Five Things Series

Five Things Series: Hannah Kent

Hello peeps, and welcome back to my blog, Tea and Paperbacks! This post is a special dedication to one of my new favourite authors, Hannah Kent. Ever since I picked up Burial Rites and loved it, I have been meaning to read her other works and review them for you.

I read her two books quite a long time ago. I finished the second book I read by her, The Good People, on June, while I read her first novel, Burial Rites on October last year. Here are five things I loved about Hannah Kent’s books.

My review of Burial Rites, and The Good People.

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#1 The atmosphere and setting of her books

Both Kent’s books are set in Ireland in 1820s, but revolves around different events. In both novels, she has a similar theme running through the atmosphere and vibe of the books. They were all set in a cold country, and you can really feel the climate taking a huge role on the stories and the characters. The cold was what really struck to me as very Hannah Kent, echoing across both the books similarly.

On another note, the location of these stories are also very important. I can still clearly imagine the hills and small houses in Burial Rites, while the edge of the forest in The Good People, as well as the creeks and houses scattered in the village where the main character lives is still fresh on my mind.

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#2 Her few yet very well carved out characters

In her first book I wrote a review and stated that I didn’t really remember or had a strong impression of her side characters, but her main characters were so strong and well written that those who weren’t in the spotlight became just a blur. Overall though, her books do not have a huge cast of characters. Only a bunch of main characters, each of them unique in their own ways and so fleshed out you can feel how human they are.

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#3 Those book covers!

Just look at them.

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#4 That beautiful and quotable writing

This is almost the main reason why I picked up The Good People after reading Burial Rites. Hannah Kent has a way with writing her stories, weaving in the atmosphere and weather (like I mentioned), the characters, their dialogues, while also paying attention to the flow of the story. I agree, it is quite slow at lots of times, but I realized that those are the types of books that I love, the books that have a slow paced story with amazing writing that makes you want to underline a lot of the passages.

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#5 How the themes she discusses makes you contemplate about life

In Burial Rites, Hannah Kent tells a story about the last days of a woman who was persecuted to die because of a crime she claimed she didn’t commit. That’s a very heavy topic and reading the story from partly the woman’s point of view is very eye-opening. Additionally, in The Good People we find the main character, a grandmother who thinks her grandson is a changeling and tries to save him but in the end kills him instead. There are so many layers into the main characters, and the events that happened in the books, and it really makes you think about them a lot.

The sky comes closer and for a moment I am going to collide with the clouds, but then I see, they have put me on a horse, and like a corpse they are going to take me to the grave, like a dead woman they will bury me in the earth, pocket me like a stone. There are ravens in the sky, but what bird flies underwater? What bird can sing without stones beneath him to listen?
Natan would know. I must remember to ask him.

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So, have I convinced you all enough to pick up a book by Hannah Kent? I hope so! To find out my full thoughts on these two books, check out my review of them in Goodreads. Until next time!

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Five Reasons Why You Should Read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Welcome back to my Five Things Series, where I review books I read through a list of only five things! This is just a way for me to be able to deliver my thoughts on a book in a proper post but not wanting to make a full-length review about it. This time I wanna talk about A Monster Calls, a middle-grade novel written by the award-winning Patrick Ness, and my first 5-star book in 2016.

If you haven’t read the book yet, this is a post to convince you to read it! Not to mention the fact that the movie adaptation will be released soon. If you have read the book, I’m sure you’ll agree with the five things I mentioned in here.

One. Gorgeous illustrations.

Let’s just take a moment to look at that beautiful cover design. Now imagine much more beautiful illustrations like those in the cover, all over the pages in the book. That is A Monster Calls. Jim Kay is basically amazing. I love the black-and-white illustrations, and the texture of some of the paintings that look like they weren’t just made my paintbrushes. It makes the book much more better and gives it that spooky mysterious-y vibe which I love.

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Two. It’s short but you’ll want more when you’re done.

It’s merely a 200-something novel with lots of pictures and a smaller size. But man does it pack a huge punch. You’ll devour every single page without wanting your eyes to leave the book, and by the time you finish you’ll wish it has more pages. It’s really that good.

Three. Patrick Ness’s writing is so good you feel like you want your life to be narrated by him.

If you’ve read the Knife of Never Letting Go series, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Patrick Ness has become one of my favourite YA authors out there, because he’s not like any other YA authors. His writing is literally heartbreaking and so beautiful I want to read his words every single day.

quote2There was once an invisible man who had grown tired of being unseen. It was not that he was actually invisible. It was that people had become used to not seeing him.
And if no one sees you, are you really there at all?

Four. You’ll get your heart broken.

Like I said, Patrick Ness is a masterpiece, and this book brings a huge punch. And despite the small size of this book, if you didn’t cry while reading this book, you’re probably a heartless human being or you’re not a human being at all. So yes, prepare a box of tissues before you dive into this book.

Five. It’s not just a middle grade novel.

Is it a graphic novel? Is it a middle grade book? Is it a novella? Is it for adults? You don’t really know. It doesn’t really matter because although the main character is young, and although the book is intended for younger audiences, anyone at all ages will love this book no matter what.

5 stars

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If these five reasons are not enough for you to be persuaded to get out of the internet and read the book, I don’t know what else will. All I just want to say is that you’re missing out on something amazing and you’ll probably regret it for the rest of your life. So go ahead and read A Monster Calls right now, and let me what you think about it in the comments below!

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Five Things About: Emma by Jane Austen

Good evening everyone and welcome back to Tea and Paperbacks! My reading progress this year has been quite slow so far… I’m 2 books behind my schedule on my Goodreads goal! Which is kinda understandable for me because I set myself a really high goal for myself this year (55 books), and also because school has been super tiring. But anyways, today I would like to post about a book I recently read, a probably familiar read to you guys: Emma by Jane Austen. Here in my Five Things Series I will list five things or aspects in the book I want to talk about, and whether I liked it or not.

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#1. The Adorable Friends-Turn-Lovers

Everybody knows about the cute relationship between the main character, Emma, and Mr Knightley. They had known each other for years, and have been really good friends, as close as family. They would bicker with each other and advice each other, and they are so comfortable with each other because they basically see each other almost every day. Yet along the book you see their friendship bloom into something different, and this kind of trope is probably one of my favourite ones in the fictional world. That kind of slow burn love between Emma and Knightley are adorable, and the main reason why I love this book.

quote2I cannot make speeches, Emma… If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.

#2. The Humor

I love how the story of this book basically focus a lot on the miscommunication and misunderstanding between characters. It’s hilarious and so fun to read. How Emma would think that Elton was in love with Harriet when in fact he loves Emma herself. And other things involving love and feelings that are never explicitly stated that would turn up to be the opposite of what we thought. It’s so fun and I think that if I would live in that era where a person’s love life is so subtle yet also so fast, I don’t think I will survive.

#3. The Writing Style

The writing style itself was typical for Jane Austen. It wasn’t too heavy, but there were parts that felt too slow and redundant, that makes the reader quite bored of reading it. The chapter where the letter from Churchill was inserted was for me waaay too long and made me feel bored when I was reading it. But other than that it flows really well and even though at first I was a little confused with all the characters, I still can really enjoy the book.

quote2Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.

#4. The Friendships

I think this book doesn’t only focus on the romance of the women, but also the friendships between them. From the first chapters it has been established that Emma was really good friends with Mr Knightley. But I really like Emma’s friendships with other people, like Harriet and her relationship with her father. It was a lovely dynamic to explore, and I just love Emma herself in particular. She reminds me of myself in the way that we are both very sensible when it comes to love, that we follow mostly our head instead of our heart. But nonetheless Emma still feels very deeply and in the end it is her compassion and love that makes her a better person and a better character for me.

#5. The Movie Adaptations

After reading the book I watched two different movie adaptations, the first one being the 1996 Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow. It was a really fun and entertaining movie. Lots of parts and quotes from the book was put inside the movie, and although I wasn’t really into the decision of picking Paltrow as Emma, it was still a very enjoyable movie.

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The other movie adaptation I watched is of course the very famous 1995 movie Clueless, which isn’t a true book to movie adaptation but just a movie that is inspired by the novel. It’s a really fun twist of the real story, and I first thought it would be kinda cheesy and all that but I actually really enjoyed it! It was light and fun, and the romance was really cute. I love how it has really different character in the movie but still embody the essence of the novel through the plot points.

3.5 stars

Have you guys read Emma? What did you like and dislike about the book? Did you also like their movie adaptations? Let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments.

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