Loving Books

I’ve been a little homesick lately, with the reality of living away from home for a full month finally hitting me. In times of sadness, when I’m away from family and long-time friends, I turn to the only thing around that feels comfortable…my favourite books. 

As much as I love buying new books, there’s something so special about re-opening an old favourite that bears the marks of love and time. I’m someone who eats while reading, so some of my favourites have food smudges in corners, and also have creases where I have sat them down in a bad position for what I intend to be a moment, but always turns into a long time. 

I’m not someone who believes books are holy objects. They’re not there to sit on a shelf and be admired. They’re to be read, to be loved. I don’t care if your book is signed, or is a super special edition, the author didn’t spend hundreds of hours writing it for the spine to be looked at. It was created so you could enjoy it to the absolute fullest capacity. 

I am a chronic book highlighter, and when I pick up an old favourite, there’s nothing I love more than being able to see the evidence of my past readings. To see what I enjoyed, what I thought clever, what I thought important at a previous point in time. I also love adding to the highlights, marking new thoughts and favourite passages, so that future me has more to reflect on. 

I love my books to the point of breaking. I love them so hard, I want them to end up battered, and coloured, and maybe a little bit dirty. I want to be able to give my copy of Looking For Alaska or the Perks of Being a Wallflower to my kids one day, and say “this was my favourite book when I was a teenager. Love it like I have”. My books get carried in bags, and dropped from beds when I fall asleep reading them. I dog-ear pages when I can’t find book marks, and  I accidentally tear pages in my haste to keep reading. My books are not in pristine condition, and that’s why they hold such a special place in my heart. My books are comfortable. They share my history. They contain my feelings, my tear stains, my past experiences. They’re a little dirty, and snobbier readers would say I don’t take care of them, but they’re so totally mine that I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Book Review: Night School, and Night School Legacy by C.J. Daugherty

After Allie gets arrested for the third time in one year, her parents decide enough is enough, and ship her off to boarding school in the hopes she’ll straighten out. Except it’s not just a regular boarding school. Cimmeria Academy is a world unto itself, cut off from the regular world, and all forms of technology. When Allie first arrives and learns all the archaic rules, she wonders what she’s got herself into, a thought that only increases in intensity after she hears whispers of big secrets lurking in the shadows of the school. 

But she surprises herself, and before long, begins to think of the ancient academy as home. She meets bubbly Jo, gorgeous Frenchman Sylvain, and irresistibly dreamy Carter West. But as she forms relationships, she has to figure out just who she can trust, and who’s hiding things that could potentially ruin everything she is beginning to love. And do the biggest secrets lie not with strangers in the dark corners of the school, but a lot closer to home? 

Night School is a gripping YA mystery. I read the novel in one sitting, not able to put it down until I discovered all the answers Daugherty masterfully weaves throughout her story. When I read most mystery novels, or even just most novels in general, I find myself being able to guess the ending or the “surprise twists” before they occur. Part of what made Night School so awesome was that it kept me guessing, right until the very end. 

The sequel, Night School Legacy follows on a few weeks after the events of the original novel. We get reunited with Allie, Carter, Jo, Rachel, Sylvain, and the rest of the crew from Cimmeria academy. This time Allie gets to join the mysterious Night School, but while she thinks it’s what she wants, she soon discovers that she may be in more danger than she ever realised. With a powerful grandmother she’s only just discovered exists, and a missing brother who she’s worried might be on the wrong side of the fight, Allie realises that this term might just be more eventful than the last. 

Night School Legacy was just as gripping as it’s predecessor, and had me glued to it’s pages until the very end. Some sequels feel tired, or just don’t live up to the original, but this was definitely one that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

If you’re looking for an interesting YA read, with nothing paranormal in sight, than the Night School books might just be for you. They’re a great mystery, with lots of action and adventure, but also the perfect amount of love and friendship to keep everyone satisfied. Definitely a read that almost everyone in the YA community will enjoy. 

Rating: 4/5
Published By: Atom Books (Hachette Australia) 
RRP: Night School – $17.99, Night School Legacy – $17.99

Available now where all good YA books are sold

frangipani princess xoxo