Monday, 1 July 2013

List: Favourite Books of 2013 -so far-

We're about half way through 2013, it feels like it was 2012 just the other day. Well time flies as usual and it's already the first of July.

So I wanted to share my favourites of 2013 so far, here they are in no particular order:
 
 

1. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - Review

Lyrical, engaging and most of all beautiful. The way history of the French Revolution as well as the present were entwined so beautifully.
2. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson - Review

Totally swoon worthy and sweet, the romance kept me at the edge of my seat.

3. The Nanny by Melissa Nathan

I loved every moment of this and can't wait to read more books by the  same author.

4. Revived by Cat Patrick - Review

Weaves in sadness, excitement and all kinds of great things.

5. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty (Ashbury/Brookfield, #1)

Original and the layout of the book is different to most books. Kept me hooked beginning till the end.

6. Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #3) - Review

Tormented my heart and broke it to pieces but the ending left me feeling exhilarated.

7. Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett (Confessions, #2) - Review

Realistic and true to the perspective of a teenager and full off ups and downs.

8. Golden by Jessi Kirby

This was WOW for so many reasons. I'm still thinking about this book.

9. Torn by Amanda Hocking (Trylle #2) - Review

Non stop action and made me smile.



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Love Etsy: Beautiful Bookmarks!



If you've come across Etsy before, you must know by now how wonderful and fab everything on there is. From the handmade to the vintage items, they are all so beautiful. There are especially some really cool bookish things on the site. I get super excited just looking at all the stuff.






Most the time I'm looking at everything on Etsy and I'm kinda like:



Sometimes I sit there and wish I could be as talented and creative as the people who create all the fab items.

I wanted to share some of the awesome bookmarks I found that I hope to get for myself. I'm not sure which one to get because I am constantly tempted to buy every single bookmark I see.

And maybe you'll fall in love with some of the bookmarks that I'm loving too and end up buying them as well.


Aren't these totally cute, I 
could stare at them all day.
 So colourful and original.











LINK
These basically make me hungry, all those tiny
doughnuts. They look good enough to eat.
Warning: They are not edible. 


LINK

This just seems super badass, the silvery dragon
has been so beautifully designed.

LINK

Bookmarks with your favourite
quotes on them, HELL YEAH!
Do you recognise the quote
in the picture?
*cough*Charlie/Perks*cough*

























So those are only four out of the gazillion bookmarks on Etsy that I wanted to share even though I love a hundred other ones. I will have to decide which one I want to buy.

Such a difficult choice.

I've also set myself a challenge:

  • Make my own bookmark using bits and pieces lying around the house then share it on my blog.
As creativity isn't my strong point I thought why not make myself do something that is CREATIVE. It will be a totally fun task to complete. So, I think within the next few weeks I'll put up a post with my end product. Fingers crossed it's not a failure. 

I'm already nervous.

Questions:

Do you shop at Etsy or just like to stare at the many wonderful items on the website?
Which of the bookmarks above would you buy?
Have you ever made glam bookmarks all by yourself? 


Monday, 17 June 2013

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: November 29th, 2011
Page Count: 320
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 3.5/5


Synopsis

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Favourite Quotes
“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
Few Wild Words Quickie

Fast paced, hooking and action to keep you on your toes. 

My Thoughts

I picked this book up because everyone seemed to love it so I just had to see what was so amazing.

'Legend' is the type of book that grips you from the beginning till the end and doesn't let you take a breath between. Not that as a reader you'd want to put the book down. The pace is fast and there is no lack of action. It throws you straight into the deep end. 

 Lu does a good job crafting the future that 'Legend' is set in but personally I felt it was a bit vague. I would have loved to have known more background and explore further. I guess I'll have to wait to read the second book to see if that happens. 

 The book is told in two point of views, Day's and June's. I'm not a massive fan of different POVs and I can't completely say I liked it very much in this book. I got bored of Day's POV a lot of the time, I think I prefered it when I was looking through June's, maybe it was because I was more interested in finding out about her. 

I also have to add that the book felt slightly unrealistic especially both the main characters, they were ONLY fifteen. However, I didn't let that bother me too much. Overall, 'Legend' was an entertaining read which really knows how to keep a reader hooked. 

Confession: I liked Thomas better than Day most of the way through the book, I don't even know why. (I think I naturally fall in love with horrible characters, it's a flaw in my character!)


Friday, 14 June 2013

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 5th, 2013
Page Count: 391
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.


Favourite Quotes

“Take down the walls.
That is, after all, the whole point.
You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don't know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise or destruction.
Take down the walls.
Otherwise you must live closely, in fear, building barricades against the unknown, saying prayers against the darkness, speaking verse of terror and tightness.
Otherwise you may never know hell; but you will not find heaven, either. You will not know fresh air and flying.
All of you, wherever you are: in your spiny cities, or your one bump towns. Find it, the hard stuff, the links of metal and chink, the fragments of stone filling you stomach.
And pull, and pull, and pull.
I will make a pact with you: I will do it if you will do it, always and forever.
Take down the walls.”  

Few Wild Words Quickie

A torment to the heart.

My Thoughts

4.5 stars and a bit more.

I am slightly disappointed especially as I wanted to love Requiem as much as the other two books in the series. But I still loved it like crazy (gosh I contradict myself so much)

Somehow Lauren Oliver managed to break my heart, tear me apart, make me cry and somehow leave me disappointed but also in a weird kind of way thinking 'wow did that really happen?'

As always I think Oliver's writing style is what hooks me and keeps me reading. There is something so wonderful about it, the vivid imagery she creates with her words. This has always been a constant throughout all three books and made me come to love Oliver as a writer.

Usually I dislike reading from different point of views but I enjoyed seeing Hana's life and surroundings as well as Lena's. At different points, one became more interesting to read than the other and vice versa, so there was always something to keep you holding onto the book and reading.

In terms of characters, there is definitely a wide cast in this book. Some are memorable and others easily forgotten. Lena is definitely going to be one character that will stick for me, she grew and changed so much from Delirium and Pandemonium, I loved it. However, in Requiem I felt she didn't get a chance to progress anymore and become someone amazing. She seemed to be rather annoying at times but she was still strong so she managed to stay on my good side.

Now the love aspect. This killed me most of the way through. Even at the end I didn't feel enough I had enough closure for it but I think I'll be using my imagination to come up with happens next. More or less the series finishes on a kind of cliffhanger, there is so much you want to know but don't find out. Initially the lack of a solid ending drove me crazy, though now it feels right and makes it all the more unforgettable and beautiful in a way.

The last page of the book was definitely a highlight. It felt so much like a summary of Lena's journey and it was a beautiful parting message with the reader.

All in all, I've loved every moment of reading this series and I won't be letting it slip from my mind any time soon. Now I feel like crying again, please excuse me.


"Always and forever. Take down the walls."

Challenge: Dystopian Reading Challenge 2013

Monday, 10 June 2013

Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Page Count: 472
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Favourite Quotes

Mentioned in the review!

Few Wild Words Quickie

My Thoughts

“It goes on, this world, stupid and brutal.
But I do not.
I do not.”


Lyrical, engaging and most of all beautiful.

The part of this book that kept me most hooked was the history weaved into it throughout. The French Revolution is definitely not something I've looked too much into, but the detail in which Donnelly presents it made me feel as though I was right there in the middle of it all. The gruesome description was something I wasn't expecting and the life of Alex was laid out like a mystery, letting the reader slowly discover more about her life.

There is a lot of musical references in Revolution, half the time I wasn't completely aware who the musicians Andi was talking about. However, this didn't bother me much as it was interesting to learn about history's different musicians and find out about why Andi loved music so much.

“I'm wishing he could see that music lives. Forever. That it's stronger than death. Stronger than time. And that its strength holds you together when nothing else can.”


The writing style is totally hooking, it keeps you turning the pages because there is so many emotions splashed throughout the book.

The main character Andi is the love/hate kind of person. Her loss makes her weak but also strong. There were so many points I could understand her pain and even relate. Other times it was like the black cloud over her head would never go away and it just made me depressed too. By the end of the book I came to admire Andi's strength and how far she'd come. Other characters like Virgil captured my heart and it interesting getting to know him.

Revolution was not something that I'd usually pick up to read but it attached itself to me.

It was a beautiful read. That's all.

“Turn away. From the darkness, the madness, the pain. Open your eyes and look at the light.”

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)Title: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend
Author: Louise Rozett
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: June 18th, 2013
Page Count: 288
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.


Favourite Quotes

“I did the wrong thing, and I lost him for real.

But did you do the wrong thing? Jamie thinks it was the wrong thing. But do you?

No. I don't.

I didn't do what Jamie would have wanted me to do, but that doesn't mean it was wrong.”  


Few Wild Words Quickie

Realistic and true to the perspective of a teenager and full off ups and downs throughout.

My Thoughts

This series is basically a lot of fun to read.Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend was just as awesome and fun as the first book. Same as the first one, I finished it in one sitting and nothing could tear me away from it. This book is definitely not to everyone's tastes, personally I love how it's such a light and engaging read.

I was extremely happy to be reunited with Rose again, it's fun to be in her head with her random and angry ramblings. She does many things that make her unlikable in so many ways, but I think all the drama that is created makes it interesting and easy to get into. 'Rose 2.0' is much more confident and can speak for herself which I liked a lot. But there is still that scared and insecure girl, I hope to see her grow in the future and slowly mature (hint: more confession books please!)

The other thing that I like about this series is how the author introduces many teen issues and you get to see how different characters respond to them. The therapy sessions with Rose and her mother were entertaining (I'm so bad for laughing at other people's pain).

Moving onto Rose and Jamie. Like what am I even meant to think anymore? I can't quite make up my mind about these two. One minute I'm completely shipping these two and the next I am angry at Jamie for being so badass and Rose for being so caught up in his mess. Secretly I want them to get together though.

The ending...

All I can think is OMG. Did that actually happen? My heart stopped for a second reading it. If I don't find out what happens next I will go crazy. WHAT A WAY TO END THE BOOK!

I love this series mainly because of all the drama but also the reality that some teens face is presented so truly. Do I have to say that I love it yet again?

THIS SERIES IS TOTALLY WORTH GIVING A GO!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Review: Girls & Monsters by Anne Michaud

Title: Girls & Monsters
Author: Anne Michaud
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013
Page Count: 194
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis

Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine's beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears...and lived to tell about it.


Few Wild Words Quickie

An okay collection of novellas, some better than others but definitely a few I enjoyed.
 
My Thoughts

This was a cool collection of short stories, not all of them appealed to me or were as enjoyable as I hoped. There were definitely a few I liked and were gems in this collection, these included:

Death song - This was a pretty good story. The whole evil mermaid aspect entwined itself into the story well. At the start it was an underlying issue but as the story progressed the evil mermaid began to build itself and became the central challenge in the story.

Black dog - I enjoyed this one I great deal out of all of them, mostly because of how it presented the internal struggle as the monster. It was powerful and crafted the story in a way to portray the conflict throughout. It was eye opening to be in the mind of someone suffering from a mental illness and the rollercoaster they were on. There are flashbacks used, usually they would bore me but in this story it gives you pieces of the past which combines to tell you the character's background and how she had come to that particular point. The ending was beautifully written and I was left wanting to find out more.

A Blue Story - I actually didn't expect to like this one much, it hadn't seemed like something I'd enjoy reading. However, this one was a pleasant surprise. I liked the characters and you do get to know them a bit within a short space of time. The pace of the mystery was fast but I didn't mind as it got straight to the point. One down side for me was that I'm not really an animal lover so I couldn't relate to Katherine's pain much. Overall, it was a cool mystery.

All that said and done, none of them were particularly mindblowing but each held an original story of its own.

Anyone read any good short story collections that they'd like to recommend?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Book Buyer or Library User: Which One?

 
I'm going to put my hands in the air for library user!
 
I'm not much of a book buyer, never have been to be honest. I rely mostly on good old libraries to source my love of books.
 
My reasons for being such a heavy library user would probably be:
 
  •  Money - I usually don't have a lot of money to spend on books so I wouldn't be able to get as many books as I'd want.
  • Re-reading - I don't ever re-read books. I can't remember the last time I did except for maybe old classics that I love. If I did buy books, I'd end up with loads that I know will probably not be read again so that would make me feel kind of guilty.
  • Local libraries - The libraries that I use are AMAZING. There is awesome networking between many libraries in my city which means I can reserve any book I want online and pick it up soon after. They always have new books which I want to read. 
  • Online library - There is also an e-Library which is super fab with a large collection of e-books and audiobooks that I can borrow for a certain time period.
However, there are reasons why sometimes I think it would be much preferable to buy books:
 
  • Returning library books - I am really bad at returning my books on time and sometimes I'm so lazy I can't be bothered to actually renew my books. This usually equals in overdue fines.
  •    Reading books - I'm a slow reader. I really like taking my time with books so sometimes it can take me forever to actually finish one. This means I end up with overdue library books consistently.
  • Collection - I don't know if this is a fair reason but I'd love to have a massive collection of books in a floor to ceiling bookshelf. It would just look really beautiful.
  • Own copy of book - Sometimes I do get an urge to look up a specific part in a book that I may have really liked but then I realise I don't have a copy. When I don't have a copy of some of my favourite books, it sort of breaks my heart.
 The reasons kind of weigh up actually, there are pros and cons for sure. For now I think I'll continue to depend largely on my library but I want to start buying more books in the future, I might start with buying all my favourites!
 
I'd love to know if you're a LIBRARY USER or a BOOK BUYER, what are the reasons for why you prefer one over the other?
Maybe you like a bit of both?

Friday, 3 May 2013

Bloglovin + Update

I just wanted to post a quick update before I am thrown into exam season.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I have converted myself to the way of Bloglovin as it has been highly recommended to me. You can follow me by pressing the big Bloglovin follow button on the sidebar or by pressing the link above. The only down point for me is that there is an app for it in the iPhone app store but not in the Android (Google Play) store. Well, you can't have everything.

Update:

Exams are coming up so I will probably be absent from the blog for huge periods of time. I will probably still post reviews (hopefully) as I usually still manage to squeeze in some reading while revising. I just needed to put that out there before I vanished into thin air.

Anyone else that is preparing for exams right now, I understand your pain.

That's all for now.

I hope to see you all very soon!

Au revoir!

Salut!

Bye!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking

Title: Torn
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 28th February, 2012
Page Count: 291
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 5/5
 
Synopsis

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…

She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.

Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.
 

Favourite Quotes

“Oh yeah. That's why. Like a fairy tale. I was marrying the Prince. I just happened to be in love with the pauper.”


Few Wild Words Quickie

Definitely fun and exciting even when the characters were rather crazy and annoying.
 
My Thoughts

I can't deny that I loved this book, it made me laugh countless times and the tension between some characters was overwhelming. But I don't think everyone would enjoy this book as much as I did.

The main character Wendy is annoying as hell, this included me cringing various times throughout the book. The thing is, I don't mind that she was being stupid and immature most the time, it was entertaining to read about her craziness and it was part of the reason I laughed so much. However, I know that for other readers, Wendy's annoying actions would probably push them over the edge.

I also can't express how much I loved some of the minor characters. Duncan made me smile because of both his lameness and awesomeness. Then there is Tove who is complicated and slightly crazy but so loveable. We also have Loki, this guy's comments made my heart flutter, definitely someone a lot of fun. Finally Finn, he was the knight in armour that needed to be hit over the head but his decisions were sane compared to what many other characters did. I could go on about the other characters as there is no lacking in the amount.

I just wanted to add on one more character, Wendy's mother, Elora. There is a change in her, the person we meet in the first book slowly unravels to show us another side of her. Hocking also does a really good job of explaining the Trylle world further, giving us much more depth than before.

Overall, the action, the loveable character and the unfolding of the book was enough to make me love it. I am definitely reading the last book!


Anyone enjoyed this? Or maybe you disliked this?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Review: Dark Heart Surrender by Lee Monroe

Title: Dark Heart Surrender
Author: Lee Monroe
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: April 5th 2012
Page Count: 390
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4/5
 
Synopsis

ONE GIRL. TWO WORLDS. SHATTERED. Jane's world has changed now that Luca, love of her live, inhabits it, and she's happier than she ever thought she could be. But how can a werewolf survive in the real world? When an immortal lives in the mortal world, the natural order of things must change. And what seems perfect, becomes destructive. They've overcome different worlds. But nothing could prepare Jane for this...
 
Favourite Quotes

"That our hearts were entwined through darkness and light."

Few Wild Words Quickie

I'm glad I stuck round till the end of the series. Overall it had the right elements of action and romance but I wish the series had gone out with more of a bang.

My Thoughts

I am feeling emotionally distraught right now most probably because this is the last book in the series and the last line broke my heart in a wonderful way.
That our hearts were entwined through darkness and light...


It feels like forever ago that I read the first and second book. I fell in love with the characters throughout the series even though at times they did make stupid decisions but their flaws made me love them even more.

DARK HEART SURRENDER started off slow for me, it didn't entrance me straight away. At first I was disappointed that maybe this series wouldn't go out with the bang I wanted. But, as the plot developed I began to get absorbed into the book and I couldn't put it down. I've noticed the trend throughout all three books, they always begin very slow then halfway it sucks you in.

I don't know how to express it but I just love Luca and Jane. They made crazy and rather rash decisions at times, they seemed to fall apart, nothing went their way ever. However, they always fell back together and it's felt so right every time. There's something innocent about their relationship which I loved, they even managed normalcy to some extent considering their situations, Luca and Jane will be OTP forever!

Another aspect of the book I really liked was the underlying mystery that appeared here and then throughout the book about the girl trapped. Monroe slowly unravelled the story and by the end all the loose ends tied up perfectly.

Some of the new secondary characters were interesting but I think I would have liked to have discovered more about them and their history, I didn't connect well with them and neither did I like them much.

I have mixed feelings about the ending, I liked it and I disliked it. It felt a bit rushed for me as though it was being hurried along and needed to be done with. Maybe I would have liked more Luca and Jane time I guess. But that said I also loved the simplicity of the ending and how it beautifully wrapped up everything in the last few lines and messed up my emotions.

Overall, I think with this series you have to be sort of patient. The books usually take their time getting into their element and you might even have a love/hate relationship with some of the characters. There is a gem in this series that kept me reading till the end and I'm glad I did.
 
If you've read the book I'd love to know what you thought?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Annoying Characters {My Take}



My take on annoying characters might be a bit unusual but I guess that's what I feel.

There are two categories I put annoying characters into.

For most, I would put these characters into the 'I'm-going-to-tear-my-hair-out' category. However, in my head, there is another category which is the 'entertaining' one.

The 'I'm-going-to-tear-my-hair-out' category:

- This is the common one most annoying characters fall into.

- Usually it means that with these characters I have to withstand the strong urge to rip hair out.

- (Trust me, it's not a happy sight).

- The annoying characters are probably doing stupid stupid things throughout the book, which range from very small actions to the life and death situations.

- These characters can result in me not finishing a book *queue the dramatic music*

- I don't even think I need to go on because we've all probably experienced such annoying characters.

These annoying characters end up making me rate a book low even if the actual plot and setting is pretty fab.

Now with that off my chest, let me tell you about the other category I put annoying characters under.

The 'entertaining' category:

-This occurs when a character in a book is obviously annoying me and making stupid decisions...BUT...their stupidity causes me to smile and laugh.

- An example is Wendy from the Trylle series: I can't express the number of times this character has driven me up the wall but in a good way. Her reaction to situations which usually calls for over dramaticness and a lot of flailing. It is all incredibly funny and enjoyable to see Wendy basically make a fool of herself. I feel a bit cruel saying that, oops.

- Furthermore, if I am being entertained by the annoyingness of the character and enjoying the book, I am compelled to carry on reading the book to see what other crazy thing the character decides to do.

- In a weird kind of way, sometimes these annoying characters are much like people in real life. Maybe it's just me, but I have a friend that is annoying to no end but I still love her.

- You could call it a personality flaw?

This type of annoying character adds up to a higher rating for the book.

This post might be absolutely nonsense to some. I just felt like I needed to get that out there.

If anyone else feels like I do, I'd love to know more about what you think.

Do you have any other categories you put annoying characters under or do they all fall under 'hitting-yourself-over-the-head' one?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 7th 2013
Page Count: 462
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

Favourite Quotes

"It's our rain Beth." Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.”

Few Wild Words Quickie

Engaging, realistic and definitely another emotionally attaching book from Katie McGarry.

My Thoughts

I don't know what to say other than the fact Katie McGarry managed to hook me with another one of her books. It tugged at all the right emotions and there is no doubt that I love the main character Beth.

There's something about Beth that totally appealed to me. She's strong headed, won't let others push her around and can stand alone. However, Beth is not only that, there are multiple layers to this girl, her fears, weaknesses, broken life and so many flaws that make her who she is. Beth isn't perfect but that's what I liked about her. From the beginning till the end I noticed little changes to her character, Beth doesn't completely change, she becomes a mix of her past and present blended. McGarry beautifully developed the main character and gave us parts of Beth's life piece by piece. By the end of the book, we were left with a character that as a reader I had grown close to and understood.

Moving onto Ryan, I liked him, I liked him a lot. There were times when I totally loved Ryan because of the way he interacted with other characters and that fact he was crazy sweet. Though there were other points which made me think what the hell Ryan, mostly that happened when I felt he was being overly possessive. Ryan was also far from perfect much like Beth, there's a lot more to him than what meets the eye. Then there's Isaiah, I can't work out what I'm feeling about him, there weren't too many moments with Isaiah but my heart went out to him each and every one of those times.

DARE YOU TO for me, was a story about love and change. It presented two teenagers with real life struggles, ambitions and problems. It showed me their journey to find some sort of happy, any solutions they could find, and it told me their story along the way. They were moments during the book where I had thought things were unrealistic but I don't think they bothered me too much. I enjoyed the book and the ending warmed my heart. You should definitely give the book a try.  


Links

Katie McGarry's Website

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: January 8th, 2013
Page Count: 368
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 3.5-4/5

Synopsis

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Favourite Quotes

“Part of me knows one more day won't do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”  

“Or maybe it's not a miracle. Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.”

“You have to fall in love to be in love, but falling in love isn't the same as being in love”  

Few Wild Words Quickie

A cute read with awesome characters throughout, a wonderful and thoughtful story about self discovery.

My Thoughts

I've read previous books by Gayle Forman and I've enjoyed them. So I had to pick up 'Just One Day' when I got the chance. I had mixed emotions about this book, it was very much a rollercoaster of thoughts.

The first quarter of the book disappointed me, I was already preparing to give the book 2 or 3 stars. I was completely sure it wouldn't be as good as Forman's other books. The book lacked some sort of connection with me and couldn't really hold my attention. I guess there wasn't enough to engage me and keep me reading. However, it wasn't all that bad at the start, Forman created a beautiful description of all the places Allyson visited with Willem and really captured the mood of the different places.

For me, things got A LOT better after the first quarter of the book. One reason was the new characters introduced when Allyson starts College. The new characters were fun and quirky especially D'Angelo (Dee), and as you keep reading you get to know other characters better who gave off a bad first impression like her roommate Kali. There are so many other characters who I loved and they made the book all the more interesting, including the people at the French classes, the people where Allyson worked to save money, the people she met on her second trip to Europe.

The main character Allyson did change through the course of the book, mainly through self-discovery and experience. Allyson did annoy me at times because I felt like sometimes she was overreacting or being stupid but I guess her flaws made her who she was and by the end of the book I noticed a change. One word to describe Allyson by the end of the book would be: Brave.

The ending of the book took me on a journey, it was beautiful and exhilarating. I was feeling the emotions Allyson was, I was cheering her on to achieve what she wanted. The writing was wonderful and thoughtful, it made me think about change, how there is so much you can take from personal experience. The last few pages of the book nearly killed, did there have to be such a painful cliff-hanger?!?!

Then there was the snippet at the end of 'Just One Year', I wanted to cry, there are so many possibilities running through my head right now. I will probably be reading the next book.

I'd recommend the book if you enjoy reading about different places in the world, romance, and if you like books about self discovery. Or just pick it up and give it a try, I think there is something in this book that you'll probably like, even if it's one small thing.


Have you read this book yet and if yes what did you think?

Friday, 22 March 2013

Reading Slump: Solution?

In the past 3 weeks, I've started about 6 different books but haven't been able to finish a single one. I don't have it in me to pick up any of the books and read them. It drives me crazy to be at a point where I can't bring myself to read. Usually when I'm in a reading slump I just let it pass even if it means waiting a month. Well I want to find myself a few different alternatives.

Source

I'd love to know about ways you combat your reading slump so I can experiment on myself. I'm already an impatient person so I have my fingers crossed that it will pass VERY soon. There has been a lack of reviews on my blog mainly because of the fact I haven't been able to finish reading anything.

What do you do when you're in a reading slump or having a book hangover?
Do you ever just wait it out?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Divergent Casting News: Four + Jeanine

Twitter exploded with the news about the casting of Four from the Divergent books. If you haven't read the series by Veronica Roth, head out and get a copy so you can join in the fangirling that takes place when casting news is made.
 
Introducing the actor that will play Four...
 
*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*
 
Theo James!
 
 
 
 
My intial reaction was:
 
Who is this Theo James?
 
This is when google search comes in handy, specifically google images. I spent about 5 minutes staring at his pictures. Theo James was definitely not how I imagined Four but I couldn't deny his rough edged hotness. The next place I explored was Theo James IMDb. I wasn't familiar with many of his acting credits except 'Downtown Abbey'. Then, I came to a point I had to just express my feelings in a post.
 
So here I am.
 
I have to say I can see Theo James as Four, he is NOTHING like in my head but the Four in my head is very much perfection so I don't think that was possible. I can't judge the actor just yet because I haven't seen him in role and usually I wait until the trailers and character posters before I make my mind up about the actor.
 
More Divergent casting news:
 
KATE WINSLET AS JEANINE MATTHEWS.
 
I'm doing fist pumps in the air right now. That is all for now.
 
What are your thoughts?
Did you have another actor in mind?
Have you seen Theo James in other roles?

Thursday, 7 March 2013

My First Audiobook: Yay or Nay?

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My First Audiobook: Yay or Nay?

I finally decided to throw myself into the world of audiobooks after seeing so many people being converted to this particular pathway. 
 
So I thought why not give it a go?
 
I would probably say at this point that my experience with my first ever audiobook was somewhere between a yay and nay. Somewhere between the good and the bad, and it was much more a trial and error sort of thing.
 
So the audiobook that I had chosen to listen to was 'Beauty Queens' by Libba Bray, and the narrator also happened to be the author herself. And I will say this straight away, Libba Bray is a super cool narrator, her accents are crazy awesome and hilarious.

Audiobooks: Take 1
 
So I should explain my experience straight from the beginning: my misconceptions of audiobooks.
 
For some reason, I thought that I could listen to an audiobook anywhere and everywhere and be able to do other work whilst listening to it. But NO that is not possible. Unless you want to confuse yourself straightaway about what is happening in the book just because you were listening to it while walking in the middle of a busy street, while on a busy bus journey.
 
I did exactly that- it didn't start or end well.
 
The thought 'why don't I listen to my audiobook while I sit on the bus' ran through my mind many times and as I had to spend about half an hour sitting down during the journey made it seem like a good idea. I basically listened to the book for 3 minutes and I was already lost as in what was happening and it felt like there was someone just blabbing in my ear.

Moral of the story: I would probably need to listen to my audiobook in a calm and relaxed environment.

Audiobooks: Take 2

I finally made time to start the audiobook properly. Straight from the start I was hooked. The different aspects of 'Beauty Queens' was fun and exciting, especially the various accents Libba Bray pulled off. There were laugh out loud moments and footnotes that were pretty awesome.

Something else I noticed about audiobooks that made me feel somewhere between yay or nay was the pacing. I won't lie, you need a good amount of time to listen to the whole book. The audiobook moves at a steady speed that allows you to understand everything thoroughly. But, there were moments where I wished I could somehow speed up the narration in a way where I wouldn't miss anything important as I wasn't always interested in specific parts. But I stuck through.

Another part of audiobooks that amazed me was the individuality of the different characters. Each was unique and you could totally work out who was who. It was also magical in so many ways, I felt like I was actually there in the book. Cool right?

I also learnt another valuable lesson with this audiobook. NEVER try to continue to listen to an audiobook when you are at a point where you are super tired and your eyes are closing. It's crazy but I actually fell asleep with my headphones in and the audiobook playing. It was like a soft lullaby in my ears and I couldn't even pin point when I had stopped listening. In the morning, I noticed a flat battery, headphones still in and when I recharged the battery I noticed I was about 4 more hours into the story. I learnt my lesson.

Carrying on, the book was awesome. However, then came to a point in the books where things went downhill. But I don't blame that on the audiobook but more on the plot line so I shall skip talking about it.

Overall, my first audiobook felt much like a testing experiment, I am not yet totally sold but I know there was some amazing aspects of them that I would love to experience again.

I would love to know if you have any suggestions of audiobooks that will blow me away?
What is your opinion on audiobooks?
What are some of your favourites?

Review: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Catalyst
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2003
Page Count: 232
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Meet Kate Malone-straight-A science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, new girlfriend (to Mitchell "Early Decision Harvard" Pangborn III), unwilling family caretaker, and emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. Then, things change as suddenly as a string of chemical reactions; first, the Malones' neighbors get burned out of their own home and move in. Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri's little brother. The days are ticking down and she's still waiting to hear from the only college she applied to: MIT. Kate feels that her life is spinning out of her control-and then, something happens that truly blows it all apart.

Favourite Quotes

"Look at the stupid, poor people. Look at the stupid, poor, burned-out people. Look at the stupid, poor, burned-out people, look at their dead baby. It's death porn for the masses."

Few Wild Words Quickie

There is definitely a beautiful gem hidden in this book.
 
My Thoughts

I started CATALYST with the thought 'this will be another typical/predictable read, sigh', taking into consideration that I had read SPEAK (which happens to be a favourite of mine). I would say it was mostly the summary's fault for making me think in that particular way.

Not much to my surprise, it did start off something like that - a predictable read.

The main character Kate Malone went straight onto my negative side not many pages in and knew all the wrong things to say. But, as I was reading, Laurie Halse Anderson's writing style clearly rang through. It was probably the reason that I just didn't put this book on my DNF pile only 10 pages in. There is something unique and beautiful about the author's writing even though Kate was annoying me.

HOWEVER...that didn't last for long. CATALYST started flowering into its full potential not long after.

Throughout the book you are introduced to a range of characters, from Kate's friends to the members of the Church. Most the characters were unique in their own way, making them stand out. Teri Litch was one of those characters that you grow closer to as you read on. She comes across as hostile and aggressive, though that may not change as the book progressed but you get to a point where you begin to understand her. Teri's story strongly drives the plot which is one of the reasons as a reader you can get to know her better.

Kate being the main character and all, you can see a change and growth in her as you read. You even begin to like her and see that she's not the most horrible and annoying person in the world.

Half way through the book, I swear my heart was pulled out from my chest and ripped into pieces, I shed many tears and had to put the book down for 10 minutes and rein in my emotions.

This particular event that takes place in the book set up the mood for the rest of the book. That is probably when you realise how amazing Anderson's writing is. Everything in the book feels REAL, like you are experiencing it. It's basically my favourite type of writing. At that point, I think Kate's voice comes through strongest and powerful. I will again repeat this book felt realistic!

A bonus for anyone who read Speak, CATALYST is set in the same school. AND GUESS WHAT?

Melinda from Speak makes an appearance and there is even short dialogue between Kate and Melinda. That was probably one of the awesome points of the book too. It felt like I was checking up on an old friend.

I wouldn't say this book is plot driven but much more about the characters and exploring them. I don't think this book will be enjoyed by everyone but it should definitely be given a chance.


Anyone else read the book?
If you have, what did you think?