On Thursday 12th March, I was invited to go to the Hogwarts Express preview event at the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I was incredibly excited beforehand, as I’ve been a massive fan of everything Harry Potter related since I read the books for the first time in 2013. It was my first time at the tour and I loved it!
It’s unbelievable to see a world you’ve imagined in your head and seen on a TV screen to come to life right before your eyes. It’s even more unbelievable to live the moment surrounded by people who are even bigger fans than you are.
The new Hogwarts Express part of the tour is fantastic. As you round the corner, you see the Platform 9 3/4 sign and you are suddenly transported to the platform that you can visualise so clearly from the books. You can have your picture taken by the trolley (as seen above!) and wander around the platform itself. The train is a magnificent sight to behold, as it’s all realistically scaled, with smoke coming from the top. The ambience was amazing!
You can even climb the steps and enter the train, looking in through the carriage sections to discover tiny details about the characters. It most definitely felt as if you were actually there.
I enjoyed the whole tour so much – if you haven’t been, I would HIGHLY recommend it!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, a new topic is chosen and people are allowed to make their own lists.
Despite really liking this week’s theme, I really struggled to find books to feature. There are so many ways to interpret the word ‘unique’ so the books I’ve chosen to feature are for many different reasons.
I don’t think I’ll ever read such a unique and original book as Every Day. Its concept is phenomenal and I can’t think of a better person to write it as David Levithan.
More Than This by Patrick Ness is also a book with a breath-taking concept. I wish I could read it again for the first time because I can remember the feeling when I first read it, and how blown away I was by it.
I can’t write this list without talking about Harry Potter, can I? It screams ‘unique.’ The world, the way it is written, the dedication of the fandom. Will there ever really be a book quite like it again? I doubt it.
This Star Won’t Go Out (I write this wearing my TSWGO t-shirt) is totally unique, not just because it’s non-fiction, but because of how it affected me. It’s such an emotional book and that’s what makes it so special. It’s real life and honest.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart has to be unique because THAT. ENDING. I’m still reeling, over a week after reading it. I don’t think I can risk saying any more, but, yes, I haven’t read a book quite like it before!
I love Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle because it seems very straight-forward but so much happens. I can’t wait for the sequel!
The Library of Unrequited Love is a very small book, less than 100 pages, but so much is discussed within so few pages. It’s also translated from French, and set in France, which I think adds to its originality.
I think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy (or the two books is it so far) win the prize for the biggest change from a first book to its sequel. I can’t wait for the final book because I know there’s going to be a lot going on.
Dreaming of Amelia is written in the form of exam papers, which I thought was such a great idea. All of Jaclyn Moriarty’s books are written in a quirky style – as letters, emails etc. – and I think this is my favourite of hers.
Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry is unique because of its setting. There will never be another Stonewylde for me. If I could live in any fictional world, I would live there; it is the place I imagine when I close my eyes, and the place I dream of when I sleep at night.
2013 must hereby be known as ‘The Year of Amazing Books.’ Seriously, in 2013 I read so many books that blew me away. I only started getting into YA in 2012 so I’ve been catching up on lots of the books I missed and there were so many releases of brilliant books too.
Below is a list of my top 10 books of 2013 and my reasons for them being my favourites. I haven’t included sequels or re-reads in my list.
My favourite book of the year by far is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.I just can’t get over the total gorgeousness of this book and no matter how much I rave about it, I still can’t convey my thoughts properly. It’s now my all time favourite book and Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite authors. I have so much love for this book! The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harropis a book that took me by complete surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did and I’m extremely jealous of Isobel Harrop’s artistry. This is a book that’s perfect if you’re in a bit of a reading slump or you want to try something a bit different. Then we have Every Day by David Levithan.I love books that make you question the world around you and give you something to think about and Every Daydid just that. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafireally blew me away. It’s another book I didn’t expect to like as much, but it’s one of my favourite dystopia novels now. I like how it’s written in a different style to typical novels and the sequel, Unravel Me, is even better. The final book is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maaswhich may be one of my favourite fantasy novels. The world Sarah J. Maas has created is so creative and unique.
More Than This by Patrick Nessis another book that really makes you question the world around you. I didn’t know much about it beforehand but it ended up knocking me out with its awesomeness. Yes, 2013 was the year I finally read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowlingand I ended up loving it. I can definitely see what all the fuss is about. Then we have Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossiwhich is a very different dystopia novel. It’s set a long way into the future so the whole world was different and it’s the type of novel I can’t help but love. Paper Towns by John Greenreally sealed the deal in me loving John Green’s books so much. After loving The Fault in Our Stars in 2012, I couldn’t not love Paper Towns.Finally we have The Host by Stephenie Meyer.After liking but not loving the Twilight series, this book was a really big surprise. My friend was hassling me to read it for ages and when I finally did, I fell in love with it. SO good!
So those were my favourite books of the year! There were so many to choose from and I’ve still missed so many out.
Let me know your favourite books of the year! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What did you think of them?
The A to Z Book Survey was created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner. I love her blog so much (seriously, she’s one of my blogging idols) and she does the End of Year Book Survey every year which is such a good idea. I’ve seen this going round the blogosphere for a few days now and I thought I’d give it a go myself because it’s such fun.
Author you’ve read the most books from:
According to Goodreads, I’ve read the most books by Cassandra Clare (7), but I know that according to my bookshelf it is Meg Cabot. I’ll read anything written by both.
Best Sequel Ever:
I’m going to choose Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi for this one because I couldn’t put it down. I love her books so much and this one exceeded Shatter Me by miles.
At the time of writing this (yesterday), I was reading The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle, which I’m finding very difficult to get into. 🙁
Drink of Choice While Reading:
I only drink water so that’s going to have to be my answer. Although when I’m reading I usually forget to drink anything.
E–reader or Physical Book?
I’ll always love physical books, and nothing will beat them for me, but I am trying to read more e-books because they’re so much cheaper and it’s much easier to buy novels that aren’t so freely available here in the UK. This saves me having to buy a hardcover for a book I might not enjoy.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! My ultimate book boyfriend. *swoon*
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Wings by Aprilynne Pike, because I was very close to DNF-ing it.
Hidden Gem Book:
The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did!
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Starting my blog. I wouldn’t be the reader I am today without it, because blogging made me read more and look to other genres that weren’t familiar to me.
Faking It by Cora Carmack which I LOVED. I love her books so much now!
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
I don’t like reading vampire novels, but I will tolerate them. I do avoid time travel novels now because I just have a lot of problems with them.
Longest Book You’ve Read:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Major book hangover because of:
Shaman of Stonewylde by Kit Berry. It’s the last book in my favourite series
Number of Bookcases You Own:
I have two shelves that run the length of my wall, one that runs half and a big bookcase. And I still don’t have enough room…
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Whenever I’m in a reading slump, I’ll pick it up and it always helps me get out of it.
Preferred Place To Read:
I can read just about anywhere, but I love reading in my chair which normally has things heaped up the sides and fall on me pretty regularly. I’d take a picture but it’s so messy the sight would probably horrify you.
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“‘After all this time?’
‘Always,’ said Snape.”
It gets me every time!
This is a really hard one for me to answer because there’s nothing that I wish I had done differently. I’m still really young so I can’t say I wish I had done things years ago and I read so much anyway that I can usually fit in anything that I want to read. I’m going to leave this one blank for now.
Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I only have one more book to go!
Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry
Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Anything Rainbow Rowell, which is pretty ironic seeing as though one of her books is called Fangirl.
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi! Words cannot explain how excited I am. 😀
Worst Bookish Habit:
I do buy a lot of books that end up sitting on my pile for months and months. My TBR pile takes up two shelves.
X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Your latest book purchase:
Faking It by Cora Carmack for my Kindle.
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Losing It by Cora Carmack! I stayed up all night reading it!
Have you done this survey? Link me to your own posts if so!
(sorry for the lack of pictures. My post wouldn’t format them properly. :))