Friday, 21 July 2017

Book Blogger Hop - (July 21st to 27th) #2

This Week's Question:

Have you ever read a book or books you would consider 'toxic' because of the effect it (they) had on you? If so, which one(s)? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)


My Answer:

I spent a lot of time during the week thinking about this question. I didn't have an immediate pick as I didn't really consider any of my reads 'toxic'. 

The book I did finally choose was 'After Evil' by Jane Carter Woodrow. It is not one I would put under the 'toxic' category, but it was a book that gave me chills and completely terrified me (close enough to 'toxic' I hope?). 

The book tells the story of the serial killer known as the 'Yorkshire Ripper' - it follows the events that unfolded with each of his killings and describes the gruesome nature of the murders. In particular the book focusses on the family of the ripper's second victim. It was an interesting read that really opened my eyes in many ways, but it truly scared me when reading about how the serial killer was able to get away many times and claim the lives of so many people. 

Summary: Everything seemed perfect in Neil Jackson's childhood until one day, on a cold January morning in 1976...He was awoken by the police knocking on the door to break the shocking news that his mother had become the second victim of a serial killer - soon to become known as the 'Yorkshire Ripper'. This evil act exposed a web of secrets and lies that was to devastate Neil and change his life forever. Jane Carter Woodrow, an experienced criminologist, discovers what happens when the camera and the lurid headlines fade away. Neil's riveting story captures the real nature of the tragedy that murder can visit on a family and shows how incredibly he pieced his life back together after becoming one of the forgotten victims of Britain's most notorious serial killer. (Goodreads)



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Books Plus Thoughts #1 - Dreamology + Things We Know by Heart



1. Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
Summary: After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake. (Goodreads)


Rating: ✩✩✩✩

I absolutely loved Jessi Kirby's Golden so I knew I had to read Things We Know by Heart. The book was a quick and beautiful read - Jessi Kirby's writing was emotional and magical, it brought me back to how I felt when I read Golden. I loved that she included quotes at the start of the chapters, little pieces of information to help the reader better understand the heart and organ transplantation. It was a book about healing and moving forward, and the message that came with it was uplifting, and by the end my own heart was touched. I really came to love Colton's character - I felt the sincerity behind his actions (+ he was super cute too!) 

This is the perfect light read with countless heart fluttering moments, and even more perfect to read during these summer months.


Favourite Quote:

“But it's terrifying to realise how much of your world is wrapped up in loving another person.”

“The days passed, one after another, measured out in an unbroken, never-ending rhythm. Seemingly infinite, but gone in the blink of an eye—like waves crashing on the shore, or the seasons passing.
Or the beating of a heart.”




2. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

Summary: For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist. But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped. Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough? (Goodreads)

Rating: DNF

The second book I'm highlighting in this post is on the opposite spectrum of number one. This one was a 'DID NOT FINISH' for me. I must say the cover of this book caught my eye, I really do thing it is pretty. Moving on, the synopsis of this book sounded really good and totally up my street. The beginning was promising, dreamy and the premise seemed interesting. But this book lost me at around the 50% mark. I was greatly disappointed in the actions of the two main characters, and it just made me not want to read any further. All I will say is that the love interest Max already has a girlfriend. Also, as I kept reading I was finding it more and more difficult to connect with Alice. I know that some people will be able to enjoy this book but I guess it just wasn't working for me. You may give this one a go and it might sit better with you than it did with me.





Have you read any of the books I've mentioned in this post, and if yes, what did you think? Any recommendations based on either book above? 




Friday, 14 July 2017

Book Blogger Hop - (July 14th to 20th) #1


This Week's Question:

What is your go-to drink and/or snack while reading? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

My Answer:

The drink part is easy, it has to be a hot drink - this fluctuates between coffee and hot chocolate. My choice of snacks vary greatly. One of my top picks has to be sweet and salty popcorn, however sometimes it can be way too noisy of a snack while reading so I'll opt for more silent options, which would either be chocolate or a breakfast/granola bar. Another go-to snack of mine has to be oat and sultana cookies especially the chewy kind, honestly the best! 

Warning: It is highly likely you will end up with crumbs (even possibly stains) on your book if you attempt to eat these snacks while reading. 





Thursday, 13 July 2017

Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen





Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Page count: 249
Buy The Book: Amazon | Book Depository
Rating: 5/5








Synopsis

Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?


Favourite Quote



My Thoughts


"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope."

I have had my eye on 'Persuasion' for a few years now but did not have the chance to pick it up. My initial curiosity to read the book was due to Diana Peterfreund's YA book 'For Darkness Shows the Stars' which was inspired by Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' - I had completely fallen in love with that book and ever since then I had wanted to read the original. 


I had a difficult time putting down 'Persuasion' - I loved the natural, slow-paced progression of the story where with time everything begins to fall into place. In particular with the first half of the book, I really came to like many of the secondary characters and the interactions and dynamics between the whole cast. I am a total sucker for the reunion between the main characters Anne and Captain Wentworth, their love story is not dramatic but one that came together naturally after they had both matured and had come to understand themselves and their own feelings over time. Anne's character was one of my favourites - I loved how she was cool headed in certain situations instead of suddenly making rash decisions. I can't forget Captain Wentworth's letter - I felt his deep sincerity and also the range of emotions Anne would have felt reading the letter (I had to take a number of breaks to keep my emotions in check whilst reading the confession!)

I've included a snippet of Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne above. 💗💗💗💗

I had a feeling before I started the book that I would really love 'Persuasion', and that definitely seems to be the case now. I would highly recommend!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

What I Am Currently Reading #2



The weather is amazing in the UK at the moment, lots of sunshine and little rain - perfect weather to chill outside with a book right? The two books I am currently reading were written in two completely different centuries, but funny enough both have the 'hate' vibes between the two main characters going at the beginning. I am enjoying both the books right now, but we shall see how they progress.




The Hating Game by Sally Thorne 

Can't lie, this book has made my heart flutter a few times already. There have been some moments that were 'meh' for me, but I think this book is currently moving upwards and getting better - I hope it continues that way. There are certain passages in this book so far that I think were written so beautifully and I will definitely be quoting it in my review after I finish reading the book.  











Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I happened to order about six of Jane Austen's books a while back (it was completely an impulse buy) - Pride and Prejudice is the second one on the pile to be picked up after I finished Persuasion. I've read and watched so many remakes of Pride and Prejudice, but finally I've come round to read the original which I am so far very much engrossed in. I'm at around the 30% mark so there are many more events left to unfold!








What are you all currently reading? Have you read any of the above, and if so what did you think? Is the weather as awesome where you are as it is here in the UK right now? 




Saturday, 8 July 2017

Review: Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty






Title: Feeling Sorry for Celia
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty 
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 10th 2002
Page Count: 288
Buy The Book: Amazon | Book Depository 
Rating: 4/5










Synopsis

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope," a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.

But Elizabeth is on the verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter...

[Goodreads]

Quote
“People always tell me I shouldn't run so far because I'm too young and my bones will fall to pieces. But I do it anyway - mainly because I love the bit when you finish and get to stop running.”
My Thoughts

FUN.

This book was just immensely fun to read. I couldn't put it down. It made me smile and laugh, and by the end of the book I was smiling goofily to myself and jumping up and down in my seat. It's the type of book that warms the heart I would say.

'Feeling Sorry for Celia' is an easy read which is written solely in letter and note form. That was probably one of the reasons I found the book to be so fab. Not once did I feel like the book dragged, there was always something interesting or intriguing happening. The letters and notes helped to understand the different characters better by injecting pieces of detail here and there for the reader to put together, giving the feel of a mystery slowly being unravelled.

The characters in this book are so relatable. LIKE SO MUCH. I could completely understand the highs and lows in both Elizabeth and Christina's lives as they go through their teen years. It all felt real, from fading friendships to formations of new and unexpected ones, crushing on a guy, being insecure and most of all coming out on top. 

I'm super glad that I picked this book up from the library. There were about three lonely copies sitting there on the shelf that needed some love so I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I didn't think I would love it as much as I did. I definitely think I need to spread some love about this book.




Thursday, 6 July 2017

Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby






Title: Golden
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Page Count: 277
Buy The Book: Amazon | Book Depository 
Rating: 5/5











Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.


My Thoughts
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Golden was a beautifully uplifting read which I came across by chance.

My initial thoughts before reading the book and from what I understood from the summary was that it would be a quick read that would end up on my list of 'just-okay' books. My judgemental conclusions came back to hit me across the face. The book was pretty golden if I say so myself.

I know this is weird, but the book felt like a breath of fresh air. It wasn't exactly as though the book had a totally original plot line. It was the beauty of the writing that drew me in, the way the mystery was woven in and carefully unravelled as well as how well I could relate with the characters. It was a mixture of all these things that made me love it.

It's one of those few coming of age books which really made me reflect and actually think (tonnes of bonus points for being thought provoking, I'm still thinking about it right now!).

Of all the characters, I related most to the main character Parker in a number of ways. It was great to see her grow so much throughout the span of the book and I feel as though I could take inspiration from her growth as a character.

The story of Juliette gives Golden a whole other dimension. Reading the accounts from another girl's life along with going through with Parker's showed the troubles they were both facing but also focused on how they came to overcome it. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster, not everything goes right, not everything goes wrong, I was on edge all the way through the book. It touched me in a way I can't quite explain.

I totally recommend you pick this book up, there is absolutely something in this book worth liking and maybe you'll end up loving it as much as I did.

I'm definitely going to be reading other books by Jessi Kirby in the future.