Bookish Discussions

Reading Update #2:


These past two weeks have been a little hectic…

I’ve been working a lot. I’m in my day job basically everyday for the next two weeks; I had to take some time of last week to do a last minute work experience placement at UCLan Publishing. I had such a ball! I worked on manuscripts, wrote press releases, scheduled social media posts and completed some market research! As with most of my publishing experience, I want to write a lil post about it, so expect that some point this week!

Busy schedule means very little time for reading, unfortunately. I’ve also been in such a weird reading mood. I didn’t want to read at all, but, because I don’t do anything else with my spare time, it was the only thing to do. At one point, I had started three books, but wasn’t getting through any of them.

In the past two weeks, I have managed to read three books and have also started another two.

First up was Rena Rossner’s  The Sisters of the Winter Wood. Liba and Laya live a very sheltered life, but when their parents travel to visit a dying relative, their world soon changes. They discover they can transform into a bear and a swan. Can this strange ability protect them from the mysterious band of men who visit their village? This book is heavily inspired by Jewish mythology, Slavic folklore and Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’.

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Bookish Discussions

Shea Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep:


Shea Ernshaw manages to create a haunting and chilling story of three women seeking revenge in The Wicked Deep. Two centuries ago, in the cursed town of Sparrow, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Drowned in the harbour. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths of the water, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls and luring boys into the water. Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, Bo arrives in town, and Penny is forced to choose between saving him or herself.

Ernshaw is well versed in creating an atmospheric story, let me tell you that. The writing was so enchanting, the imagery so lively, and the characters so full. I was automatically wrapped up in the story, desperate to know how the story would play out – what boy would be stolen next? Which girl was being harboured by the witches? It was the perfect length for this story, and the typical YA writing-style really suited the tone and mood of the book.

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Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Amber Elby’s Cauldron’s Bubble:


DISCLAIMER: I was sent a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spoiler free | Rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Read: 18th March – 22nd March, 2018.

To encourage more young people to read Shakespeare, Amber Elby wrote Cauldron’s Bubble which combines young adult fiction with three of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Taking inspiration from The TempestMacbeth and Hamlet, Elby creates a world full of ‘witches and curses, pirates and princesand the lost worlds of Shakespeare’. The novel follows two protagonists, Alda and Dreng, as they try to navigate this new world. There are two vital questions that linger over the narrative: ‘will they escape with their lives? or will they become lost and forgotten?’

My favourite thing about Cauldron’s Bubble was Elby’s engagement with the original texts. As MacbethThe Tempest and Hamlet are my favourite Shakespeare plays, I had a hunch that this would be the thing I liked the most. However, saying that, Macbeth and Hamlet don’t seem to play that much of a role in the novel. They are only there as narrative catalysts, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but one I thought to mention. They mainly open the story, before fading out into nothing. I was a little disappointed that Macbeth didn’t have a larger role in the novel, but Elby’s engagement with the witches was really interesting. She managed to capture an authentic portrayal of the Shakespearean witches, yet make them her own creation.

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