My Top Ten Wintry Books

AHH IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT!!! WINTER IS HERE!!

winter is here

(alright that was a more terrifying affect than intended 😉 )

Okay- for reelz, it never normally snows in London, so I’m enjoying how pretty it is right now. And, rather appropriately, the post I had planned for today is actually about wintery books! Specifically my top ten wintery books! Let’s get to it:

snow child

Snow Child– the clue is in the title 😉 This exquisite tale, set in the fairy tale land of the Arctic winter, warmed me from the inside- I seriously recommend Snow Child for a cosy night in. And speaking of fairy tales…

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– as was pretty obvious from my gushy review the other day I LOVED this book. It’s a magical retelling of Russian folklore and if nothing else, you are guaranteed spectacular descriptions of snowy landscapes 😉

secret countess

The Secret Countess– Eva Ibbotson is a childhood favourite of mine and one of the reasons for that is her beautiful, mythical writing style. Her books are always enchanting, but this one in particular is romantic and heart-warming and perfect for this season (NB also known as A Countess Below Stairs)

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone– speaking of childhood books, nothing says Christmas quite like Harry Potter. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t secretly dream of Christmas at Hogwarts?

chronicles of narnia.jpg

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe– but if we want to talk a Christmasy dream come true, we’d have to go visit Narnia! I know, I know, Narnia is technically cursed to always be winter in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe– yet that doesn’t stop it being so beautiful!

christmas carol

Christmas Carol– yes, yes, I know I’m reeling off the classics now- it’s just this is a classic for a reason. Obviously everyone knows the story, but I finally read this over Christmas last year and can tell you now it was *perfect*.

the railway children

Railway Children– honestly, I think children’s books are great for this time of year. And since it’s already a tradition that they show the movie version on the TV every year (at least in the UK) why not pick up the book? It’s moving, it’s got beautiful themes about family and it’ll make you happy in the end.

little women

Little Women– romance is what I’m looking to read most winters- and I don’t think you can get much better than this classic. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it might even make you do both at the same time. Easily one of my all-time favourite books.

ivan-denisovitch

One Day in the Life of Ivan Densovitch– okay who said anything about all the books on here having to be happy? Sometimes winter gives us the chills- so if you want something a little darker, then this is the book to go for. It’s one of those quintessential books about the Soviet Union if you’re interested. (And at the risk of sounding like a book pusher, this is the kind of book everyone needs to read at some in their lives)

 

murder-on-the-orient-express-agatha-christie

Murder on the Orient Express- I read this the other day (review to come soon) and the atmosphere was exactly right for a cold evening. The intrigue, the characters and the DRAMATIC twist all made for a thrilling read (kudos goes to Lashaan@Bookidote for finally convincing me to pick it up). What a great book for the winter period!

And that’s it! What do you think of my list? Agree? Disagree? And do you have any winter favourites to add? Let me know in the comments!

Winter Review

winterFirst of all, happy Christmas to everyone that celebrated it, hope you had a good one.

I’ve been saving Winter until I could give it my full attention (aka when I’d have time to read it in one sitting) and now I’ve finally finished this series! Yay!!

Okay, so onto the review! The first admission I have to make is Cress is still my favourite of the series. Because while this did have a lot of very satisfying moments and some really cute scenes, it didn’t get my heart pounding as much as I would have liked.

That was partly because a lot of the plot was all over the place. A lot of the time, it just felt like she was trying to cram too much into the story. Other times, Meyer gave too much space to things that seemed like they were going to be important, and then turned out to only be something minor that would be used to tie up loose ends later. But mostly, it was just really repetitive. Basically, a lot of the conflict revolved around someone getting captured, then escaping, then someone else getting captured. And that got old really fast. And made it feel a lot less tense.

Not only was the action all over the place, but many of the sub plots seemed a little bit pointless and insignificant- often because they’d already come up in the previous books. What I liked in others of the series was how the titular character had centre stage in their own book, which Meyer balanced perfectly with the stories of characters from previous books. In this one, however, I felt like Winter’s story was really upstaged by other character’s storylines. While it makes sense that there would be more focus on other characters, considering how this was the finale, I felt like a lot of this was unnecessary padding.

Mostly, this could have been solved with a more streamlined plot. But I also felt that, in terms of Winter’s story, there was a lot to be desired. Honestly, Jacin’s character felt a little flat for me, so I didn’t feel invested in their relationship. Nor did I connect as much as I would have liked with Winter. I also felt that it would have been interesting to see more interactions between Levana and Winter. While Levana’s motivations became clearer at the end of the book, a lot of the time her jealousy seemed a bit random and irrational. Especially considering how pathetic Winter often seemed.

On the other hand, I did enjoy how Meyer explored the idea of monstrosity (which is a huge theme in fairy tales in general). While she didn’t go into it in a huge way, she did delve into Levana’s perspective, which gave the whole series a bit more depth. So kudos for that.

Overall, I think it could have been better in many ways, but it was a decent ending. And for all my griping about it, I was largely satisfied with how it turned out and did enjoy a lot of it. It’s still a fun ending to a fun series 🙂

Rating: 3 ½ /5 bananas

half bananahalf bananahalf banana  half banana

(Admittedly, I’m giving it an extra half a banana because two of my favourite characters got the exact happy ending I wanted.)

Have you been reading the Lunar Chronicles? Were you happy with the way Winter turned out? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!