My Biggest Book Haul Yet: Young Adult Novels and A Level English Literature Texts

Sunday, July 23, 2017

So I may have gone a bit crazy last week and ordered a lot more books than necessary, but after years of reading solely library books and hardly ever buying texts, I couldn't resist and purchased a lot more than necessary. It's definitely justifiable, as a lot of these are for A-Level English Literature to possibly use for coursework, and the others will definitely be read while I'm on holiday. It's been way too long since I last shared my book purchases, so I thought it was about time to share all of my purchases in this long awaited book haul. I bought all of the books from Amazon, as it's often cheaper than buying them in bookstores, and so I've included links to all of the books in case you would like to purchase them too and read along with me this summer.

Young Adult Novels

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
418 Pages
Click here to purchase Crown of Midnight
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil. Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart. Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.
I read Throne of Glass, the first book in this series, last summer and fell in love with it like no book I'd read before. I was fully immersed for the short time it took me to race through this novel and was left eager to know what happened next. Before now, I hadn't got around to resuming the series, but it's been almost a year and I can't wait to dive back in. I'm obsessed with Maas' beautiful and detailed creation of a fantasy world, and I particularly love Celaena and Chaol's characters, so I can't wait to see what's next in store for them. There's also something about this world that is instantly uplifting and has a summery, almost nostalgic feel for me, so it's the perfect one to take on holiday with me.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Young Adult, Dystopian, Modern Classics
208 Pages
Click here to purchase The Giver
This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he's given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
I've been wanting to read this book for such a long time, in fact you can find it present in blog posts that I wrote back in 2015 about books that I wanted to read. I never ended up getting around to it as it was never in stock in my local library and I had plenty of other books on my TBR list, but I decided to take this opportunity to read it since it's been long in anticipation for me. I've never read anything by Lois Lowry, but I've heard nothing but outstanding reviews of this book and so it's definitely one that I'm looking forward to. It's been quite some time since I indulged in a dystopian fiction, and although it's become quite a cliche trope of YA novels, it's still an area of literature that I love and can't wait to read more of.

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy
Fantasy, Short Stories
320 Pages
Click here to purchase Because You Love to Hate Me
In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view. These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!
I've been eagerly awaiting the release of this book since it was first announced, and so I knew that I wanted to get my hands on it as soon as possible. I love reading short stories when I'm on holiday, as it's much more manageable than a whole novel, and last year's collection of choice was Summer Days and Summer Nights, which I've reviewed here. This year, I absolutely can't wait to read Because You Love to Hate Me, particularly because it includes the contribution of 13 booktubers, some of which I watch frequently and love their videos, so it'll be interesting to see how they do with writing opposed to reviewing, as well as when collaborating with popular authors including Renee Ahdieh and Marissa Meyer.

English Literature Coursework Texts

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Classics, Romance, Gothic, Historical
251 Pages
Click here to purchase Northanger Abbey
The story's heroine is Catherine Morland, an innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry's mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.
This is the first novel I chose to possibly use for my English Literature coursework, which I will have to compare to Atonement by Ian McEwan. Although I haven't read anything by Jane Austen, it seemed like an essential and her work is infamous, so I knew that I wanted to try something of hers. I settled on Northanger Abbey as it is the epigraph of Atonement and both novels are very similar in terms of main themes and characters. This satire of Gothic novels seems to be an exciting read and I can't wait to get stuck into it.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Classics, Romance, Historical
518 Pages
Click here to purchase Tess of the D'Urbervilles
When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.
After doing a comparative exercise in class using Tess of the D'Urbervilles, I immediately became intrigued by the novel and wanted to read beyond the short extract I was presented with. Class and wealth is one of the topics that I may base my coursework on, and this seems like a good choice if I go down that avenue, but it also provides dark and intense elements including rape and the downfall of a central character, so there's definitely a lot that I could explore in relation to this novel.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Classics, Romance, Gothic
464 Pages
Click here to purchase Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
This post is definitely highlighting how little classic literature I've read, and I've also never tried anything from any of the Bronte sisters. I definitely wanted to correct this and Wuthering Heights was on my recommended reading list, so I decided to give it a try. I've heard a lot about it and it's been alluded to in many different novels that I've read, with even Twilight featuring it heavily, and so I definitely wanted to educate myself more on the novel and read it this summer.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Classics, Historical, Romance
216 Pages
Click here to purchase The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
For many, Gatsby is the obvious choice of text for coursework, and there are plenty of possible comparisons to make between it and Atonement. For this reason, I knew that I wanted to read it in case some of the other texts didn't work out or I preferred this one, and so I'd be confident that it could be easily compared to Atonement. It's also hailed to be a very enjoyable read and there's plenty of resources available online for it, making this a safe choice for coursework.

I hope you enjoyed this book haul, and if you'd like to know more about any of these novels then make sure to let me know, as I'd be more than happy to review them on my blog. I'm actually on holiday at the moment and so this post has been scheduled, but don't worry as I'll still be bringing you a new post next Sunday as usual. In the meantime, why not check out some of my other blog posts or follow me on social media to see what I'm up to throughout the week!

Love from Daisy x

Links used in this post may be affliate links and I will earn a small commission from each purchase made through these. However, all opinions are 100% my own and the integrity of the post isn't compromised.

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