Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch.

INFORMATION

Title: The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London 6)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Page Count: 336
Publisher: Daw Books
Release Date: 14th June 2016
Format Available: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio download
Original Language: English
Genre: Fantasy


DESCRIPTION

Another gripping and hilarious adventure through the secret streets of London. A tour of what remains and an insight into what once was with a liberal sprinkling of folklore, myth and violent crime. Each of Ben Aaronovitch's previous Peter Grant novels have been Sunday Times Top Ten HB bestsellers and The Hanging Tree looks set to repeat the feat.
The Hanging Tree was the Tyburn gallows which stood where Marble Arch stands today. Oxford Street was the last trip of the condemned. Somethings don't change. The place has a bloody and haunted legacy and now blood has returned to the empty Mayfair mansions of the world's super-rich. And blood mixed with magic is a job for Peter Grant.
Peter Grant is back as are Nightingale et al at the Folly and the various river gods, ghosts and spirits who attach themselves to England's last wizard and the Met's reluctant investigator of all things supernatural.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

So if you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I love a good crime fiction. Though I haven't read the other five in this series, I feel as though I need to check them out, because who doesn't love fantasy crime???

I mean, crime on its own is enough, but add fairies and ghosts to the mix and Christmas has come all over again!

With hints of this being a 'funny' fantasy crime fiction series, Aaronovitch looks like he has created the perfect blend for a successful crime novel. If you can't have fun when chasing after Gods and wizards, when can you?

Has anyone read the rest of the series? Is it worth checking out?

Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Things don't always work out like you think they will [Original Poem]

[photograph is not mine]


Life isn't perfect though I wish that it was,
or even just a slice of perfect,
I want to take life and put it on a leash
and feed it and pet it and walk it
until it loves me and I it

I give life all of my best efforts,
and it throws them back in my face,
and screams at me until my ears bleed
or until I can't stand to go back
to anywhere that my feet have walked before

Running away from life is all I can do,
not end it but put it on hold for a while,
reality doesn't feel real
though I know I am here
but my life doesn't want me to be.




Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Sherlock by Otto Penzler


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Sherlock by Otto Penzler.

INFORMATION

Title: Sherlock
Author: Otto Penzler
Page Count: 720
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release Date: 22nd October 2015
Format Available: Hardcover
Original Language: English
Genre: Anthology


DESCRIPTION

In 1887, Arthur Conan Doyle put pen to paper and created a legend: Sherlock Holmes. The greatest detective of all time. His tall, slender, hawk-nosed figure with his deerstalker hat is instantly recognizable in every corner of the world.
Alongside Doyle's original stories, Sherlock has spawned a literature of his own in parodies and homages. More than 25,000 books, stories and articles have been written by authors, amateurs and scholars.
In this stupendous anthology, the best and most brilliant are collected together for the first time.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

You guys know how much I love Sherlock.

And if you didn't know, then you could probably guess by the amount of Sherlock gifs I have used in the past for my blog posts.

Sherlock is such an amazing character to me, and although Conan-Doyle would be turning in his grave if he knew that Sherlock was the one set of novels that he was known for best, I can't help but be extremely excited for this book. 

It looks sooooo beautiful!

It is 720 whole pages of pure parody and adaptation, and this is something that you don't often get in books. Also, there are some incredible works by well known authors such as Stephen King, A.A. Milne, Neil Gaiman, and Anthony Burgess. This will be an interesting take on Sherlock and Watson and I am excited to own an entire anthology of one of my favourite detectives in the whole world!

Is anyone else over the moon that this book exists?

Do you love Sherlock and want to get this book when it is released?

Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What I learnt during Freshers Week



Hey! Long time no see! 

So I had my Freshers Week in University a week ago and it was a new experience for me. I had lots of time to reflect on what was happening in that moment and I've had a week to reflect on it since then, and I realised that there was a lot I learnt despite not doing any lectures.

I am currently loving university, by the way. If anyone is on the fence about going, just apply and see what happens! It is very different from school and college, and so I thought I'd share some things that I learnt about myself and the world around me.

(Also my university building looks like Hogwarts and I'm extra happy).

1. Literally no one will force you to drink/do drugs/go clubbing

Unless you've ended up living with the crappiest people in the world, no one is going to force you to do anything you don't want to do. I don't drink and I'm not a massive fan of clubs (mostly due to my mental health issues) and so when I told my flatmates on the first night "by the way, I don't drink alcohol or fizzy drinks" they totally understood and didn't continue the topic. The same was when I told them "hey, I'm not a big fan of clubbing so I won't go all the time" they were just like "that's cool! Whenever you want to come out with us though please do" and I found that so comforting. I didn't even have to mention to them that I have anxiety - they just accepted me.

2. No one is going to judge you for being yourself

This relates to the first answer I gave as well, but I'll add something new here. You don't need to try and be someone you're not - most people you meet will know instantly that you aren't speaking in your normal accent or you are pretending to like things that you've actually never heard of. If you just chill out and be yourself, people will like you and accept you. In fact, they'll have more of a problem with you if you try to be something you're not.

3. You can cook wayyyy better than you thought you could when you were living at home

Well, if cooking is heating up quorn chicken, quorn sausages, quorn mince and veggie burgers and putting veggies on the side to finish off the masterpiece, then yes I can cook. I'm a vegetarian! What else am I meant to do? Those quorn chicken nuggets are just too good.

Have some pictures of my successful barbecue quorn chicken wrap:





4. You will sign up to lots of societies that you will actually never do in a million years

Face it. You've never really been that into Sci-Fi except for Doctor Who and no matter how much you love playing ukulele you aren't ready to take a class in it, with other people judging you. And trying to learn Korean with a teacher who moves faster than lightening is a bad idea. Once you join these societies that you know in your heart you are never going to carry on with, they have your email address and they. never. stop. contacting. you. 

5. No TV? No problem

You'll catch up on the things you really want to watch online after they've aired, and you'll soon find out which shows you genuinely love and which ones you watched just because the television was always on at home. This gives you time to do other stuff... like actual university work! Or if you don't have much of that, learn or do something new. That's what societies are there for. 

6. Free food is not always good food

That whole Dominoes pizza you got just because it was free? Yeah, don't eat that. You know Dominoes pizza makes you really sick. And if you have eaten it? Good luck spending the whole day on the floor in stomach trouble. 

7. It is really easy to talk to people in university

The people you meet on the first night are the people who become your best friends for the whole three years. You know instantly who you get along with and who you want to see more of in the future, and also who you never want to see again. I met my closest friends in my flat and through meeting people my flatmates had met in the fist week.You also have a chance to meet new people in societies and on the introduction talks for your course.

8. Knowing things is cool and not lame at all

In school you often get criticised or put down by your peers for knowing too much or being too interested in the a subject. But in university? The more you know the better! Everyone is in awe when you know a random fact that they don't or know how to play an instrument or can read books in French. Plus lecturers are impressed because they don't have to force you to read those books on the 'recommended list' - you've done it already or own all the books and are ready to start.

9. Spending time on your own is important too

You are going to be spending a lot of time with other people, whether that be in lecture and seminars, your study session groups, people you meet in societies or your friends when you go out during the night. So, sometimes you may feel a bit trapped and might want somewhere that only you know of to go and think about stuff without other people asking questions. Find a quiet place where you know not a lot of people are going to be hanging around close to you and go there whenever you feel like you need to get away. I have found two quiet places, but the pictures below are from my first one which is much quicker to get to from my flat:




10. It is okay to be excited for Freshers Week to be over

Even if you had a great time, like I did, it is totally fine to be excited for lectures (yes, even that early Monday morning existentialist one) because ultimately you are here at university due to the fact that you want to learn stuff. And sometimes, Freshers Week isn't for everyone! You may struggle socially but really fit in when it comes to your study groups and being in a learning environment, because you can handle that type of conversation. 

Whatever you're excited for, that's good! Its good to be excited about stuff. You wouldn't be in university if you had no passion for your subject.

Has anyone else had their Freshers Week recently? What did you learn from it?

Leave me a comment letting me know what you liked, and maybe what you didn't as well.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: Broadchurch by Erin Kelly



Title: Broadchurch
Author: Erin Kelly
Cover Artist: ITV photos
Publisher: Sphere
Release Date: 14th August 2014
Genre: Crime fiction
Page Count: 448
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: Various short stories about series 2
Movie Adaptation: The book is originally based off a television series!

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleEbay


Broadchurch is one of my all time favourite television shows and when I found this book in a shop I knew I just had to get it. The fact that it is also crime fiction just made me squeal with excitement! 

Blurb


Inspired by the first season of the BAFTA award-winning ITV series, this is the official, unmissable Broadchurch novel. Incredibly moving and containing never-before-seen material, it takes you inside the minds and motivations of the unforgettable cast of characters.
It's a hot July morning in the Dorset town of Broadchurch when Beth Latimer realises that her eleven-year-old son, Danny, is missing. As Beth searches desperately for her boy, her best friend, local police officer DS Ellie Miller, arrives at work to find that the promotion she was promised has been given to disreputable Scottish outsider DI Alec Hardy.
When Danny's body is found on the beach Ellie must put her feelings aside as she works with DI Hardy to solve the mystery of Danny's death. As the case becomes a murder investigation the news hits the national press, jolting sleepy Broadchurch into the national spotlight.
As the town's secrets begin to unravel, members of this tight-knit community begin to consider those in their midst. Right now it's impossible to know who to trust...


*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 


I don't have a lot to say about this really except for the fact that IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE TELEVISION SHOW! I could picture the actors and scenes exactly as they were played out on the show that I watched a couple of years ago. It was like my mind was watching the TV show, which I was really glad of because it meant they hadn't changed anything whilst adapting it to the book version and it is just as perfect as the show was.

This book really made me rekindle my appreciation for this series. It is just incredible. I definitely think this is the epitome of crime fiction. Amazing. If you have never watched the show, I highly recommend it to you.

One thing that was different about the book to the show, but was a very welcome addition, is that it reaches far into the character's minds and emotions which is something the television show simply couldn't do. I fully understood how Beth and Mark felt, and everyone else around them. Especially Hardy and Miller. 

Overall, I am really happy that I picked this book up because it is something that I never knew existed and now I know that there are some more short stories which I'm desperate to get my hands on!

Obviously this is 5/5 cups of tea!





About the author:


Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She has been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle. She has written a number of books including The Poison Tree and Broadchurch. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Review: Death Note Volumes 3+4 by Tsugumi Ohba



Title: Death Note II
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Cover Artist: Takashi Obata
Publisher: Viz LLC
Release Date: 8th March 2011 (Originally published 2003 in Japan)
Genre: Manga
Page Count: 392
Original Language: Japanese
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: Death Note 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Movie Adaptation: I think so? There is also an anime series

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and Noble,


You may remember on Monday that I gave you the review of the first two volumes of this manga series, and now I'm back today to bring you the review of the next instalment! 

Blurb


Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. Will Light's noble goal succeed, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?


*SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you are familiar with the book* 

This is amazing as usual!

These two volumes follow the point of the last editions where the NPA had bugged Light's entire house with cameras so that they could tell if anyone in the house was performing suspicious acts... like killing people. Light of course with the help of Ryuk finds all of the cameras - all 60+ of them - and then go about their daily killing business.

What is especially interesting about volumes 3 and 4 is that they go on to show how Light handles being Kira over time and throughout college, where the world's best detective L begins to seriously suspect him of being Kira and for the first time we see Light crumble under the pressure. He keeps his cool though, and manages to keep L off the trail by working for the NPA on the Kira case.

Basically, he joins the search to find himself. #deep

I don't want to give too much away, but some things happen that result in the introduction of a second Death Note holder, Misa, a young teen magazine model who is desperate to grab Light's attention with the use of her Death Note. She has an interesting story as to how the notebook became hers, which allows us to see a different side of the death gods. She then falls for Light whilst he has a brief moment of attraction and then continues to use her for his own benefit. Good old Light.

There is also a touching moment when L reveals to Light that he sincerely hopes that he isn't Kira because he has become his only friend. I as a reader found that so horrible to read knowing that Light is Kira and always has been. L has just wanted to fit in, and Light's company made him feel normal.

I actually didn't mind the introduction of a 'love interest' (as I guess it probably manifests into love later on?) because she is a clever girl, and although a bit clingy, is just what the series needed. She hasn't spoilt anything for me. This manga just keeps getting better!

Overall, I can't wait to get the next two volumes and read them, because I love love love this series. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future to Light and Misa! Plus in this book there was never a dull moment, which means I give it five cups of tea again.






About the author:


Tsugumi Ohba is best known for authoring the Death Note manga series with illustrator Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, which has 30 million collected volumes in circulation. The duo's second series Bakuman. (2008–2012), was also successful with 15 million in circulation. His real identity is a closely guarded secret, but there is speculation that Tsugumi Ohba is a pen name of Hiroshi Gamō, pointing out that in Bakuman the main character's uncle was a one-hit wonder manga artist who worked on a gag super-hero manga, very similar to Gamō and Tottemo! Luckyman in all aspects, and also that the storyboards drawn by Ohba greatly resemble Tottemo! Luckyman in style.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Review: Death Note Volumes 1+2 by Tsugumi Ohba


Title: Death Note I
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Cover Artist: Takashi Obata
Publisher: Viz LLC
Release Date: 18th January 2011 (Originally published 2003 in Japan)
Genre: Manga
Page Count: 392
Original Language: Japanese
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: Death Note 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Movie Adaptation: I think so? There is also an anime series

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and Noble,


A couple of years ago, I finished my GCSE's, and as a reward for my hard work my mum let me choose a book from Waterstones whilst she bought me a £20 voucher at the same time. This was the book I chose, and for someone who had never read manga before, I was really excited to read it - not to mention the cover is beautiful! Anyway, only this year did I pick it up after completing my A Levels, and HELP I THINK I'M OBSESSED.

Blurb


Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. Will Light's noble goal succeed, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?


*SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you are familiar with the book* 

Wow. Just wow.

I can't really explain how deep my love is for this manga series (or what I've read of it so far). I think anyone who is interested in the Japanese entertainment industry has read Death Note or seen the anime, and I don't know anyone who doesn't like it.

This is a review of the first two volumes of this series because I own the black edition books which put two volumes together for each book. I think this works out cheaper overall, although the black editions are about £10 each. I think they are beautiful nonetheless and would totally recommend going for these versions.

The first two volumes explore how Light copes with taking on the responsibility of the Death Note and doing it in his family home, where his father who works for the police force lives. This becomes a big problem pretty early on because people immediately notice that a lot of people in the same area in Japan are dying; mostly criminals, and mostly via a heart attack. Civilians in Japan relate this to the work of a mythical character from the past called Kira, and so everyone is on the look out for the killer.

With the only other person who knows about Light's actions being Ryuk, his death god who dropped the note in the first place, he is pretty much left to deal with the psychological torment of sentencing people to death. He starts off with just killing off criminals and dangerous people, but as others get in his way, he begins to threaten innocent people as well. 

I am so in love with this series because of the moral issues it contemplates, which are especially focused towards our protagonist Light. He is such an interesting character, and we get to analyse him and judge him on our own as we see him deal with becoming an indirect murderer of sorts. My guess? He is a sociopathic teenager who becomes disconnected with his actions because he thinks he isn't doing anything bad because its 'only a name in a notebook'. As the book continues, we see him become more disengaged with the outside world and become Kira, and he ends us enjoying the power a lot. It also doesn't help that he is so intelligent that no one, not even his own father or super-detective L, can catch him. 

With such beautiful artwork and a captivating plot, I devoured this first instalment of the series and was quite hypnotised by the characterisation, the twists, and the action. Obviously, this has to be 5/5 cups of tea!







About the author:


Tsugumi Ohba is best known for authoring the Death Note manga series with illustrator Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, which has 30 million collected volumes in circulation. The duo's second series Bakuman. (2008–2012), was also successful with 15 million in circulation. His real identity is a closely guarded secret, but there is speculation that Tsugumi Ohba is a pen name of Hiroshi Gamō, pointing out that in Bakuman the main character's uncle was a one-hit wonder manga artist who worked on a gag super-hero manga, very similar to Gamō and Tottemo! Luckyman in all aspects, and also that the storyboards drawn by Ohba greatly resemble Tottemo! Luckyman in style.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Girl Online on Tour by Zoe Sugg



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Girl Online on Tour by Zoe Sugg.


INFORMATION

Title: Girl Online on Tour
Author: Zoe Sugg
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 20th October 2015
Format Available: Hardcover, Kindle
Original Language: English
Genre: Teenage romance fiction


DESCRIPTION

The sequel to the number-one bestseller Girl Online. Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend, Noah, on his European music tour.
Penny's bags are packed. 

When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.

But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online.
Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

For those who have read my review of Girl Online, you'll know that I am really looking forward to the sequel. This isn't a book series I ever thought I would enjoy, and so knowing that it is another book to get excited about really makes me happy. 

I can't wait for this book because it goes in exactly the direction that I would personally want it to go instead of Penny staying in Brighton, and I think the plot line for the sequel is a really natural move. 

I honestly think this whole book will be on a new, more mature level, and I have a feeling that I'll like the second instalment even more than the first.

Is everyone else as excited for this book (or more excited) than I am?

Tell me your thoughts on it in the comments!


Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 1st May 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary/Coming of age
Page Count: 288
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A 

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleEbay


I have been meaning to buy and read this book for a while, and when I bought it with some of my Waterstones voucher I was really excited to read it. This is another of the books that I took on holiday with me, and I am sooo glad that I read this when I did.

Blurb


It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going through.

Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Pheonix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse... It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love - and her shattered life.

But the ghosts of Laurel's last can't be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them - before they consume her.

*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 

First of all, I just want to say THANK YOU for the diversity in this book. 

Mexican girls, darker skinned characters, girls who love girls... it is much appreciated for such a diverse range of characters in a contemporary young adult novel. You don't often see that much representation but this novel is clearly very different and I think a lot of people will respect this book for delivering what is often missing in our culture's literature.

This was some fabulous writing, and it really hit me hard. My heart was beating loudly in my chest when it occurred to me what had happened to Laurel when she was younger, and I was relieved when things were starting to look up for her at the end. It reminded me of a modern Perks of Being a Wallflower in a lot of ways, and that is one of the best books I've ever read, so I am highly praising Love Letters as well.

This book is an epistolary novel, which basically means the whole thing is composed of letters, and they were to various famous dead people. This was handled so well, because they were all arranged in a genius form and each letter related to a fact about the famous person. This was a really clever way of using letters, as sometimes in other novels they can be rendered meaningless.

Another thing that I liked, and this was a big thing for me that decided how I rated it, is that Laurel and Sky were a very fitting couple and who had a clear point to their relationship. By being together, they helped each other learn things about themselves that they wouldn't have discovered on their own, and since there was a clear reason why they were placed together, I respected the romance element to the book. 

Also, I love how being with Sky didn't fix her. So often in YA novels you find that there is a female character who is considered 'broken' and the male protagonist swoops in and becomes her saviour figure. This novel however went against this trope, which I am so grateful for, and hence why it is another reason why it was one of my most memorable summer reads.

Overall, I couldn't put this book down, and I didn't have any issues with it. My heart just wanted to protect Laurel, Hannah, Natalie, Tristan, Kristen, Sky, and May of course. I truly love these characters and they will stay with me for a long time. For this and all of the other reasons I have written about, this novel truly deserves 5/5 cups of tea.





About the author:


Ava was born in Los Angeles and grew up in New Mexico, and always had an imaginative mind as a child. When moving to LA with dreams of being a screenwriter, she did some work for Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower) and he suggested she write a novel when she showed him her writing. Thus, Love Letters to the Dead was born.

Where you can find Ava: Website, Twitter, Facebook



Tuesday, 8 September 2015

I MADE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL!



I can't believe it! After a long time of considering the idea of creating a YouTube channel for my book blog, I finally got up this morning and decided to film my first video!

My first video is an audio and visual version of my review of The Secret Fire by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld, since the book is going to be available in bookshops on the 10th September, and so I wanted to talk about it before it was out.

If you like my video, like it and leave a comment, and if you want to see more feel free to subscribe! 

I had lots of fun making this and I hope you enjoy watching it.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Review: The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher by Ahn Do-hyun



Title: The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher
Author: Ahn Do-hyun
Cover Artist: Daniella Terrazzini
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 9th April 2015 (in England)
Genre: Contemporary Fable
Page Count: 128
Original Language: Korean
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A 

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesEbay


I picked this up in Waterstones a few months ago because it looked really cute. The cover is a beautiful matte grey with embossed shine on the waves of the ocean and the title font, and it caught my eye immediately. I decided to take it with me when I went on holiday, and it was a really enjoyable little read!

Blurb


The life of the salmon is a predictable one: swimming upstream to the place of its birth to spawn, and then to die.
This is the story of a salmon whose silver scales mark him out as different - who dares to leap beyond his fate. It's a story about growing up, and about aching and ardent love. For swimming upstream means pursuing something the salmon cannot see: a dream.
Translated for the first time into English, The Salmon Who Dared To Leap Higher is a wise, tender and inspiring modern fable about finding freedom and a harmony with nature we have either forgotten or lost in the binding realities of life.


*SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you are familiar with the story


This was a cute fable-like story. In fact, I have no idea what genre this actually is, and so I just labelled it as a contemporary fable. 

The story is about a shoal of salmon trying to safely travel upstream and the struggles that come with the journey, even though it is something they do each year. Silver Salmon is a different colour from the rest of his group and so he ends up feeling lonely, as none of the other Salmon really bother with him. The novel explores what it is like as a salmon to have to cope with such dangerous journeys and also how Silver Salmon grows to be a leader, meeting and falling for Clear-Eyed Salmon along the way. It is also interesting to enter the mind of a salmon falling in love for the first time, and not really know what that is or how to handle it, because he is in fact a salmon.

It is a very different read, as the protagonist was a salmon. Like, an actual fish. And so were the rest of the characters. I really liked this strange aspect, but I know that many people might not be able to cope with there being zero humans in it, and some people may not think the idea of talking fish is very appealing, so just bear that in mind when considering to buy this book.

It is also very interesting to read Korean work, as I have never ventured this area of literature before. Again with my comment about people maybe being put off by it being a book about fish - it isn't the 'norm' for Western novels and romances to not involve humans, but I think that this is one of the beautiful things about reading literature from other cultures. I'd tell you to give it a go, but you all have your own minds and I'm sure you'll know if this is a book for you or not.

Silver Salmon + Clear-Eyed Salmon = OTP. I'm all for that deep sea fish shipping.

Overall, the book was really nice all around. I wasn't in a particular rush to read it, and it ended up being interesting but not gripping. I think it lacked passion and emotion in places, but it was really poetic and so it was like a piece of art instead. As a cross between a children's tale and an adult book, it was a really weird reading experience but I liked it a lot! So, I think this book deserves a solid 3/5 British cups of tea.




About the author:


Ahn Do-hyun is an award-winning author and poet from Korea who studied Korean Literature at Wonkwang University. His writing career took off when he won the Daegu Maeil Shinmun Annual Literary Contest with his poen 'Nakdong River' in 1981, and he has gone on to receive many more awards since then for his work.