Monday, 25 September 2017

What I Am Currently Reading #4

This week I am officially back at university, which means lectures, dissertations, and lots of time spent in the lab. This usually goes hand in hand with a decline in the amount of time I can spend reading. However, I will try and make sure that there is not a drastic decline as there has been in previous years. Fingers crossed I can keep to it. 💪 

I am currently reading:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

I recently received this book as a gift from a friend 😊. Ever since I read the synopsis of the book on Goodreads I had been hoping to get myself a copy. Right now, I am only 22 pages in but I can already tell how this book will be pulling at my heartstrings.

What is everyone currently reading?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

6 Authors I Loved As A Teen 💖

There were certain authors during my teen years, in particular between the ages of 13 to 16, who left a deep impression on my reading journey. I remember days spent searching the shelves of the school and local library looking for their books, and even eagerly waiting to exchange the books with my friends. Also I would love to find out which authors left an impact on you growing up! 

I've listed the authors in no particular order:

1. Meg Cabot

  • I absolutely adored Meg Cabot as a teen!
  • Her books were always so much fun.
  • 100% addictive.
  • I don't remember disliking any of her books at that age.
  • The Princess Diaries books have a special place in my heart. 💓
  • Another favourite would have to be the Airhead series.
  • Unfortunately the last Meg Cabot book I read was Abandon back in 2012, and I hadn't loved it as much as I had hoped I would.
  • I would love to see Meg Cabot releasing some new standalones or a new series!

I just had to add in a Princess Diaries gif 😊

2. L. J. Smith

  • L. J. Smith was the reason I fell in love with Paranormal/Vampire books.
  • The Vampire Diaries series was one of my first loves, this even includes the TV show. However, just as the books in the series progressively lost their charm on me, the TV show did too.
  • The Night World books were amazing from what I can remember, but just like anyone else who was a fan of The Night World books, I've lost count of the number of years that I have waited for the final book in the series. Although it is probably time to accept that it will likely never be published. 

3. Richelle Mead

  • This list makes it quite obvious that I read A LOT of YA paranormal books in my teens. 
  • Richelle Mead is another author that made me love the genre. 
  • Rose from Vampire Academy is still one of my favourite badass female characters in YA.

4. Lauren Oliver

  • Lauren Oliver's books were some of the first reviews I posted on this blog. 
  • Both the Delirium series and Before I Fall are books that I think of very dearly - beautifully written!
  • Anytime someone wants YA book recommendations and they are new to the genre, I always recommend them either of the two.
  • Much like all the authors on this list, I have not read any of her recent books.

5. Ally Carter

  • Funny story about how I obtained my first Ally Carter book:
  • I had went along to my local library in search of the first book in the Gallagher Girls series called 'I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You'.
  • I had checked the shelves but had no success. One of my friends suggested I ask the librarian to check on the system, and find out if the book was out on loan. 
  • The super awkward teenage me walks up to the librarian and I tell him there's a book I'm looking for. He asks me the name of the book, and in that moment it dawns on me...
  • I hesitate, start to feel my cheeks heat up, and somehow I manage to mumble to him 'I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You' - I never thought a book title could possibly embarrass me as much as this one did! 😭😭😭
  • I remember the librarian giving me an amused look, and then handing me paper and pen to write the title down. I still remember the day very vividly. 
  • Putting all that aside, Ally Carter's books were always so action packed and definitely page-turners.

6. Sarah Dessen

  • Sarah Dessen books were among the first contemporary YA books I'd ever read.
  • Heartwarming.
  • Never failed to make me smile.
That is the end of my list, but there are definitely many more authors that I really appreciated and liked while I was growing up. I hope I didn't ramble on for too long. 😊 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Book Blogger Hop - (September 8th - 14th) #7

This Week's Question:

Have you ever bought a book because you liked its cover art? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

My Answer:

I am definitely drawn to a book if the cover art is beautiful, but I can't think of a book that I've bought solely due to the cover art. It normally comes down to whether the book interests me, and if it doesn't, no matter how gorgeous the cover is, I probably won't buy it.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Review: True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #2) by Annie Darling

Title: True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #2)
Author: Annie Darling
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: August 10th 2017
Page count: 416
Buy The Book: Amazon | Book Depository
Rating: 4/5


It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise - not to fall in love with each other… [Goodreads]

My Thoughts

"You build a relationship on laughing together, discovering new things you never even imagined you might like, Pride and Prejudice for example, and being welcomed into the heart of each other's families. And, say, you find a woman who likes quiet and won't hold your hand and doesn't believe in love...well, when she finally lets you hold her hand, you'll do anything, anything, to persuade her that love can actually be rather wonderful." 

I loved this book - I was completely absorbed from the start all the way to the finish. I was initially interested in this book because of the synopsis (it totally had me at the Pride and Prejudice reference), it seemed to be my kind of book. And I wasn't wrong. It had me hooked right off the first chapter, and I just couldn't put it down.

Verity Love was a character I warmed up to very quickly. Verity is smart, kind and funny - and she is also an introvert. I think Annie Darling did a very good job of explaining the characteristics and challenges that come with being an introvert, and beautifully wove it into Verity's story. What I really appreciated was the glimpses into Verity's journey, and how she came to understand herself, and in turn overcome her obstacles. I really connected to Verity and could empathise with her struggles.

There were many things about Johnny that I loved, one of them being the way he understood Verity and there was this gentleness and ease to him that I admired. But, there were honestly some moments where I was so frustrated with him and was mentally face-palming myself. However, to a certain extent I did understand why it was taking him so much time to get out of the vicious cycle he was stuck in. And I couldn't have been happier when he was able to get himself out.

Verity's loud and crazy family which includes her four sisters were so much fun. There was never a dull moment when they were around, even just the presence of one sister brought with it never-ending chatter and a lot of laughter. I wholehearted cheered Verity and Johnny on throughout, and by the end I had the biggest smile on my face. The ending was beautiful and cute.

I did not realise that this was book two of the Lonely Hearts Bookshop series. However, it is a book that can be read as a standalone. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys romance and chick-lit. I am very sure that I will be picking up the first book!

One last thing, a song that I think describes Verity's character to an extent is Tori Kelly's 'Dear No One' - the lyrics really do remind me of Verity. 😊 Here's a link to the lyrics if anyone wants to check them out:

Friday, 25 August 2017

Book Blogger Hop - (August 25th - 31st) #6

This Week's Question:

Have you ever read a book written in a foreign language you might be fluent in, and then read the same book in English? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

My Answer:

Unfortunately no I haven't. I am conversationally fluent in a foreign language of which my parents are native speakers - I picked it up from them growing up. However, my reading and writing in the language is very much lacking. I don't think I would be capable of reading a whole book in the language! Though, I'd like to someday be able to, I think it would be a very interesting experience to read a book in English plus another language, and then compare the two. I'm really curious as to whether a reader's experience differs depending on the language they are reading it in.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review: Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publication date: March 2003
Page count: 368
Buy The Book: Amazon | Book Depository
Rating: 3/5


Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company's elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her... [Goodreads]

My Thoughts

This was my first Sophie Kinsella book, and I think I can understand why many people really enjoy her books. 

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? had me laughing out loud throughout - it was the kind of humour I've been looking for. This is a perfect summer read (very much rom-com). The main character Emma is definitely an 'irrepressible spirit' as it says in the synopsis - she was a character who had good intentions but made me cringe quite a number of times. However, Emma and her silly antics had me laughing, the type of laughing where you have tears in your eyes, yes LITERALLY! I had to put the book down a few times so I could calm myself down. I even read some of the funny passages out loud to my sister because of how much I loved them. There were moments where I felt Emma's sincerity, and could understand her vulnerability - her insecurities were relatable and very real. There's a whole cast of characters; people at Emma's work, her family and her roommates - there are characters you will love but an equal amount of those you will hate, but it all adds to the fun. All in all, the book was very entertaining, and I may pick up another book by Sophie Kinsella, in particular if I am in need of cheering up or want a good laugh!

Favourite Quotes/Moments

OK, so I don't understand some of the terms they're using. But then I didn't understand most of my GCSE French Oral either, and I still got a B.

I connected with Emma at this moment - it spoke to me so much 😎 (reminded me of my secondary school days).

The plane suddenly drops again, and I give an involuntary shriek. "I don't think we're going to die," he says. "They said it was just turbulence--"
"Of course they did!" I can hear the hysteria in my voice. "They wouldn't exactly say, 'OK, folks, that's it--you're all goners'!"

Loved the turbulence scene! 

“Emma, I'm sorry, I can't help you. This is a disaster. You're completely vulnerable. It's like going into battle in a nightie.” a...nightie...😭😭

“She believes in love and romance. She believes her life is one day going to be transformed into something wonderful and exciting. She has hopes and fears and worries, just like anyone else. Sometimes she feels frightened." He pauses, and adds in a softer voice, "Sometimes she feels unloved. Sometimes she feels she will never gain approval from those people who are most important to her."
(sums up Emma perfectly)

Friday, 18 August 2017

Book Blogger Hop - (August 18th - 24th) #5

This Week's Question:

When you enter an unfamiliar house or apartment for the first time, do you feel disappointed if you don't see any bookshelves, or books on the coffee table? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

My Answer:

I don't think I've ever felt disappointed not seeing bookshelves or such in someone's house. It's not something I have ever looked out for specifically. For all I know, the person may just like to store their books out of sight, or they solely read E-books, who knows! But, when I do notice books in someone's house I do get excited, mainly out of curiosity and wanting to find out what they enjoy reading. They may just happen to like reading a similar genre or share an interest in a particular book - it would definitely make for an awesome conversation.