Book Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes // An Anastasia Retelling

Reasons to Read Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Hello book lovers!

Fun fact about me: I don’t normally read historical fiction. I don’t know why, especially when I used to love history at school, but it’s just not the kind of book I find myself reaching for.

A fantasy book based around historical events, however? I’m ALL OVER THAT.

I was immensely excited when I came across Romanov, not only does it have THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER that basically had me stroking it every five minutes, but it is also based around the history and myth of Anastasia, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. When Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and go into exile with his family, who were later slaughtered, rumors began circulating that Anastasia had somehow survived. Alas, history has now proved this is not the case, but the story still continues to fascinate and capture the hearts of many (including mine since watching the famous animated film and studying Russian history at ALevel!)

I was so excited to see how a YA novel would take on this topic, incorporating it with magic and mysticism, especially considering the role of Rasputin in history as a family friend and holy man who had a ‘mysterious’ hold over the family.

So, did mixing history and magic make for a good read? Find out below!

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April Wrap Up: Grishaverse, Silly Socks & the Battle of Winterfell!

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Hello everyone!

Another month gone, another wrap-up post. These sure do come around quickly sometimes! (I’d also just like to preface this by saying that despite the title there will be NO Game of Thrones spoilers in this post!)

I’ve been sitting here trying to rack my brain for something interesting enough to share with you guys from April. I did think about trying to convince you that I’d learnt to talk to animals, built a spaceship, or found a fossilized dragon egg in amber that had hatched and I’d become a dragon rider (still ever hopefully after my childhood of watching Jurrasic Park), but somehow, I didn’t think you guys would take me at my word?

Game of Thrones dragon gif.gif(A girl can dream, right?)

April can basically be summed up in Dory’s famous words ‘just keep swimming…’ or the better know phrase, ‘keep on keeping on’.

Of course, there was that brief moment in the UK where we got July-worthy sun over the bank holiday weekend and we all had a freak-out and dug out the BBQ equipment, but it wasn’t long before the status quo returned.

By far the best thing about April for me was seeing all the amazing love you guys have given my Pancake Book Tag. SO many of you have participated in this now and I kind of feel really emotional about it??! I really didn’t think this many people would do it and the whole thing has far exceeded my expectations. You guys are absolutely incredible, THANK YOU! :’D

So, let’s get on with the wrapping up!

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Bullet Point Mini Reviews // Water Outages, Arranged Marriages & Mystical Wars!

Mini Reviews

Hello book friends! I hope ye are fairing well. 

I feel like I’ve been devouring books at a fast rate lately, gobbling up stories like they’re my last meal for the next month, desperate for more characters and more amazing worlds.

Yep, I am a book glutton. 

Anyway, as much as I would love to write reviews for every book I read, alas, this thing called time is against me, and I am a pawn to its whims.
Still, I’ve read so many good books lately that I couldn’t let all of them go without giving the nod to AT LEAST SOME OF THEM, and others, I really just wanted to share with you!

So read on for my latest adventures!

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The 10 Stages of Being a Newbie on Bookstagram // Aka an Emotional Rollercoaster!

The 10 Stages of Being A Newbie on Bookstagram 2

Guys, for the longest time, I was totally against getting an Instagram account and joining the Bookstagram community.

I have enough social media to contend with already, I said.
When will I even have enough time to take my own pictures anyway, I said.

But about 6 months ago I caved, and oh boy, I have been utterly enraptured since!!!

I check in on the app AT LEAST once a day to stare at all the pretty shiny things on there, and wow, looking at everyone’s accounts makes me feel so inspired.

Learning how to use, cope, and post on this site has actually felt like a real journey, which is kind of a weird thing to say about something that is essentially a social networking platform! However, I have a feeling a lot of you will:

a) empathise with my struggles
b) feel a little less alone by reading them or
c) find them highly amusing.

…and that’s why I’m bringing this post to you today! So without further ado, here are the 10 stages of being a newbie on Bookstagram from yours truly!

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Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon Book Review

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (a favourite author of mine), was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. It contains all my favourite things after all:

1) Lots and lots of pages…!
*My arms are so much stronger after reading this, no lie.*

2) DRAGONSSSSS!

3) Complex female character narrators (yay!) with the bonus of an f/f romance *fist pump for diversity!*

I counted down the months, weeks then days until I finally got my hands on this 830 paged beauty, and when its gorgeous cover was in my hands, I disappeared from the internet and dived in!

So, did it live up to my expectations? Eh, I’ll be honest with you – it didn’t. :/ Read on to find out why!

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March Wrap Up // Harry Potter Vibes & Birthday Treats!

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Good afternoon, readers!

I have a question for you: DID YOU MAKE IT OUT OF MARCH IN ONE PIECE? I, my friends, did not. I feel like a walking, talking zombie and I am absolutely cream-crackered! March felt more like 2 months!

THE CHAOTIC THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:

This can basically be summed up by crazy work shenanigans: first, one of our main members of staff dropped to 1 day a week unexpectedly (and we were understaffed before), secondly, we took on another member of staff who quit 3 days in. So THEN we had to interview for ANOTHER new member of staff, (it’s a really weird feeling interviewing people, btw). We eventually found one (yay!) but now most days are spent training them, which, lemmie tell ya, is REALLY EXHAUSTING.

barny at work gifActual footage of me at my desk.

NOW, FOR THE REALLY AWESOME THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MARCH:

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Samatha Shannon in Conversation: London Launch of Priory + UK GIVEAWAY!

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Hello, book dragons!

I’m bringing this post to you a little later than intended because life has been super busy *SHAKES FIST*, however, I’m extremely excited to be giving you the inside scoop on the Samantha Shannon in conversation event I attended at the end of February, celebrating her new release The Priory of the Orange Tree!

For those of you that don’t know, Priory is a high fantasy standalone novel that’s loosely based around the myth of George and the dragon, which is pretty freakin’ awesome!

I’m still quite new to attending bookish events and I do get a little nervous about them, but the team at London Waterstones Picadilly made everyone SO welcome, even offering us a free glass of wine. Um, VIP TREATMENT OVER HERE!?!

My friend and I arrived pretty early but the room was already half full, buzzing with excitable energy. When Samantha walked onto the makeshift stage there was a large whoop and a round of applause. Joining her and chairing the interview was Alwyn Hamilton. While I haven’t read any of her novels, I really want to now because she was such a funny and vibrant speaker and really set the tone for the evening!

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