Thursday, 13 December 2018

Film Review: Once Upon a Deadpool

I love Deadpool. It's a film that holds a very special place in my heart. I also thoroughly enjoyed Deadpool 2, even though it never quite reached the dizzying heights of insanity that the first film did.
I also absolutely adore The Princess Bride. So when it was announced that just before Christmas there would be a one night only (ha, already additional showings have been added to my local cinema) re-cut family friendly (double ha!) version of Deadpool, cut to be a bit of a parody with The Princess Bride, I was intrigued. Then I watched the trailer and I was in love.

Honestly though, whilst it was an entertaining night out, it didn't live up to my expectations. There's meant to be around 20 minutes of new footage, but it really didn't feel like that. The film is cut up with a few really entertaining scenes involving a now grown up Fred Savage, (he's still got that insanely childlike charm of a smile) to frame the story as a bedtime story to a captive Savage. Unfortunately, they really don't make the most of this great device, and by mid-film it appears to have been mostly forgotten. What cuts back and forth are made though feel clunky and just disrupt the flow of the film.

Given that Reynold's mouth is covered throughout most of the film I also expected more to be made of this opportunity to play with the dialogue with some redubbing. Sadly though that was horribly under utilised. 

It was also frustrating to have to wait until the very end of the credits to get a resolution to the Savage/Deadpool thread - the end of the film just cuts off and leaves you hanging in a decidedly irritating way.

Basically it didn't live up to my expectations, but it was still enjoyable. I had gripes, mostly because I love the two source material pieces so much. It doesn't really add an awful lot, and is a bit of a gimmicky money grab right before Christmas. But I'm a sucker, so take my money.

It's meant for a bit of a niche group - those that love Deadpool, The Princess Bride, and a few younger audience members who may not have seen the film. If you love Deadpool then this will be an amusing watch, but don't expect anything mind-blowing. To get the full enjoyment I also really recommend watching The Princess Bride beforehand if you haven't already.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: TV shows I've been binging

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the fabulous Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. You can join in with future topics here!

This week is a freebie week, and given that when I'm not reading I spend far too much time watching tv shows, I thought it was an excellent time to talk about some of the shows that I'm loving at the moment.
Buckle up guys, if you've not discovered these shows yet, prepare to lose all your free time.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
I put off watching this show for far too long, 1) because the title just didn't appeal and 2) the poster didn't exactly sell me. But then I was told (repeatedly) to watch it, and I thought I may as well give the pilot a shot. Confession: I snort laughed my way through the entire twenty minutes before going straight on to the second episode.
It just gets better the further in you get. If you need something funny and light, do yourself a favour and give this one a shot.

Marvel's: Jessica Jones (season 1)
Krysten Ritter showcases how versatile and talented she is with this sarcastic, dry, badass and brilliant superhero in Marvel's pantheon of TV heroes. The start of this season should come with a trigger warning, because some scenes are incredibly hard to watch. However it does ease slightly the further in you get, and becomes a really gripping and brilliant show to watch. Ritter is brilliant, and David Tennant's turn as villain 'Kilgrave' is an insanely glorious thing to watch. It's addictive and I loved it.

Intense, weird, and incredibly discomforting, this tv show is perfect binge material. Some may find the lack of discernible plot movement in the first few episodes to be a put off, but if you give this one a chance it definitely rewards. It's a slow burn, the kind of show that enjoys making you feel super paranoid without really knowing why or what's going on. It is so, so good, and really rewarding by the end.

The Good Place
I'll admit, until the latest episode "Janet(s)" (which is frankly one of the most glorious episodes of TV ever... Season 3 hadn't thrilled me in the same way as the first two seasons. The show starts out as some quirky oddball comedy that feels pretty surface level and shallow. What follows over the next two seasons is a gloriously brilliant, complex and layered, snarkily funny weirdo of a show. And I mean that in the best possible way. There is nothing else on TV like this, and it is frequently laugh out loud funny. Every time you think you've hit peak insanity, The Good Place finds a whole new way to pivot, keeping the show fresh and brilliant.

This show keeps getting better. The idea of taking the Archie characters and making everything a lot darker is great. The cast is great. A lot of the plots are great (some not so much but we can forgive that). But the thing that really sells this show to me is the cinematography. Riverdale captures (in a way that no other show that I've been watching manages to) the slightly pulpy, stylized concept of comics. Some of the framing is down right breath taking, and they've really embraced it head on. Plus the flashback episode in Season 3 is pure tv GOLD. I will always love this show - from the neon pink and blue lighting, to the over enhanced colours of things like the school colours and Archie Andrews hair, I adore the look and feel of this show and I dare you not to fall in love with it too. Go on, I'll wait.

Final Space
How dare this show. I started watching it expecting a quirky, funny, animated series. What I got was a quirky, funny, animated series, that FREQUENTLY SUCKER PUNCHES YOU IN THE FEELS.
But I love it.
It's a lot darker and has a lot more to it than I expected going in. It also has David Tennant as the baddie (I want video proof of him doing this voice please) and one of the sassiest, snarkiest scripts around. This one won't be for everyone, I've heard from a few people who struggled to engage because the protagonist is a bit of an ass sometimes - but I personally adored it and can't wait for the second series.

Queer Eye: More than a makeover
Oh this show. This show is everything we need right now. It's honest to goodness kindness and humanity and five wonderful people helping others become the best version of themselves. I can't fully express how much I love this show. I need more of it, two seasons is so not enough. It is chicken soup for the soul.

Nailed It!
Do you like baking shows? What about baking fails? Then this is the show for you! Watch people attempt to create truly insanely difficult cakes in not enough time, whilst learning some surprisingly helpful baking tips, and finding the entire thing hilarious rather than painfully cringeworthy. Honestly the best part of the show is the host Nicole, whom I adore, and I want to be when I grow up.
Light, half hour entertainment to give you a giggle after a long day. Plus, THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS NOW UP AND OH MY GOSH IT IS BRILLIANT.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Weird, bizarre, not at all like the 90s sitcom, this new version of Sabrina takes a bit of getting used to. But once let go of any pre-conceived ideas of what the show should be, it's a brilliant binge watch. It also helps to take some of it as the pure comedy gold I think it was intended as, rather than it all being super dark and serious. Either way, it's a great show to curl up under a blanket and binge your way through. Fair warning those who have arachnophobia, there's a scene in episode 1 (and another in episode 5) you're not going to want to watch. Just shut your eyes for a couple of minutes, the rest of the show is worth that brief horror.

A Discovery of Witches

I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I loved the first book in this trilogy, and binge read it before the tv series hit our screens. On the other, I really didn't get along with the second book which put a dampener on my excitement. Conversely I really struggled with the first few episodes of the series, finding them contrived, and a slog to get through. But then suddenly the magic of binge watching, or the show getting better, or possibly my high fever whilst watching (who can say? It's a mystery!) meant that I loved the second half of the series. I stormed through it in one evening and found myself craving more and really excited for the second season. Bizarre, but enjoyable.

There you have ten of my currently binged shows, have you got any that you've been watching recently?

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Review: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Publisher: Laura Thalassa
Pages: 383

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all. 
When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed. 
Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed. 
Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him. 
And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she'll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

This book kept on appearing, the name "Pestilence" seemed to be everywhere until eventually I caved and found it on amazon. It then sat on my wishlist for a while as I ummed and ahhed - on the one hand the blurb looked kinda brilliant and the reviews for it were through the roof, on the other, I was nervous of it letting me down after all the hype.

Never fear, this book totally lives up to the hype. It's sassy, it's dark, it's gut wrenching and saucy and utterly brilliant, and once I'd started reading I found it very difficult to stop.

Sara is a compelling heroine. Admittedly she makes some questionable choices at a few points, and seems incredibly distracted by Pestilence's body, but on the whole I really felt for her. She's snarky and relatable and I frequently found myself sniggering at the sass. She's stuck in this incredibly difficult position, and I felt for her. Her shifting emotions and feelings as time went on made sense, instead of just feeling like insta-love and weird and squicky. So bravo on that front.

I also really enjoyed the interactions with other people that the two go through - the different responses, feelings and emotions, and how Sara and Pestilence each deal with those. The anger! The heartbreak! My poor little heart!

I did find the grammatical and spelling errors to be a little frustrating, I feel that things like that really should be picked up before a book is published, and it diminishes my enjoyment of a story because I'm picky and grumpy like that.

However overall I found this to be a really enjoyable story. Ok, maybe enjoyable is the wrong word when you're talking about plague... But still! It was engrossing, I stormed through it in a couple of days, and now I'm here desperately waiting for book 2 "War" to come out next spring.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Festive!

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the fabulous Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. You can join in with future topics here!

It's December! And that means that some of us are gearing up for Christmas! Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, now is the perfect time of year to curl up in front of the fire with a mug of tea and an excellent book or Christmas film. I am a sucker for a good Christmas film...
So here are five books and five films that I think are perfect for this festive season!

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
This is essentially one fluffy Christmas interlude and I adore it. It was so lovely to experience a respite from the darkness at the end of the original trilogy, and to see how these characters are when they aren't fighting for their lives. Plus presents and snow and general festivities! It's the perfect time of year for it.

Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn
Can you get any more Christmassy than a murder at a country home at Christmas time? No I didn’t think so. I love the Lady Julia Grey series anyway, but the second book in the series holds a special place in my heart at this time of year. There’s something about the dinners and intrigues, and presents, snow, hunts, and Christmas pudding making, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I particularly recommend reading this book by an open fire.

Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
Despite only being brief snippets in each book, the Christmas moments in every single Harry Potter book are fabulous. The Christmas trees! The decorating! The magical bubbles out of Professor Flitwick’s wand! Everything. Whether it’s just a handful of students, or pretty much the whole school in preparation for the ball – I love the atmosphere, the Weasley jumpers, and the insane crackers. Go re-read all the books – or just pick out the Christmas bits to get you in the festive mood!

From Notting Hill with Love... Actually by Ali McNamara
I read this one for the first time just before Christmas several years ago. Combine that with the title and fabulous rom-com references throughout and you've got a perfect festive read. After all, Christmas is the season for watching rom-coms. A lot.
So go grab a copy, curl up and make sure you’ve got those rom-coms ready for re-watching straight after.

The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown by Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins and Mia Ryan
A collection of my favourite regency romance authors, combined with the deliciously witty observations of Julia Quinn's Lady Whistledown, a gossip columnist that documents the scandals and parties of the ton. is a match made in heaven. Set at Christmas time, this delightful set of tales is exactly what you could wish for to curl up with under a blanket. 

The Holiday
Possibly my favourite Christmas film, there's something truly wonderful about this one. It's like chicken soup with a festive twist and a whole lot of heart. Yes I may watch it more than once this month, don't judge me...

Love, Actually
Even if you don't want to watch this film, you will inevitably end up watching it over Christmas. It's on TV on a near permanent basis, and sure it's got its problems, but it's still a wonderful festive film. I love all the different relationships, the different types of love on show, the heart warming nature of it all. And I can't ever resist that glorious airport chase and Colin Firth going to find his lady love to that beautiful soundtrack.

White Christmas

There's nothing like a good old fashioned white Christmas. Add in some musical numbers, Bing Crosby, and a whole heap of snow, and I'm happy.
This is still one of my favourites to come back to each year, there's just something wonderfully hopeful about it.

Honestly I watched this film the first time because Martin Freeman being a grumpy primary school teacher seemed like an amusing concept. I've watched it every other time since then because it's a genuinely heart warming, funny, and good film. The kids! The humour! The sass! The frankly ridiculous set up! The AMAZING nativity at the end. I adore it.

Die Hard
My husband has worked very hard the entire time I've known him, to convince me that Die Hard is a Christmas film... On watching it together for the first time he pointed out the fact that it's set around Christmas (Festive!), there are lots of Christmas decorations (see, festive!), there's lots of red (sure it's blood, but red is festive!) and white stuff fluttering from the sky (shush, I know it's shredded paper, but look, FESTIVE!)
Thus Die Hard has become a Christmas film...

So there you have a sneak peak at what I'll be watching and reading whilst I'm eating mince pies and drinking far too much tea. What about you?

Friday, 30 November 2018

Books I'm Squeeing About in December

Another year almost done, and one last month of bookish releases before the 2019 beauties start arriving. It's been a truly excellent year for books, but it's not over yet!
Here are some of the December releases I'm really excited about, including quite a few fresh discoveries that I know almost nothing about, but just look super intriguing!

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
December 4th 2018
What if damnation is the price of true love?
Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks. 

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love. 

I realise that the fact that I haven't read the first two books in this series yet is a slight hinderance... But I'm looking forward to getting the final book in my hands and then just binge reading the entire series. Sometimes I like the suspense waiting for the next book, sometimes I just need a good binge.

Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
December 4th 2018
In Sky Hawkins's family, leading your first heist is a major milestone--even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It's a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you're a wyvern--a human capable of turning into a dragon.
Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family's wealth and rank in their community
With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society--a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be. 

Now I love a good heist book. I'm a little bit thrown by the fact that she's a wyvern... But I'm imagining something akin to Abraxos, so WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? I'll report back when I've read it.

Strange Days by Constantine J Singer
December 4th 2018
Alex Mata doesn’t want to worry about rumors of alien incursions – he’d rather just skate and tag and play guitar. But when he comes home to find an alien has murdered his parents, he’s forced to confront a new reality: Aliens are real, his parents are dead, and nobody will believe him if he says what he saw. On the run, Alex finds himself led to the compound of tech guru Jeffrey Sabazios, the only public figure who stands firm in his belief that aliens are coming.
At Sabazios’ invitation, Alex becomes a “Witness”—one of a special group of teens gifted with an ability that could save the Earth: they can glide through time and witness futures. When a Witness sees a future it guarantees that it will happen the way it’s been seen, making their work humanity’s best hope for controlling what happens next and stopping the alien threat. Guided by Sabazios, befriended by his fellow time travelers, and maybe even falling in love, Alex begins to find a new home at the compound -- until a rogue glide shows him the dangerous truth about his new situation. 

Now in a race against time, Alex must make a terrible choice: save the people he loves or save the world instead.

I'll admit, I nearly was put off by the alien incursions (I'm not a big fan of aliens) BUT the rest of the blurb is super weird and crazy awesome sounding. Intrigued? Definitely.

An Assassin's Guide to Love & Treason by Virginia Boecker
December 6th 2018
When Lady Katharine's father is killed for being a practicing Catholic, she discovers that wasn't the only secret he'd been hiding. He'd also been involved in a plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father's mission, and take it one step further--she'll kill the queen herself.Katherine's opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare's newest play, Twelfth Night, which is to be specially performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn't know is that the play is not just a play. It's a plot to root out Catholic insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katharine are cast opposite each other as the play's leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.
Intriguing title? Check. Intriguing blurb? Check. I am very much on board for this one, despite knowing next to nothing about it. This looks like it's going to tick a lot of my favourite bookish boxes.

The Cursed Sea by Lauren DeStefano
December 18th 2018
Wilhemina Heidle, the exiled princess of Northern Arrod, the girl thought dead by her family and friends, must return home. The only way to save Loom, the cursed prince of the Southern Isles, is to revisit the castle and discover the origins of her own curse.
But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unstable elder brother is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And the rest of her family must reckon with the truth of what happened to lead to Wil’s exile. With time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family if she’s going to find the truth and save the boy she loves.
When she’s finally able to reach Pahn, nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives, again and again, as the Southern King is out to punish his children for all they’ve done. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil, Loom—and his ruthless sister Espel—have to work to make peace with their own struggles if they hope to secure the future of their kingdoms.
But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time, for good?

Yes, yes, this is for the kindle version, the physical copy doesn't come out until next year, but I want this book so badly that I just don't care. Expect much shrieking when I get the physical copy as well though because I adore that cover. Basically anything by Lauren is a guaranteed buy for me, and also a guaranteed brilliant read.

So those are my last few books of the year, what are some of yours? Have any of these made it onto your wishlist?

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Five Bookstagram accounts you should be following

Instagram has become one of the pillars of the book world. It's got so much going for it: an easy way to connect with authors and reviewers and bloggers, yes! Beautiful creative outpourings, definitely yes. A great way to generate buzz on new books, always. An awesome community, for sure.

It's a huge rabbit hole to fall in to, one that I heartily recommend, particularly if you enjoy taking photos of books and fancy joining in. But it's also great just to lurk and enjoy other people's photos and get a heads up on new and exciting books - it's a winning situation for everyone!

So here are five of my favourite Instagram profiles that I love catching up with!

She's sassy, a brilliant writer, incredibly creative, and has the most colourful set up I have ever seen. Plus she isn't afraid to get crushed by a teetering pile of books in pursuit of the perfect photo! I adore Cait's pictures and they never fail to brighten my day.

Gorgeously creative, Xenatine's photos never fail to inspire me. They truly are stunning, and her style has evolved over time into some of the most incredible set ups.

You cannot go wrong with the combo bonus of beautiful photos, a truly gorgeous cat, and some Hufflepuff pride. Michelle's photos always make me smile.

Becky's flatlays are truly gorgeous, I love seeing new photos from her pop up on my feed. Plus I've been introduced to some really fantastic books through her posts, which always makes me happy.

These photos are gorgeous. Inventive, filled with awesome props, and I love reading the captions.
She's put me onto some really great books through her pictures, and they're always so thoughtfully crafted - it was really tough to pick just one!

You can also check out my Instagram profile here!

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My favourite book relationships that don't involve shirtless hugging

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the fabulous Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. You can join in with future topics here!

Whilst I adore the spark, the thrill, the excitement of those amazing crushes that develop into relationships - the first kiss! The longing! There's also something wonderful about the relationships that develop between friends and family. Here are ten of my favourite relationships in fiction that involve no pining/sexytimes/swooning whatsoever.

Finn & Puck
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The first of several sibling pairings that make this list, I love Finn and Puck so much. I love the entirety of this book to be honest, but I love the strange little family unit that these two have made for themselves. The little moments of kindness (hot chocolate making: “You made this?' Finn looks at me. 'No, Saint Anthony brought it to me in the night. He was very put out I didn't give it to you right then.” ) the unity (dragging a mattress in to sleep in the same room) and the sass. I love them.

Harry & Hermione
The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
I love the friendship between these two. I love that there's never any consideration of it being anything other than friendship. I love how they support each other, become like family to each other (with Ron, obviously, but there's definitely some romantic feelings on one pairing here) and become their own little unit - never so obvious as when it's just the two of them horcrux hunting. I adore the friendship between Harry and Ron as well, but pairings of a guy and a girl where there's no romance to speak of is super refreshing so I wanted to focus on this side of the triangle.

Aelin & Lysandra
The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

These two may as well be renamed Sassy and SassyPants. I love their friendship, I love the snark, the sass, the utter ridiculousness of some of their conversations. There are too few female friendships, and I love that this one is born out of hatred and rivalry as the two actually get to know each other and work out that they don't have to tear each other down to be awesome individuals.

Beck & Joey
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews
In this completely broken family unit Beck and Joey cling to each other with startling ferocity. I love how bright Joey burns. How fierce and angry she is. I love how Beck tries desperately to protect and look after her. They are such an odd pair, but I adore them.

Julia & Portia

The Lady Julia Grey mysteries by Deanna Raybourn
I love these sisters. They snark and snipe at each other, but at the heart of it all they love each other. They are there for each other, supporting them when needed. It's a wonderful sibling relationship, and my favourite pairing of sisters in fiction.
“No, Julia, you need adventure. You need a lover, a holiday abroad. You need to cut your hair and swim naked in a river. You need to eat things you have never even seen before and speak languages you do not know. You need to kiss a man who makes you feel like your knees have turned to water and makes your heart feel as though it would spring from your chest.”

Blue & Ronan
The Raven Cycle quartet by Maggie Stiefvater
The snark between these two. There's never even a whiff of romance, although they both love each other it is entirely platonic. Plus I love the way they bounce off each other.
“It was amazing that she and Ronan didn’t get along better, because they were different brands of the same impossible stuff.”

Raf & Katsa
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
As close as siblings, we are given a criminally tiny amount of time where Raffin and Katsa are together, but they more than make up for it when they are.
“Sit, Your High Majestic Lord Princes," she said. She yanked a chair from the table and sat herself down.
"You're in fine temper," Raffin said."Your hair is blue," Katsa snapped back.”

Inej & Nina
The Six of Crows Duology by Leah Bardugo

Another instance of the ladies in a group deciding to stick together and help and support each other instead of tearing each other down. I think we're hitting a new phase in fiction where we do get refreshing supportive relationships instead of ladies always having to compete. In a group of guys, the friendship and love between these two sassy waffle eating ladies is fantastic.

Alan & Nick
The Demon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan

Oh these two. My heart breaks for them. I adore them. I adore their twisty complicated relationship. The love and heart break and convoluted history between them.
“The cut in Nick's arm was starting to throb dully with the pressure he was putting on it. He kept looking at Alan. 'How many times have you lied to me?' he asked in a soft voice.
Alan replied, equally softly, 'I've lost count.”

Sarah Rees Brennan is insanely talented at crafting real characters who are multifaceted shades of grey, and that is never more evident than with these two brothers.

Alanna & Myles
The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
The relationship that builds between these two over the four books is beautiful. They're two slightly lost souls who develop a wonderful friendship, at first with Myles as 'Alan's' mentor, and later as more of a father figure to Alanna. It's something I haven't come across often in young adult fiction, so it was really wonderful to see their relationship evolve over time.
“Myles hugged her tightly, taking care not to bump her wounded arm. “You’re a good lad, Alan of Trebond,” he whispered. “You give an old man hope.” “Nonsense,” Alanna growled, pleased and embarrassed by the unexpected praise. “You aren’t that old. And I’m not that good a lad.”

So there you have ten of my favourite non-romantic pairings! Talk to me about some of yours!