached the end!

Basically this entire book is about Ten, our MC who needs to pick a side: Myriad or Troika. The problem, she can’t decide and would rather go through months of torture then actually make a decision. And the really frustrating thing, she never actually tells us why she wont decide, she just keeps telling us that she wont. (Plus, there is kind of a love triagle but it’s not even the slightest bit lovey and the whole thing just annoys me!)

Now, I’m all for authors making us wait for the big decision/exciting moment a little bit, but I’m at 64% and other than a couple of slightly action moments nothing has really happened and this girl has STILL not made a decision.

I made myself continue reading because I kept thinking that she would eventually decide, but she hasn’t, and now it’s gotten to the point where I don’t think I actually care what she decides. Sadly there is nothing about this book which makes me want to continue reading it, and I’m thinking that it’s that time when I should call defeat and put the book down.

But then if I do that I feel like I have wasted an ENTIRE month on only 64% of a book that I am never going to read the ending to.

Maybe I should have just given up earlier? But then if I had given up at say 20% then would I have spent the rest of time wondering if I had just read another 10% then I might have actually gotten to a good bit and totally fell in love with the book?

So here’s my question: When is the right time to DNF a book?

Do you give yourself to a certain % or number of pages? Or do you stop if the author writes something unforgivable?

Also, has anyone actually read all of Firstlife and can tell me which she chooses?!!! (in a private message! No spoilers on this blog!)

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Prescribing Books for Mental Health

April 15, 2016 Discussion 2

So I was meant to be posting a review today, but then one of my friends shared an article with me and it was something that I really wanted to talk about.

The article, which you can read here, spoke about how GPs (as well as counselors and school nurses) can now prescribe certain books to young people suffering with mental health issues. The ‘Reading Well for Young People’ campaign, launched by the Reading Agency is aimed at ages 13-18 year of which it is estimated that 1 in 10 suffer from some form of mental illness.

  

The list includes books like I’ll Give You the Sun (Jandy Nelson), Every Day (David Levithan), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Hadden) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky).

You can find the full list here.

“The list can be recommended by GPs but also you can explore it at your own pace, which I think is really good because if more people educate themselves and have better understanding of mental health generally, it will make a difference.”

One thing I really like about the list is that it’s not full of self-help or non fiction books although there are some great non fiction books included. But there is a whole pile of fiction in there too with books about characters going through things like depression, anxiety and identity issues.

  

Novels are not written to educate or impart advice and there will be a lot of young people who find it easier to read about a character going through the exact same thing as them with the emotional connection to them too.

Another great thing about this list is that it heavily features books which are YA. There are a lot of skeptics out there that consider YA to be a lesser subset of “real books”. But they could not be more wrong! YA is just as diverse, has just as many talented writers and is just as worthy of being recognised as any other non YA book and now it will be, and as something that can help young people.

“I think fiction, if anything, works better for young people – a lot of young adult books deal with things young people go through, and through relation to the characters, it can be a way of getting advice without being told [what to do],”

I’ve quite a few books with feature mental illness, especially over the past year, and I think one of my favorite has to be My Heart and Other Black Holes which deals with suicide and which I think would make a great addition to this list.

Mental illness is something very real that we will all come into contact with at some point in our lives (whether ourselves or through people we know and love) and I think it’s great that this campaign has been started to help people even more. I’m not saying that books are better than medication but I just think it’s a great additional way to support people.

“Books can be a safe space – it’s so much easier to talk about the characters in, say, The Perks of Being A Wallflower than to say ‘I’m depressed’.” (Juno Dawson) 

There have been so many times in the past that I have had a really bad day and I’m feeling particularly down about something, and without even thinking about it the first thing I do is pick up a book. Reading is like therapy to me. It calms me down, it lets me escape, but it also lets me see how blessed I am with my life when I read about people in worse off situations than I’m in. Plus I have learnt so much through reading.

So what do you think? Do you think the right book could help someone with a mental illness?

What do you think of the approved list? What would you add to it?

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To Re-Read or To Not Re-Read?

April 14, 2016 Discussion 4

Before I started Broc’s Bookcase my reading wasn’t massively diverse. I read a hell of a lot but it always seemed to be the same books over and over. My friends and family always used to question it and ask me did I not get bored repeating the same story. But for me re-reading these books was about reliving my favourite moments over and over, or discovering that one new little thing that you didn’t notice the time before.

Since starting my blog my reading has diversified both with new authors and new genres and I am so happy about it. I’m reading about new topics, I’m learning about new things and I’m experiencing new bookish feelings. I don’t regret starting my blog or diversifying my reading, but boy do I miss re-reading.

I’m not the most organised of bloggers, I think we all know that, so many of my blog posts etc end up being done the day before or even the day of being posted and sometimes I end up reading a book the night before a blog tour I have signed up for. I’ve tried to be better this year and not overwhelm myself with ARCs and blog tours, but still the mix of blogging, reading ARCs and reading books that I’ve bought, well that kind of takes up a lot of time.

To re-read a book or an entire series of books would take time away from the books that I am reading for my blog, so I barely do it anymore. Which is so sad because I really do love re-reading.

This month The Winner’s Kiss (final book in Marie Rutkoski’s Winners trilogy) was released and I have known for a while that I wanted to re-read the previous books before starting this new one. A lot happens in the first two books and I was scared that I would miss something important in the third book because I had forgotten some little detail from books 1 or 2.

So I planned it into my schedule when I was going to read them. Luckily I was going on holiday to Canada just before the final book was released so 24 hours worth of trains and planes meant that I had a decent amount of time to re-read the previous two books that I otherwise wouldn’t have had time to.

I am constantly seeing reviews from bloggers who are reading some of my favourite books or series for the first time and reading their reviews and hearing them getting so hyped up about them makes me want to reread the book and experience it all too. But that means that I have to plan it in advance so I can make sure I still have time to read the books I need to review on my blog/Netgalley.

I guess my post doesn’t really have a point this week other than to say how crazy it is the planning that I have to put into re-reading a series? I used to read the Harry Potter books on repeat over and over for months and the world didn’t fall apart, but if I was to do that now the I would have no books to write about on my blog.

There was this TV show I used to watch when I was younger and it had this boy in it who had found a magic watch which stopped time. I have often said that I would love a watch like this if only so I could have more time to get through all my reading!

If I had the chance I know exactly which books I would re-read first:
What I Didn’t Say, The Inheritance Cycle, Under the Never Sky trilogy, Harry Potter (yes, again!), the Gone series (re-read and complete!) and Percy Jackson and the Olympians (re-read and complete) … and that is just the start of my list!

So I guess my question is, do you re-read? And how easy do you find it to do whilst also reading new books for your blog?

Which book/series do you really want to re-read?

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Of Course I Want Read a Book that Will Rip My Heart to Shreds and Make Me Ugly Cry Like a 5 Year old

March 18, 2016 Discussion 4

There is nothing I love more than a book that will bring on the ugly tears. You know the kind, the ones that you can’t stop (and don’t even try to because you know it’s futile) from pouring from your eyes and soaking your face, clothes and most probably your book too!


(Don’t you just want to give him a hug?)

My non-bookish friends always find it really strange that I like books that make me cry. They are always asking me questions like:

“Why do you want a book that is going to upset you? Isn’t reading meant to be fun?”

Well yes…but also no.

Reading is meant to be enjoyable, but that doesn’t meant that you should spend the entire time you are reading with a massive grin on your face.


(I love a good Arnie smile!)

Books are meant to MAKE YOU FEEL something. Books give you characters and a story  to invest your self in and that you will route for. A book is meant to make you smile, laugh, snort and swoon but it’s also meant to make you frustrated, angry, devastated and heartbroken, because all of these things mean that you are FEELING something. And that is what reading is all about.

(I couldn’t NOT include this gif in my post. I love this scene in Mean Girls!)

I’m not really into humor novels, I don’t read crime or erotica or science fiction. But what I do love to read are books with characters who are broken in some way. Characters who find themselves in the worst place possible (whether literally, physically or mentally) and have to find the strength to pull themselves out.

Characters who are grieving the death of a family/friend, characters with illness’ or disabilities, characters who have been attached or abused, characters who are dealing with the repercussions of a bad childhood, characters who have lost the person they love whether through death or a break up.

All of these things sound pretty depressing, and none of them sound like they are going to make an enjoyable story. But you would be wrong, because these are the characters who are going to make you feel the most.

These are the characters that you will cry with and you will route for and when things go wrong for them you will be angry for them and throw your book across the room (and then cry because you hurt your book).

You will stick with these characters right until the end, through anything. And if the worst should happened and they don’t make it to the end of the book then you will ugly cry and sob and grieve for this character you loved so so much. But you will also be inspired by the incredible life that that character lived and the strength they showed through the dark times and you will leave the book with this deep sense of acceptance because you realise that this is how life goes sometimes.

Or you could read a book with a happily ever after. Your character survives, or they get back together with their love or they simply find their way out of the darkness that they started in and you are left feeling thankful for how beautiful life can be and inspired to do more with your own.

All of these you could feel in just 300 pages.

I read a similar post by Cait @ Paper Fury a little while ago and had to quote her in my post because she really does perfect it with the following statement…
“can we take a second to point out that A COUPLE OF DEAD TREES GLUED TOGETHER WITH BLACK AND WHITE SCRIBBLES ON THEM ARE GIVING US FEELINGS???? Because that’s amazing. And really weird, when put that way…”

>><<

So, on a final note I want to say  BIG THANKS to all the amazing authors who have torn my heart to pieces, made me ugly cry in public, caused mascara streaks down my face, made me suffer through book hangovers and basically just caused me to be heartbroken and beautifully inspired over and over again.

“So if people ever look down upon you for crying for fictional characters, you should give them a gentle pitying look and feel bad for them. If they’ve never cried for a character, then they’ve never loved one (and what a joy that is). If they’ve never cried a a book, a movie, a piece of music, then they’ve missed one of the great please life has to offer. Just because fiction does not contain things that are real doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain truth, and we find truth through the alchemy of our tears” – Cassandra Clare

So thank you! Because you made me feel, and I love you all for it!

Special mention here to: Tillie Cole, Colleen Hoover, E.K.BlairMalorie Blackman, Gayle Forman and Seth King

Do you like books that make you cry?

What was your favourite book that made you cry? Whats the most awkward place you have been caught crying because of a book?

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A World Book Day Bookish Love Story

March 3, 2016 Discussion 2

Firstly I must say a very Happy World Book Day to you all! Anyday that promotes the wonderful things that are books is ok by me.

I used to love WBD as a kid in school. Me and my sisters would plan for weeks what we wanted to go dressed up as and I always put so much effort into my costume (have always been a craft nut!). But my favourite part of WBD had to be in the afternoon when each teacher would chose a book to read and all the students in the school had to pick which story they wanted to go and listen to.

It was in 2000 that my friends dragged me along to Mrs Turners classroom and I first discovered my love of Harry Potter as I listened to her read me this fantastic tale of a young wizard who goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (plus she did a REALLY good Dobby voice!).

I was most definitely a book nerd as a kid, and I remember whizzing through the official school reading books in primary school so fast that I ended up reading books that were 3/4 years above my class. It got to the point when I would have to pick older books from the school library because the school had ran out of official reading books for me to read!

Books and reading have always been there for me no matter what. High school wasn’t always easy for me (like a lot of other people, I guess) and I loved immersing myself into these totally different worlds and following characters on these epic adventures. It allowed me to escape my own ‘not so happy world’ for a while and for that I will always be grateful to books.

I have also found through books that I have learnt so much new stuff, and not just from non-fiction books, but from fiction ones too. In books we meet characters with different jobs, skills and who live in different places. It’s quite surprising how many little details I’ve picked up on in the past and my family are always amused when I share some random fact with them that I have discovered through reading a fiction book.

Books have also taught me lots of life lessons through the years, some harder than others. Books taught me that being smart is not something I should be ashamed of (thanks Hermione), they taught me that sometimes friendships can fall apart and that people can betray you. Books taught me to be loyal, they taught me that sometimes grown ups get it wrong too. Books taught me that sometimes things happen and you have no control over it, they taught me that it was ok to fail. Books taught me about strength (and all the different kinds) and they taught me that I wasn’t alone.

Nearly 3 years ago I took the plunge and started a book review blog and it has got to be one of the scariest but best things I have ever done. It has opened me up to an even bigger world of books that I never knew about. I used to buy my typical ‘teen girl’ books at my local Waterstones bookstore. Now I’m buying self published books, I reading ebooks I’ve bought from amazon or got from Netgalley, I’m getting sent ARCs, I’m winning books in giveaways.

I’ve learnt so much more about the world of authors and publishers and the process that goes into producing a book and I was lucky enough to get to spend an entire day at the Hachette UK offices in London.

Books have been in my life since day one and I know for a fact that they will be in my life for many many years to come. Sure my reading tastes have changed over the years, and I have no doubt they will again. But one thing that I hope never changes is that excitement of opening a new book, that bookish smell, the ability to escape to a completely different world, the tears on the pages, the laughter caused by words, the magic, the inspiration and the emotional instability that comes with finishing a book you have adored.

Happy World Book Day everyone!

Here’s to another fabulous year of bookish love!

What is your bookish story?

Why do you love reading?

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WHAT?! I missed another book release?!!!

February 19, 2016 Discussion 6

(Warning! I got a little over excited with GIFs!)

Don’t you hate it when you find out a book that you have wanted to read for AGES has been released and you totally forgot about it?!

Well it just happened to me … again!

Another book that had been on my TBR for ages and I was so excited to read for months and months and then … I totally forgot about it!

This happens to me a lot with series because the gap in between book releases is normally around a year (which is total torture if it is an amazing series) so that is a lot of time to have remember the next book release. Especially since I will probably be starting like another hundred series (slight exaggeration!) in that time. As much as I try to make myself remember, a lot of the time it just doesn’t happen.

This always makes me feel like a failure of a fan though. How can I love the series if I can’t even remember the next book! I am super scared of forgetting the release of The Winners Kiss (Marie Rutkoski) at the moment. The release date isn’t for like another month, but I am on Goodreads nearly every day, just checking in case I got it wrong!

This also happens to me a lot with standalones, which was the case this time (how could I forget about Passenger?!!). I spend a lot of time browsing Goodreads for books I want to read, many of which are future releases, and put a whole load of them on my TBR (this is not helping with my challenge of culling my TBR down to 300 books!).

So they are on my TBR, all ready for me to read … and then I forget about them! And then months later I start seeing reviews for them on peoples blogs and I’m like:

WHAT?! I FORGOT IT! BUT I WANTED TO READ THAT BOOK IMMEDIATELY!

So how to stop this? How to make sure I NEVER forget about a book release EVER AGAIN?!!!

I’ve tried a few methods before including putting them on my calender and a reminder app on my phone. But I always find that they ping up at the worst time, and then by the time I am near a computer or have the time to actually buy the book I’ve forgotten about it all over again!

I read this post from Cait at Paper Fury about the things she would change about Goodreads if she ruled the world (she is just waiting on her dragon to appear). One of the things she said would be alerts for books that are on your TBR on or just before the release date.

That would be useful, but then at the same time I have A LOT of books on my TBR which I am probably never going to read and just added because it looked nice (this is the reason for my needing to cull) and so would it get annoying getting tons of notifications from Goodreads for books I actually don’t want to read?

Basically I think I just need to be more organised (story of my life) and find a way of remembering and stick to it! And then I can have more happy moments when I actually remember a book and get to buy it on the day it’s released an not months later!

So my question is: how do you make sure you never miss a book release?

Have you ever forgot a book release for a book you REALLY wanted to read?

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