A Game Of Thrones | Review

a game of thrones review

GENRE: FANTASY

PAGE COUNT: 790 PAGES

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.

Plot Synopsis:

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

“When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

So I’m late on the train for reviewing A Game Of Thrones I know, but for those folk who have yet to read the series, allow me to persuade you to pick it up. From what I’ve heard you either hate the book or you love it, and I defiantly fall in the later category. This book introduced a lot of people to the world of fantasy books and has been adapted into an extremely popular series that I’m fairly certain everyone and their mother has heard of. I was hesitant at first to dive into the series because I must confess I have stopped watching the series… I know I know, please don’t kill me. I simply got sick of the constant hype and discussion over it, and found the show started to drag a bit. However as soon as I picked up the book I was reminded that the original work is always better…once again please don’t hurt me.

“A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.”

A Game Of Thrones is a classic fantasy through and through with a rich world full of history that is enthralling and characters going on wild adventures. George R.R. Martin writes with descriptive prose which is extremely quotable. I know some people aren’t big fans of lots of description in books but it really works here as the world the characters are surrounded by is huge and filled with colourful people and places.

One thing you have to get used to is the abundance of characters, every page you meet soo many and though at first it is a lot to get your head around you get used to it I promise. As with all books readers will find themselves drawn to particular characters which was absolutely the case in this book!

Before I get into some of my favourite characters I will say I found a certain characters perspective rather annoying. I was really not a fan of Catelyn’s parts as I found them a bit slow and flat for my taste though fortunately this only happened with her sections.

Arya

“A bruise is a lesson… and each lesson makes us better.”

I know I’m not alone in my love for the youngest Stark sister. Arya has an astounding sense of self right from the start and refuses to be placed in the box society wishes to put her in. She choses her friends regardless of status and understands the importance of being able to defend herself. Though this is only the beginning of Arya’s journey she is already exceedingly bright for her age and manages to get herself out of trouble swiftly. She is with out a doubt my favourite character so far and I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store for her.

“The man who fears losing has already lost.”

Tyrion aka The Imp

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

Another favourite is of course Tyrion. He has learnt to make himself indispensable in a world that views dwarfs as broken. He is probably one of the smartest characters in the book, using his mind as a weapon and manipulating others with strength to protect him when his mind isn’t enough. I’m especially a fan of how he owns Joffrey on multiple occasions.

“And I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples and bastards and broken things.”

Sansa

“Life is not a song, sweetling.
Someday you may learn that, to your sorrow.”

Oft so of course Martin intended for Sansa to be ..let’s say trying at first, and I felt that whole heartedly for most of the novel. Many things she did left me internally (and sometimes outwardly) screaming. I will say I noticed some huge character growth towards the end of the novel which was both impressive and makes me intrigued for where her character will go in the future. I love when an Author demonstrates character growth when you least expect it and I believe this is a skill Martin has mastered.

Bran

“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”

Another Stark! I’d say the family has so many characters that readers tend to root for as they are both outsiders and the most down to earth. They are the most well developed, at least in the first book. Bran has had to deal with the most life altering event in that he has lost the ability the walk. A trauma that is hard in any situation let alone in a world where in order to move anywhere he must be carried. Bran has huge character growth in this book and I’m excited to see where the next book takes him.

Jon Snow

“What do we say to the Lord of Death?’

‘Not today.”

Everyones favourite under dog gets a new family in this book and we get to begin to learn about the Nights Watch and the terrors that lie beyond The Wall. Jon’s sections are a lot more intriguing then in the show. Martin’s writing had me on edge whenever Jon was making his way around the white snowy land of the Wall.

Daeneys

“He was no dragon, Dany thought, curiously calm. Fire cannot kill a dragon”

I was excited to read through Daeneys journey as she discovers her strength and the fire within her.  I found her sections a bit slow at first, However I was very invested as she started to grow into herself and become confident.

Overall A Game Of Thrones is excellent, it’s very hard to put down and the world in so interesting I can’t wait to find out more. It’s without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year. The first book is very similar the first series but from what I’ve heard the second book is quite different so I’m excited to discover the changes and see the characters grow. If you’ve never thought to read the books I highly recommend you do so! I enjoyed this book so much more them the series (Sorry HBO).

RATING:
★★★★★

History Is All You Left Me | Review

history is all you left me

GENRE: YA

PAGE COUNT: 320 PAGES

“People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

Synopsis:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

“Time doesn’t heal all wounds. We both know that’s bullshit; it comes from people who have nothing comforting or original to say.”

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this book, whatever it was I was wrong. History Is All You Left Me is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring and filled to the brim with quotable prose. I was really giving my posts it a work out through this book. Silvera’s writing is somehow both beyond beautifully poetic and completely relatable.

Griffin

“I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.”

Griffin is a character who you meet in the middle of one of the hardest events life can through at us, the death of a loved one. Not only that, but he is suffering from OCD which is getting progressively worse from the moment we are introduced to him. I was very impressed by the way Silvera portrays Griffins character throughout the novel. He goes through a range of emotions and is at times, selfish and hard to empathise with. Around the middle of the book I honestly hated the character, and felt more for other characters in the story. I’m pleased to say I changed my tune and was both surprised and proud of the character by the end of the story.

“There’s nothing wrong with someone saving my life, I’ve realized, especially when I can’t trust myself to get the job done right. People need people. That’s that.”

Theo

“History is nothing. It can be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn’t this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn’t enough to keep something alive forever.”

Theo is interesting to read about because we only get a sense of him through other characters memories of him. I found it a very interesting way to get to know a character. Reading the book you go from knowing this idealised version of a person to understanding that he was just a boy, who was loved by a great many people.

“I was in love and love died and the pain you’ve left isn’t pain I can see myself having the strength to face again”

I’m not going to talk to much about the other characters as I want to keep this a spoiler free review. So I’ll just say this. History Is All You Left Me is a book that will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I kept expecting one thing to happen and continued to be beyond surprised, and I mean it. I was literally gasping out loud at multiple points throughout the book. For this reason, and for all the lessons you will take away from the book. I strongly recommend it.

“I was right about not being able to control my own surprises, but I was wrong about how good these surprises could actually be for me. Every time a new old song comes on, I’m being resurrected. This is the true power of history. Old memories and feelings are being revived, and I’m not complaining. It’s like I still have the fatigue that got me to quit the song in the first place, but I don’t mind being woken up to it for a little bit.”

RATING:

★★★★☆

Oh and have tissues on hand, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.”

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone | Review 

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone Review 

GENRE: FANTASY

PAGE COUNT: 246 PAGES

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

*Potential spoilers if you have not read any of the books or seen any of the films
Synopsis: 

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,

Teach us something please,

Whether we be old and bald,

Or young with scabby knees,

Our heads could do with filling

With some interesting stuff,

For now they’re bare and full of air,

Dead flies and bits of fluff,

So teach us something worth knowing,

Bring us back what we’ve forgot,

Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,

And learn until our brains all rot…”

As expected I finished my reread of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in one day, because putting it down is rather impossible. I had no doubt I would enjoy the book as it has the unique magic of being timeless, but I don’t think I expected to enjoy it well beyond just childhood memories.

There are a great many things I forgot about the book which I discovered in my reread but the Dursley’s and Privet Drive was not one of them. Reading with Jim Kay’s illustrations throughout the story was a delight. I loved his interpretation of the Dursley’s and it served as a reminder of how J.K. Rowling pictures the characters and not just the actors that have become forever linked to them. I was thrilled to relive the character that is Dudley and his hilariously entitled behaviour that I remembered so well.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 

Harry 

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” 

Harry was much like I remember, and this stage in his journey is a definite favourite. He isn’t yet jaded by everything that goes along with being the chosen one and is instead a plucky eleven year old who is discovering the wonder of magic and the wizarding world for the first time. He makes a great character for the reader to relate to and go on this journey to Hogwarts where I’m positive all Potter fans are upset they never got their invitation too. Harry’s inner Gryffindor is on heavy display throughout this first book too, he’s very much the brave, courageous lion that the house is so known for.

Ron 

“Harry: “And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?”

Ron: “Throw it away and punch him on the nose.”

Book Ron is without a doubt one of my favourite characters, I had forgotten how funny the character actually was. The movies tend to portray his humour as a laughing at him rather then with him situation whereas in the book I feel it’s more laughing with him vibes. Ron is also the perfect counterpart to Harry, and you can see this right from the beginning. They balance each other out perfectly. 

Hermione 

“Oh, HONESTLY, don’t you two read?” 

Poor, clever buck toothed Hermione. She is very much coming into her personality in this book. Right from the start you get a sense of her intelligence and quite possible photographic memory. Personally I find Hermione the most relatable, I genuinely think she was so over the moon with discovering she is a witch that she filled herself to the brim with information she wants to share and she’s is of course so bright that she comes of as a bossy know it all at first. I have definitely had times in my life where I have been over eager to share info and come off similar. Of course the boys realise they cant do without her in the end, and really what would the series be without Hermione Granger?

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.” 

Dumbledore

“Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground.”

I’m sad to say I had forgotten Dumbledore’s quirky nature and all his odd mannerisms! Why the movies didn’t include them is a mystery to me as they are what makes Dumbledore such a great character! He is known for his philosophical quotes, which there is no debate about their brilliance! However without his random word outbursts and love of funny hats I think the movies scrub the character of what makes him unique. Book Dumbledore trumps movie Dumbledore easily.

 

“What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally the whole school knows.”

Snape

“Clearly, fame isn’t everything”

I couldn’t do this review without mentioning our favourite misunderstood double agent. The enigmatic Professor Snape! He is exactly how I remember him. Mysterious, talented and hella sassy. How can you not love this character I ask you? I could be biased as I am Slytherin who would most likely have an easier time in his classes then most. 

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” 

Those few people who are still resisting the draw of Harry Potter.. Um what are you doing? Get sorted (literally) and pick up the books! Fandom obsession aside, J.K. Rowling is an extremely talented writer. You will laugh, cry, get angry, be surprised and pretty much every other emotion under the sun. She is a master with descriptions making it easy for the reader to completely immerse themselves into the world. I promise, once you read it you’ll be wondering what on earth you were thinking waiting so long to become a Potterhead. 

RATING:

★★★★★

One of my favourite parts of the book; 

‘So — after that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating —’

‘Jordan!’ growled Professor McGonagall.

‘I mean after that open and revolting foul —’

‘Jordan, I’m warning you —’

‘All right, all right. Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seeker, which could happen to anyone, I’m sure, so a penalty to Gryffindor, taken by Spinnet, who puts it away, no trouble, and we continue play, Gryffindor still in possession.”