Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Play

On the 7th April 2018 I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London. As someone who is a huge lover of Harry Potter, including everything and anything that involves the series, I was extremely excited to see the play. I have been trying to get tickets ever since they were first released and it’s taken so long to get them. I managed to get 4 tickets for my family about a year ago so I feel like I’ve been waiting ages to see the play.

I was pretty excited from about a month before the show. I would probably have been a lot more excited if I wasn’t seeing Hamilton: The Musical just under a month before however, going to London for that really had me looking forward to the play. We left early on the Saturday morning so that we could spend basically a full day in London.

Before going to the play I wanted to visit the House of MinaLima. I’ve been wanting to visit for about a year now but haven’t had the chance to. The House of MinaLima is in the same area as the Cursed Child. In fact, when we came out of the House, the theatre which was to the left had people queued up around it! It’s all very close.

The House of MinaLima is the perfect attraction if you’re going to the play and want a Harry Potter filled day! The house is full of the designs by Mira Mina and Eduardo Lima who are the graphic designers that worked on the Harry Potter movies. There are several floors to the exhibition full of many designs. I took so many pictures, it was ridiculous but it’s just so cool! Entry is free so there’s no reason not to visit!

After visiting MinaLima, I had a quick pitstop at Foyle’s bookshop where I picked up a copy of To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. It’s been on my radar since a little before it’s publication this year and so I thought that I would treat myself to it whilst in London. I’ve been doing pretty well with my book buying, or lack of it rather, so I rewarded myself with one book.

Onto the play! We had tickets to see both parts on the same day which is great but also works for a long afternoon/evening. We had balcony seats and paid the cheapest price for them (£20 per part, working out at £40 per person). The price of the seats are so good, but it felt that we were up in the skies. When we first sat down, I genuinely felt that if I fell forward, I would go splat onto the stage. The seats were also a little uncomfortable after a while and as we were sat at the top where the heat rises, we ended up boiling. Despite our constant view of the tops of the actors heads throughout the show, I really enjoyed it.

I already knew that the story line of the Cursed Child wasn’t the strongest as I had read the play when it was released. The plot was not the best part of the show. The acting was quite good and I particularly liked the acting of Scorpius Malfoy. One of the bits I loved the most though, was the special effects and the transitions between scenes. For a live action play, the special effects were so good and very unexpected.

Between shows, we went for dinner at Pizza Express. If you’re going to the show, I’d recommend booking one of the restaurants in the area. There are plenty to choose from and there are other things you can do in the area to pass some of the time between shows.

I don’t want to talk too much about the play as I want to ‘keep the secrets’ but I will just say that I did really enjoy myself and I went into it knowing the story line already which helped. My parents both said that they didn’t think it was as good as the movies were particularly in regards to the storyline, but both agreed that they might have felt a little more into it if we’d have had a better view of the stage!

In conclusion, I had a great weekend and I’d say it’s definitely a must to see the show for any Harry Potter fans. If you don’t mind spending the money, I’d recommend getting a seat in one of the lower levels rather than the balcony so you have a better view! I don’t think I’ll go to see the show again but I did fully enjoy myself!


Hamilton and Peggy! by L.M. Elliott



Title: Hamilton and Peggy!

Author: L.M. Elliott

Pages: 397

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)

Published: 2018

Source: ARC (Thanks HarperCollins!)

Rating: ★★/★★.5

The colonies are in the throes of the Revolutionary War and caught in the midst of spies, traitors, Loyalists and Patriots, is the charming, quick-witted Peggy Schuyler—youngest of the famed Schuyler sisters and daughter of General Philip Schuyler. Her eldest sister Angelica, the “thief of hearts,” is known for her passion and intelligence, while kind, sweet Eliza has a beauty so great, it only outshone by her enormous heart. Though often in the shadows of her beloved sisters, Peggy is talented in her own right—fluent in French, artistically talented, and brave beyond compare.

When a flirtatious aide-de-camp to General Washington named Alexander Hamilton writes an eloquent letter to Peggy asking for her help in wooing the earnest Eliza, Peggy is skeptical but finds herself unable to deny such an impassioned plea. Thus begins her own journey into the Revolution!

I found this book to be disappointing. I was excited to read more about Peggy Schulyer, the forgotten Schulyer sister or at least the one that doesn’t get nearly enough attention as her older sisters Angelica and Eliza. When I went into this book, I assumed that it would focus on Peggy’s relationship with Hamilton. This book spent the first 200 pages not even involving Hamilton. I found it very hard to get through this book and that is why it took me well over a month to read it. My aim was to read it before I watched Hamilton: The Musical in February, especially as this book was published the same month, but I just couldn’t. In fact it took me just over a month to read it and if anything, it helped give me a push into a reading slump!

The characters are obviously based off real life people and through the authors own research, she has come to her own conclusion on these people and how they behaved. Of course, many of the things that happen or are said by Peggy are entirely fictional. But the war and fighting and the families relationship with Alexander Hamilton and some of the more peaceful events, such as the more peaceful events, are also the truth. A lot of Peggy’s relationship with Hamilton in this book is assumed. The author states that there are only two letters available between the two and that Hamilton did sometimes mention Peggy in his letters to Eliza Schulyer, Peggy’s older sister.

Peggy was written to be an intelligent and likeable character. I sympathised with her want to be listened to and her annoyance at how a man’s opinion was so much more worthy than hers. You could see her development throughout the book into becoming a more intelligent woman who started to become a little more feisty. Peggy is the forgotten Schulyer sister most of the time, and it was clear in this book that it frustrated her, especially as people were always more interested in her two older sisters. I’m not sure how real life Peggy felt about this though or if she was that jealous. I don’t know enough history about the Hamilton’s to say whether she was or not! Angelica and Eliza came across as how the stories often portray them; Angelica as the centre of attention and Eliza as a sweet and gracious woman. Alexander Hamilton also seemed to fairly accurate.

The pacing was so slow in this book. I reached a point when I was half way through this book where I genuinely just didn’t want to pick it up but as I’d powered through half of it already, I knew that I just had to finish reading it. There wasn’t much action in this book, with some scenes that featured a little but for the most part, it was hearing of the battles that were happening away from Peggy or the prospect of war reaching Albany. I understand that this book is based on real life events but I felt that it could’ve perhaps jumped through events.

The book does spend some time on Peggy’s search for romance, especially after her sisters both marry. This spurs Peggy to start to consider her own love life, while she also internally deals with the fact that her family rely on her the most. We follow her journey into finding love and parts of it did make me feel sorry for her as I can understand that it must’ve been hard to be an intelligent woman when the image of a woman was one that was entirely different to what it is now, that being that women were essentially supposed to look pretty and not speak out as much as Peggy wanted too.

It’s such a shame that I didn’t enjoy this book more as I was genuinely looking forward to it but it just felt so slow and drawn out. In all honesty, I didn’t feel much towards this book other than slumpy. I blame it for putting me in a slump for the entirety of February and some of March as I just could not be bothered to pick it up. I really just think it could have been improved if the pace had been faster!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Pages: 388

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published: 2012

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Where do I even start with this book? So many people have raved on and on about this book that I knew I would have to get to it at some point. I bought the book a while back (or it might have been a present actually..) and so I planned to get to it soon but you know, like all the books I buy, I didn’t read it immediately. Well folks, I finally got to it. I might be 6 years late to the party but I finally read Shatter Me. I really liked it and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I’m hoping Unravel Me (which I swiftly bought after finishing Shatter Me) will ramp my like up a notch and turn it into love.

The pace of this book was perfect. It kept me flicking the pages and wanting to know more about the world and what was happening. After barely reading anything in February and at the beginning of March, I surprised myself with how fast I read this. A day, to be exact.

The settings in this book are good. I felt like I could imagine everything quite well which helped to keep me invested in the story. The easiest setting to imagine was the four walls that Juliette was kept in at the beginning. That’s probably because it’s the simplest, but I felt that all the scenes in the institution were the easiest to imagine because I feel like we spent the most time there. I was able to imagine other settings well thanks to Mafi’s descriptive writing, although it also wasn’t description overboard – it was just right.

Juliette is our main character and I found her to be a tough character to follow at first. She has been locked away for some time in an institution. She is not insane, as she keeps reminding herself. She is drawn far within herself and she keeps lending to things that have happened in the past, but we don’t find out what actually happened until much further into the book. She is left with her thoughts to keep her company until Adam turns up in her cell. This is where the story starts. I like Juliette as a character but feel that she is whiny at times. I know that’s not fair to say because she has been locked up for an accident that she had no idea she could cause and subsequently, has had to deal with the consequences of it. I think she is a confused character and everything that happens to her in Shatter Me happens too fast for her to comprehend what is happening after being alone and locked up for so long.

Adam is a good character but I can’t help but feel like something is going to happen in Unravel Me that is going to make me hate him and I don’t want that to happen. Kenji also deserves a mention, I feel like he is definitely the joker in this series. Now, Warner. First of all, Warner is an arrogant toad who I have aptly changed the name of to Warnob. I went into this thinking ‘hey, I’m gonna like this guy called Warner because he is who everyone talks about’. No. No, no, no, I do not like him. He is cruel and impulsive at times and I just want to smack him in the head to be honest. I can see that he uses fear as a weapon and that he believes being feared is important in leading his little army thing he’s got going on. I don’t know how he’ll be able to redeem himself in the next few books, but we’ll see. Maybe he’ll surprise me and everything I’ve seen of him in this book will only be a facade and he’s actually hiding something.

This book was detailed but also very vague. I know that sounds complicated, but it was detailed in the sense of character happenings and the settings, but it was vague in what was actually happening in the world. I understand that there is an evil organisation that has attempted to remake the world, but I want to know properly why and what they’re planning next and who the rebels are and what their plans are. I really think think that not everything is as it seems in this book, perhaps that is the same with a certain character as mentioned earlier.

One thing that I didn’t like about this book, and I hope that it’s not so present in the other books, is the instant love. Sometimes it’s nice in a fluffy read but this was just ridiculous. I seriously wanted to bang the characters heads together. How can you love someone you’re essentially keeping as a captive that you don’t even know? How can you love someone you haven’t spoken to before and haven’t seen in a few years? It’s crazy how instant the love is, it’s literally love at first sight. I just need it to no be so instant in the other books otherwise I will scream because it’s infuriating.

I am quite looking forward to Unravel Me and to see where this story is going to lead me too. I can’t shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen, and I know something is going to happen to make me like Warner because all anyone does is talk about him and honestly, I really don’t like him at this moment. But we’ll see. I’ll keep you guys updated with how I find the next book!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (aka Love, Simon)

Author: Becky Albertalli

Pages: 303

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2015

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★★

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such an important book for the lgbt+ community. It is a coming of age, coming out story that I think would have been so important to so many people who were struggling to reveal their identity to the people the held close in their lives for fear of how they or the world might react. I think that this book would have comforted a lot of people if it had been written much sooner, and that it would have given people the confidence to speak.

Simon is one of the few books that has brought me close to tears. I rarely cry at books, so it was a surprise to me that I was so happy by the end of this book, I could have cried happy tears. My main reasonings for reading this book was 1) because it’s been sat on my shelves for absolutely ages and 2) because the Love, Simon movie was coming out and I wanted to read it before I saw it.

The speed of this book was just perfect. I love quick, snappy contemporaries that I can flick through fast and this was one of them. I gobbled it up pretty quickly and I really, really enjoyed it..I mean, that’s obvious because I gave it 5 stars!

Simon is an adorable character who I just loved following. He has such a love for his friends and family which is just lovely. He is part of the theatre club at school and he’s just a high school attending kid. There is nothing that is really special about Simon, but he is such a likeable character and you just instantly root for him. The biggest part of this story is this secret friendship (maybe more) that Simon has with an unidentifiable male called Blue, who he found through the school tumblr page. Blue came out anonymously on the tumblr page, and Simon, as someone who is also gay but no one knows it, contacted Blue. Blue is such an important part in Simon’s life and his development. Reading his interactions with Blue just made me want them to meet each other more and more. I had an inkling of who Blue might be part way through the story, but Becky is good at being quite secretive and not letting us know much.

As mentioned, Simon’s relationship with Blue is an important part of Simon’s development throughout this story. We see how his mood changes and how his interactions change with certain people as Simon tries to figure out who Blue is. Simon is the kind of person who gives himself to a person fully, which I admire. Simon is particularly like this with Blue, despite the fact that Simon doesn’t know who Blue is.

Simon’s friendships with Nick, Leah and Becky are so important in this book. All of his friends are different in some way but they are all incredibly important to him. It’s interesting to see how his friendships change throughout the story, particularly based on some of the things that happen, but I liked all of Simon’s friends in this book, although Leah did sometimes walk on the whiney side of life. I’m looking forward to hearing more about Leah in her own novel that is coming out soon.

With my love for this book being as high as it is, I can’t wait to see the Love, Simon movie that has come out! I hope it lives up to expectations, but based on the reactions of the twitterverse, I think it will!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!

March Wrap Up

March has been a slower month than February in terms of what I’ve been doing outside of my reading life. I had an exam at the beginning of the month and I started going back to college for another accounting module. I’m almost half way through my final level of the qualification so that’s pushed me to study more! Other than that, I haven’t really done a lot!

Reading total: 3         Books this year: 16

There were some books that I had on my TBR for March. If you know me, you may be aware that I struggle to stick to set TBRs. I’m not sure why, but I’d like to give it another go this year to see if it will help me achieve my actual goal of reading 75 books this year. I have a 2018 TBR made up of 18 books so I’m trying to cross those off this year. Here are the books I had on my March TBR:

  1. Hamilton and Peggy by L.M. Elliott
  2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  3. Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
  4. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I managed to read 3.5 of them! I’m currently part way through Orphan Monster Spy so I’m looking to finish that in the first week of April!

Onto the books I read this month:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – I wrote a review on this which will be up soon!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – What a book! What a debut! I’m so glad that this blasted through my expectations and I was definitely right to have this in my top 4 most anticipated books for 2018! The picture below is my new Twitter icon too!

Hamilton and Peggy! by L.M. Elliott – I was quite disappointed with this one. I found it to be quite slow and that it really lacked something.

So there’s my March wrap up. How many books did you read this month? Did you have a good or bad reading month?

6 Weeks Around Europe: Travel Tips


As many of you know, I ventured around Europe for 6 weeks in June and July last year with my boyfriend! There were a lot of countries we didn’t get to visit in that small amount of time that I would love to go to one day, but we did manage to visit a total of 13 cities, 8 countries and we also passed through 2 or 3! We also celebrated both of our birthdays while we were out there which was lovely. It’s been quite a while now since our trip and I am constantly wishing that we get to do it again this Summer!

The cities we visited were: Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Bern, Zurich, Munich, Milan, Rome, Venice, Budapest, Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels. My favourite cities by far were probably Paris, Bern, Venice and Berlin. Amsterdam was also quite interesting because there are canals everywhere.

So to give an extra bit of background, we flew into Paris and back from Brussels but other than that, we travelled around via train as we bought Interrail passes (they had a sale where they were 15% off from about October to the end of the year!). For our accommodation we booked as cheaply as possible. As I was with my boyfriend, we didn’t really want to stay in a hostel dorm room, so we opted for the cheapest possible accommodation (usually a hotel) or an airbnb which was a great decision. These tips are entirely based on my experiences and I hope they help you if you decide to do anything like this! (Please bear in mind that these tips are probably not the best if you’re going further afield but they may be good to consider!)

  1. Your luggage – We both took suitcases that we had to lug around for the whole trip. It was fine and it worked for us, except for when I got very frustrated walking to the train station in Milan and dragged my suitcase up curbs which caused my one suitcase wheel to break. Something I didn’t notice until we were walking to our accommodation in Rome. Luckily my suitcase had 4 wheels but it meant that I had to drag it on its side!. Our friend, who was travelling solo, took a backpack and that worked for him. Use whatever works best for you.
  2. Packing – My biggest tip for packing is do not take more than you should. I stupidly overpacked on tops and even packed a pair of shorts that I didn’t even wear once! Although our weight allowance was 23kg for the plane rides, there’s no way you’re going to want to kit out a suitcase with that much weight, especially at the beginning of your trip. If you’re going to pack extras of anything, make sure you pack extra underwear and socks.
  3. Washing – This links back to my previous point about not packing more than you should. Make use of the laundrettes around. I wish I hadn’t packed so much because we did quite a bit of washing on our way round which meant that I ended up wearing the same couple of tops over the course of our trip! We found it to be quite inexpensive and in some instances, our accommodation (airbnb’s) had washing machines! Tip: If you book an airbnb, you can look in the little ‘what it includes’ and it’ll tell you if the place has a washing machine!
  4. Toiletries – This may seem a little obvious or strange to some of you, but buy toiletries before you leave! The best thing I did was buy the cheapest bottle of Shampoo and Conditioner from Boots. They were 75p each and I think they were 750g bottles and they lasted me the entire 6 weeks and would’ve lasted me longer! You might think this is obvious, but I know some people decide they’re going to buy all their toiletries when they get somewhere else or at the airport, but honestly, every supermarket we visited had higher prices on their toiletries than I bought ours for!
  5. Organisation – You may be someone that isn’t afraid to just let the train take you anywhere, but I am not that kind of person. In all honesty, being organised was a life saver. I don’t know what I would have done if we hadn’t been so organised. My best tip for organisation is to get yourself an A5 folder with the see through pockets in, print all of your information off for your accommodation, travel, etc and put it all in there. We separated ours by cities and inserted the accommodation information, our train travel itinerary, we kept our train tickets in there and travel insurance documents. It was pretty handy to also store stuff after we’d visited a place, like a fold up city map!
  6. Try and book your accommodation in the city – One of the best things I can recommend is finding accommodation in the city. Yes, it might be a little more expensive, however you have to weigh up the costs of using public transportation or how long it would take to walk. I stupidly booked one of our Airbnb’s in Zurich about a 20 minute train ride from the actual city. If we walked, it would’ve taken us 1.5 hours. It ended up costing us more than if we’d have just paid to stay somewhere in the city. So yes, it may be cheaper to stay outside the city, but trust me, having to pay for public transport every day is not fun. Plus, it’s an extra cost to consider that comes out of your spending money!
  7. Get an idea of what you want to do in each city – For some of the place we picked, we had an idea of what we wanted to do but for others, we had just picked a place to tick it off our list of cities to visit eg. Milan. If you are going to spend your money and time in a city, make sure you have a look at what there is to do! In some places, such as Milan, we were a little stumped about what to do and we honestly couldn’t wait to move onto Rome afterwards because we knew we’d have a lot more to do there. However, I would totally recommend Spontini pizza in Milan.
  8. Google Maps is your best friend – I honestly don’t think we would have found as many places as we did without Google Maps to guide us. 3 days into our trip, my mobile provider made internet roaming in Europe free so we had our data to use as we pleased and it paid off. Maps was such a good tool to have as it meant that if we were lost somewhere, we could find our way back or if we wanted to go somewhere, we could see how far it was!
  9. Pack your best shoes – No, I don’t mean your favourite shoes, unless your favourite shoes are a pair of comfy trainers! I packed three pairs of shoes (excessive I know, but one was a pair of sandals) and picked up a pair of 2 Euro flip flops in Barcelona. To be honest, I practically wore the same pair of shoes the whole trip, save for a couple of days wearing my other pair of trainers or sandals. Wearing my sandals was a huge mistake that I made on the second stop of our trip. I don’t know what I did, but I managed to pull something in the arch of my foot which made walking quite painful. Even in trainers, I couldn’t walk comfortably and I was almost in tears on one of our hour walks from our hotel in Barcelona to the main tourist bit. It was horrible and I will forever regret wearing sandals when I did in Madrid. Yes, they’re pretty but they don’t give you the best support.
  10. Most of all, just have fun! – Travelling round Europe, even if it was just for 6 weeks, was one of the best things I have ever done. You may think it’s small and it’s no year-long Thailand or Australia trip, but I had the chance to visit so many different places and managed to tick off so many cities on my list. I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to do so and I can’t recommend doing something like this enough. It truly is an experience and a trip of a lifetime that I’ll never forget.

Things I’d recommend from the cities we visited:

  • Paris has a lot to see – Notre Dame and Shakespeare & Company are basically right next to each other which is very handy!
  • If you’re travelling cities but you just want to relax, Barcelona has a beach. It’s obviously very busy, but it was still lovely to sit and enjoy the breeze and to have a little paddle in the sea.
  • If you visit Bern, Switzerland, you must swim in the river. Our airbnb was right by the river and people just hopped in at one point, swam down and then jumped back out and went round and round like that! It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget. We were very lucky with the warm weather though!
  • Munich has some fab beer. We visited the Hofbrauhaus twice while there, and while they do serve various different beers at either a litre or half a litre (Yes, I did have a litre of beer, you just have to!), it had a fantastic atmosphere and has a really interesting history behind it!
  • We also visited Dachau concentration camp while in Munich. As you know, I’m a History graduate, having graduated in 2017. World War Two is one of the topics I find most interesting so I had to visit. It was such an interesting but extremely sad place to visit. I am, however, glad that I got to educate myself more by visiting and I feel that it gave me an even deeper understanding of this part of history.
  • This ice cream shop in Milan that’s right outside Sforza Castle (the entrance with the fountain) has the most amazing red velvet ice cream. We actually went back the next day, but unfortunately they weren’t selling it then.
  • Rome had some really interesting sights and the best ice cream. On one of the days, I think I had ice cream two or three times. It was sort of ridiculous but I was on holiday so treat yo self. Oh, and don’t forget to take your bug cream! I had a bite on the inside of my ankle right by the bone which caused my whole ankle to swell and it hurt at times if I stepped on it in a certain way!
  • You know I mentioned Maps? You will need it in Venice. An amazing place that actually does not smell like fish in the heat of July, but you will get lost. It’s honestly like a maze.
  • Budapest is super cheap. That’s all I have to say, because I just loved how cheap it was.
  • Berlin was a lot quieter than I expected and the pipes are above ground??? However, it is extremely rich in History and I loved it. 10/10 would go back because I love the History surrounding it.
  • Amsterdam was super cool, and once again, on the topic of History, you must visit Anne Frank’s annexe if you visit. I asked to go there on my birthday, so we did and I honestly found it so interesting. It’s crazy to think that one girl, her family and others lived and hid there for years and to know her fate but to see the impact that her story has had is crazy.

I’m sorry this post is super long but I have a lot to say! I hope that you will find these tips useful, whether you’re going on a trip round Europe or a 3 week trip somewhere else, or even 6 months on another continent!

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin



Title: Wolf by Wolf

Author: Ryan Graudin

Pages: 390

Publisher: Orion

Published: 2015

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them-made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same. Her story begins on a train.

Germania, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war. 18-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler. But first she’s got to get close enough to him to do it.

Experimented on during her time at Auschwitz, Yael has the unique ability to change her appearance at will. The only part of her which always remains are the five tattooed wolves on her arm; one for each of the people she’s lost. Using her abilities, she must transform into Adele Wolfe, Germany’s most famous female rider and winner of the legendary Axis Tour; an epic long distance motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo, where only the strongest (and wiliest) riders survive. If she can win this, she will be able to get close enough to kill the Fuhrer and change history forever.

But with other riders sabotaging her chances at every turn, Yael’s mission won’t be easy…

Please forgive me for this review. I read this in July 2017 but wanted to put out a review for this book still because I feel that the book deals with a very important part of History.

Wolf by Wolf was on my TBR for ages and I finally read it whilst away in Europe. I actually read it on my way to Berlin to prepare myself to be fully immersed in such a historically surrounded place. Wolf by Wolf is a story that follows a young girl who is experimented on during the Nazi regime. She managed to escape but is now living in a Nazi run world because in this story, the Nazi’s won the war.

As someone who finds anything to do with the First and Second World War extremely interesting (no really, my dissertation topic for my History undergrad last year was on The Blitz), I was really looking forward to this book. I will admit, it took me a while to get to it, but I just had to read it. I read it in one train ride from Budapest to Berlin which, admittedly lasted 13 hours, but I just really enjoyed this book and felt that it was a really interesting take on an alternate history that could very well have been a reality.

The story itself was thrilling. A girl on a mission to kill Hitler, without whom, she never would have lost everything that was dear to her. In order to do this, she must participate in the Axis Tour which is a motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo and involves a lot of trials along the way.

Yael is such a strong character that I admired in this book. Although it’s fiction, it really made me think of the victims of the Nazi regime. From the experimentation that Yael suffered through, it has given her the ability to change her appearance at will. Yael uses this ability to enter the race as one of the entrants. Yael has obviously been through a lot at the hands of the Nazi regime but this has only helped her become a stronger person as a result. With nothing to lose, it means that she is really able to throw herself into things and her mission. The horrors that she encountered during her time at Auschwitz were especially sad to read through, but despite this book being fiction, it does draw from truth making it important to read.

I felt that the pace of this book was just right and that it kept my interest throughout, which is also thanks to the interesting topic that Ryan wrote about. The writing was wonderful and flowed so well throughout and there was a great amount of dialogue. The writing really helped with the description of settings too, as there are so many due to us following Yael on a tour.

Despite having read Wolf by Wolf back in July last year, I still am yet to read Blood for Blood which I would like to read in 2018. I enjoyed Wolf by Wolf fully and I hope that I enjoy the next book just as much, especially as there is a lot more to come in Blood for Blood which I am anticipating!

You can see more of my pictures (like above!) at here!