Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty Four

Top Ten Beach reads for the summer

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  I was really looking forward to this weeks topic as summer is definitely the time when I get the most reading done, and quite often these books are your typical contemporary beach reads, so I knew this wouldn't be a hard one for me.  However, instead of going for the normal choices, I decided to try and recommend so different choices as well to suit everyone.  And so, enjoy! 

1) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
As I'm sure everyone knows by now, if you're looking for a cute contemporary romance that includes a little travel then this is perfect. Not only is it a gorgeous little story with some great characters, but it also takes place in Paris just to make it even better suited to a beach read that can transport you!

2) The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
This one is a book I read fairly recently, and one that is perfect if you want a great setting that will transport you to somewhere amazing, in this case Hawaii.  It's also more of a fantasy and so is a great one to pick up if you want something a little different to your average contemporary. 

3) Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I'm someone who, as soon as I hear beach reads, thinks contemporaries, specifically contemporaries that take you on a journey like this one.  It's such an amazing little story about finding yourself and includes so many adventures that will entertain you thoroughly, and even includes a bit of romance to satisfy anyone in the summer. 

4) Everyday by David Levithan
If you're looking for a bit of a different contemporary for a beach read, then Everyday is perfect as it includes paranormal aspects but still sticks to a fairly normal setting.  Its also one of the few books I've ever read in one sitting, and so is definitely one that draws you in and captivates you with its amazingly unique story.

5) The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Here's another one for anyone who isn't a fan of contemporaries, and wants something a little different to read this summer.  It takes place in a historic setting in India and so still is perfect if you want a travel aspect, but also includes a ghostly mystery that will intrigue you in a beautifully written story that will stay with you long after finishing.  

6) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
If you want a contemporary that's a little more mysterious where things aren't always what they seem, then definitely give this one a read if you haven't already.  It's captivating, beautifully written and will hit you with a plot twist you never saw coming - its perfect if you want a darker story that will completely envelope you till the end. 

7) The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
This was one of my many summer reads last year, and is honestly perfect if you need a little travel and few different settings.  It's such a cute little romance and story which will draw you in whilst transporting you all over the world at the same time. 

8) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Finally, if you're more of a sci-fi fan than a contemporary one then I definitely suggest this one.  With its unique style and story it will be sure to interest anyone who likes a bit of sci-fi and even someone who's normally not a fan, and is perfect for a beach read with its amazing characters and fast paced plot.  

What books are some of your favourite beach reads?


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

I recently decided to pick this one up after being in a reading slump for quite a while now and so was in the mood for a fairly short little contemporary, and so I thought I'd give this one a read, and I'm really glad I did.  I found this to be the perfect book for my mood and really enjoyed the story, and found it to be a lot better than I was anticipating.  

Firstly, the characters - I loved them!  I found all of them to be so unique and really different from each other, something which I really enjoyed seeing.  I also loved how no one felt perfect, and how they all had flaws and all had problems that they had to overcome, especially some of our main characters such as Bex and Jack.  It was really refreshing to see people with real lives and who I found I could often relate to in at least one way or another.

Bex and Jack were two of the characters I really enjoyed in this.  I really like Bex's determination to get where she wanted to be and how hardworking she was in so many different aspects.  As for Jack. I really enjoyed learning more and more about his character as the story progressed and seeing how caring he really was.  

Speaking of these two characters, one of the key aspects I really enjoyed in this was the romance.  Not only did I like both the characters individually, but I also really enjoyed watching how their relationship evolved throughout the book and how it took time for them to really get to know each other and figure out their relationship together.  They never rushed things despite both knowing they were attracted to each other and I just really Iiked how their relationship was shown as a whole.

One thing which I found made the book a bit different to others was the two unique artists and how their creativeness became quite a large part of the plot.  I loved how they both had their own different style of art and how individual these were, as well as how I found they respected the others work and supported them even if it was little different.  I also really like how the art was shown in such a positive way, especially the graffiti, as it really was something I hadn't seen a ton beforehand, especially Bex's interest in anatomical art.  

The main plot of this book follows Jack and Bex as they figure out their relationship and as they each attempt to move through other problems and events happening in both of their lives.  I really enjoyed how the plot moved in this as it never seemed to be following just one key idea, but instead had many different aspects that all helped move along the story.  Although at first I thought this would sometimes cause the story to drag, I instead found each and every different direction or subplot to be interesting and they never caused the plot to drag or the pace to slow at all.

Speaking of all the different aspects of this, I really liked how some of the smaller plot points were intertwined easily into the story and how each of them covered such different topics to each other.  I loved learning about both Bex and Jack's past and I liked how neither of these were given in info dumps but were rather well placed when they were spoken about.  I also really liked how diverse some of the subjects were, such as mental illness and homelessness, but also how these weren't shoved right at the forefront.  

Finally, going back to the realisticness of the characters, I really enjoyed seeing the normality of life and how both families were presented differently but both still with problems they worked through together.  I really liked how solid a family Bex's but how they still did have their arguments and still had things they had to work through together, as well as how well I thought the sibling relationships were shown very positively and as very understanding. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good contemporary romance.  

Character(s): Bex
Quote(s): But the sensible thing and the right thing weren't always the same choice, and no one but you could truly understand the difference

Relate a:
Song(s): Save me, San Francisco - Train
Other Book(s): The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith



Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty Three

Top Ten Books I feel differently about over time

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I actually found really interesting, as I knew I could think of some almost instantly whilst others took a little while for me to remember.  However, I still only managed to come up with seven for whatever reason, but still here are some of the books I read a while ago that I now feel differently about.  And so, enjoy!  

1) Divergent by Veronica Ross
I remember loving this series, particularly the second book, when I first read it, but I think now I've realized that as much as I still like the series (par the final book), its definitely not my favourite or one I would consider amazing by any means.  I also think I've finally come to accept the fact that as much as I tried to like the last book, I honestly didn't enjoy it much at all.  

2) Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
I read this one so long ago that I honestly couldn't tell you a ton about what happened, but I do remember really enjoying, especially as I then went to read the sequel as well.  But after a recent attempt at a reread of it, I've discovered that, in my opinion, it isn't as good a book as I first thought.

3) My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher
When I first read this, I knew before going into it how much of an emotional read it was going to be, and so from the offset I think I subconsciously kept trying to convince myself that it was a good book and that I was enjoying it, when in reality, I wasn't.  Now I by no means think this is a bad book, I just know now that I personally wasn't a huge fan of it, even if at the time I tried to convince myself I was.  

4) Matched by Ally Condie
Now, I have to be honest, because I read it so long ago, I'm not sure 100 percent sure whether or not my opinion has changed, all I know is that I used to be alot less critical of books, and so am pretty sure that were I to reread this, I wouldn't have as high an opinion of it as I did the first time.  

5) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I know how many people love this book, but to be perfectly honest the first time I read it I really wasn't a huge fan.  However, as I continued on with the series and saw Etienne and Anna pop up in the other books, I began to somehow grow so much more fond of them that now I'm pretty sure I would enjoy their own book alot more than I did before, especially as alot of my problems were with some of the characters.  

6) Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Although I did really enjoy this book the first time I read it, for some reason I still find myself thinking alot more highly of it now than I did back then, this mainly because I think I've realized that at the time I was simply very critical of a book that honestly didn't have as many flaws as I tried to pick out.  

7) Everyday by David Levithan
Finally, I honestly can't tell you why when I first read this I rated it so low, especially considering how I do actually remember really enjoying it, my only slight problem being with the ending.  Now I can safely say that I love this book, because not only is it a great story but because how bad can a book I read in one sitting really be?  


Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Reader Reccommends

So recently I've been seeing and loving a lot of recommendation type blog posts and videos, particularly ones based around if you like this, try this.  And so, I thought I'd give it a little go myself as I thought it would be a bit of a fun and different way of suggesting some books to you.  And so, enjoy! 

If you liked the plot twist in Looking For Alaska, but want it in a little less everyday setting... 
Try Revived by Cat Patrick -

Both of these are favourites of mine, and so I'd always recommend both.  Revived is definitely the lesser known of the two, but is still an amazing book which includes some great twists you won't see coming.  It is a little different to Looking For Alaska story wise, but if you like not knowing where the story will turn next or if you want a contemporary involving a little mystery then definitely give it a go.

If you liked the sci-fi aspect of The 5th Wave, but want a little more romance... 
Try The Host by Stephenie Meyer -

So yes, I know alot of people will have already heard of the host, but if you have yet to give it a go, then I would definitely recommend it, especially if the 5th wave surprised you if your not normally a huge sci-fi fan.  I personally love both of these, as they include a sci-fi aspect without overwhelming you and are stories that completely draw you in.  So if you fancy another alienesque story that doesn't take place in space and adds a little romance into the mix, then The Host is definitely worth checking out. 

If you liked the strong characters in The Raven Boys, but want a little more lighthearted contemporary story... 

Now I'm sure everyone has heard of or read The Book Thief, but not as many seem to realize that some of his other books are just as good, such as this one.  At first glance, you wouldn't think that these two would be similar at all, when in fact both have one thing in common - great characters who drive the book forward.  Both have such amazing, complex characters, so definitely give this one a go if that was one aspect you loved in The Raven Boys.

If you liked the fantasy world in Shadow and Bone, but maybe want a little more conspiracy in a new setting... 

I do unfortunately have yet to finish either of these series, but that doesn't mean that I can't recommend them anyway because so far, both of these are such great stories that I can't wait to continue with.  They are both amazing fantasies that include some great character and love triangles that, for once, I am not entirely against.  So if you looking for something similar to Shadow and Bone or just want a good, fast paced fantasy, I definitely recommend giving the Kanin chronicles a go.


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty Two

Top Ten Books I picked up on a whim

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I was really excited about as I knew there were so many books I have picked up spontaneously without knowing much about them, so this wasn't a hard one for me.  And so, enjoy! 

1) Night Owls by Jenn Bennett - 
This is actually my current read, and one I didn't really know a ton about before starting.  I'd seen it around for while and heard good things about it from a friend, so when I saw it at a very cheap price, I decided to pick it up and give it a go, despite not having a great idea what it was actually about.  And honestly, I'm glad I did, because so far so good! 

Recently I've started visiting my local library again, and so this one was definitely a book I picked up on a whim after I spotted it just before leaving.  I had literally no idea what it was about other than it involved time travel, but even that (as well as the gorgeous cover) was enough to convince me to give it a go, something I'm so glad I did cause I loved it!  

3) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Okay, so I know this one got so much hype when it first came out, but at that point I hadn't really discovered blogging or booktubers or anything like that, so I had no idea what to expect before reading this one.  It is definitely one I am so glad I went into pretty much blind, and without high expectations I would have had otherwise.  

4) Numbers by Rachel Ward
As soon as I read the synopsis for this, I knew I had to read it, and so consequently I didn't know much else than that before diving into this one.  I loved the idea of someone who can tell the date you will die and luckily I adored it just as much in the book, and the rest of the series.  

5) Half Bad by Sally Green - 
Before reading this all I knew was that it was about witches and was told in 2nd person, and to be honest that was all I needed to know.  This was one where the story took me by surprise and turned out differently to how I'd imagined, but it was still amazing and I'm so glad I read it.

I remember hearing about this book ages before I actually picked it up and being so intrigued, but it was only a year ago or so that I finally read this after ordering it in the spur of the moment when I recalled how excited I was about it before.  Unfortunately this one really wasn't a great purchase in the moment book for me, and just wasn't the best of books in my opinion.  

Honestly, there was one thing and one thing only that drew me to this book: the idea of a book, in a book.  I mean, one books good enough, but two in one that interlink?  That just sounded amazing to me, and honestly, although I wasn't blown away by this book, it was still definitely a really enjoyable read and one I'm so glad I picked up.

8) The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon -  
Finally, this is another which I picked up spontaneously from the library after I decided to try some more horror, and I can't tell you how much of a good pick this was.  Not only did it become one of my favourites, but it also introduced me to Carlos Ruiz Zafon, an author I now adore.  Overall, it was probably one of the best books I picked up on a whim.  

What books have you picked up without knowing much beforehand? 


Sunday, 15 May 2016

May/ June TBR

As I've said before, recently I've been in a little reading slump, mainly because I just have so little free time to read that often I won't pick up my current read for days on end.  And so, I 've decided to try making a little TBR for the next month and half or so, in an attempt to get my reading some more.  I probably won't get to all of these (although you never know), and I might end up reading completely different books to the ones here, but nonetheless, here are some of the books I plan to read in the remainder of May and June.  And so, enjoy! 

1) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I picked this one up from the library a few weeks ago now, but as I haven't been reading a ton I unfortunately haven't yet managed to start it.  I've been really getting into and reading a lot more fantasy recently, so I'm excited to get into this one as soon as I finish Night Owls.  To be perfectly honest I don't have an amazing idea of what this one's about, but I've heard pretty good things and if the quote on the back is anything to go by then it shouldn't be too bad by any means.

2) Mosquitoland by David Arnold
This was one of my most anticipated releases of last year, and yet still it has been sitting on my shelf, unread for months now.  It follows Mim as she takes a bus back to her old home where her mother has recently become ill.  Not only is a roadtrip-esque book, but it also just sounds so interesting and unique that I can't wait to see how wonderful a read this - hopefully - turns out to be.

3) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Their is only one reason why I have yet to pick this book up yet: its length.  For some reason everytime I go to pick up this one, I put it off simply because its not the shortest of books, despite happily picking up longer books in the meantime (I know, it doesn't make sense to me either).  It sees the main character Cath face new challenges as she moves to college and is forced to find her own without her twin sister, Wren by her side.  I've also heard such great things about this one that I really want to finally get to it and see what its all about!

4) Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Seeing how much I adored Tommy Wallach's first book, We All Looked Up, I couldn't not pick this one up when it was released in February.  But, as is always the case, I've been putting this one off because I know once I've read it, I won't be able to read another new book by Wallach until next year at least.  However, I am determined to give in and read it as I'm so excited to finally pick it up after anticipating for so long.

5) Brooklyn by Colm Toibin - 
This one has been on my TBR for a few months now, ever since the film first came out.  The only reason I haven't picked this up yet is because its adult fiction, something I'm still a little nervous about.  However, I am determined to at least give this one a go soon as its pretty short, and so hopefully I can finally pick it up some time in the next few weeks or so.

6) Everyday by David Levithan 
This one will be reread for me, after first reading and loving it quite a few years ago now.  This one follows A, who wakes up everyday in a different person's body, and is one of the few books I have ever read in one sitting.  I adore this story and so can't wait to revisit it, especially as afterwards I can pick up Another Day as well!


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty One

Top Ten Blogs I love that aren't about books

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  I was quite excited for this weeks topic, as not only can I share with you some of my favourite non-bookish blogs and websites , but I can also find some new ones too.  That said, once again time did mean that I only got six, but I still thought they were all worth sharing.  And so, enjoy! 

If I ever need an idea for a DIY or just need a little inspiration, this is the first place go to.  I love having a look at some of their DIYs for the weekend and I can't tell you how badly they make me want to get up and give each and everyone a go as soon as! 

I can't even remember exactly how I discovered Abbie's blog, all I know is that I'm so glad I did!  I love the combination of different things on her blog, and how I can always go there for good music suggestion as well to envy over how good her pictures are.

Despite loving her YouTube channel as well, I can't help but also love her blog too.  I love the simplicity of her posts and how they differ from lifestyle chats to fashion video, but how everyone is still always a worth a little read.  

Despite her being a youtuber, her blog is the thing I follow, and I have to admit that I never mind seeing one of her posts pop up.  I love how normal she seems and how different the topics she talks about can be.

If I ever just need to indulge in some gorgeous writing, this is exactly where I turn.  Each and everyone of her blog posts is so beautifully written that I can't help but adore each and every one, plus her photos are also amazingly gorgeous.

Finally, despite being a very recent find, I couldn't not put this gorgeous little blog on here.  I love how basic yet how good all of her posts are and how unique they all seem, plus they always give me something to think about or to lift my mood a little.  


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

I picked this one up recently after never getting round to it last year after the movie release.  I was so interested in this when I heard about the adaptation, but for some reason, I never got round to it and so, I finally decided to give it a go last month.

This book follows the main character Greg Gaines, who is forced to become friends with Rachel, who has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia.  Apart from that, this book didn't have much o a plot at all, with alot of focusing on random conversations and scenes that didn't really follow one central plot line.  Although I understand this was meant to be the case, and at times I didn't mind it, I still did sometimes find that this caused the book to drag as it all just seemed like nothing was happening at all.  For me, it just

Moving on from the plot, I have to admit I didn't mind some of the main characters, such as Rachel and Earl.  I liked how Rachel was portrayed as not all happy and positive and how she wasn't prepared to fight, as I found it gave a different view on a subject that is written about quite a lot now.  I also liked how Earl was actually trying to help Rachel and how he understand alot better than Greg did or ever tried to.  Even though he didn't need to help or get involved at all, he still tried to do the right thing, something which I really enjoyed seeing, especially here.

As for Greg himself, unfortunately I really couldn't like him at all.  I found him to be so insensitive and irritating how he never seemed to care for Rachel and how even when his actions seemed to show that he did, he still tried so hard to convince the readers that he didn't.  In general, I just found him to be very unrelatable and a character who I just couldn't grow to like at all.

One of the reasons I found Greg to be quite annoying was because of the constant reminders of the key concept and idea of the book.  It seemed as though on every other page, there was some remark about how badly he didn't feel for or how bad a writer he was.  At first it didn't mind it, but by the end of the book it just seemed to have gone way too far and just became increasingly irritating as it went on.

Due to the lack of plot, one of the main things that kept this book going was the humour.  Although I did sometimes think it went too far, I did find it to often work and help keep the book going at times when otherwise it would have had nothing going for it.  It definitely helped keep the reader interested at points when they otherwise wouldn't have been, however, in the end it still wasn't something that I found amazingly funny or something that made me love this book or alter my opinion on it greatly.

Finally, I can never seem to write a book review without talking about the writing style, something which I did like in this book.  As always, I enjoyed seeing different things, such as scripts and detailed lists, included in here, especially at times when the book was beginning to drag.  It really did help to keep me interested and to move things along at times when I was considering putting it down, as it gave a nice change to the normal style of writing, something which suited this book especially well.

So, overall, this definitely wasn't the book for me.  I didn't like the lack of plot or the main character, and unfortunately the humour just sometimes went a little too far for me.

Character: Earl
Quote: The best ideas are always the simplest

Relate a:
Song: Young and Dumb - The Lucksmiths
Other Book: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini



Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Fifty

Ten Characters I'd Love To Revisit As Adults

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I honestly didn't look at very far in advance, so although I was excited for it, I also didn't have that long to create this list.  However, I did still enjoy making this top ten, plus this is my fiftieth TTT post - yay!  But anyway, here are some of the characters I wouldn't mind revisiting, and so enjoy!

Now this may seem like a strange one even if you have yet to read it, considering the premise of this one.  But, if maybe some things hadn't happened, then I would have loved to have seen what would have happened to all four of these characters as they grow up.  

2) Wanda from The Host by Stephenie Meyer 
I've kind of given up on all hopes of a sequel to this one, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to know what happened next, or even a couple of years after the end of the book.  I'd just love to find out how it all went with the humans trying to revolt and with Ian and just everyone basically. 

2) A from Everyday by David Levithan
After this ending, I need to at least have a little bit of an idea what happened next for them.  As much as I really liked the ending, I still wouldn't mind catching up and seeing how events unfolded a couple of years down the line or so.

Aaron was one of my favourite characters in this, and we didn't really see what happened to him or get an idea of what was going to happen to him at the end of the novel.  So of course I wouldn't mind coming back in ten years or and seeing how he's got over certain things that happened and just revisiting him. 

4) Annie from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
 - Okay, so she may not have been a main character, but she's still been through quite a bit and honestly I just want to see if she's okay after everything.  Like, how's she coping?  I need to know!

6) Max from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
- I think Max may be the character I most want to revisit, as his story ends quite abruptly and we never really get an explanation of what happens with him after the end of the novel, or even for parts of the novel.  Plus I'd just love to find out more about him outside of his time on Himmel street.

If I could, I would love to revisit all the main characters from this series and see how they've all grown up 5 years or so down the line, and see if certain people are all still friends and just to read more about them.  I really wouldn't mind.

8) Eleanor from Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - 
Anyone whose read this might understand my reasoning for this, as I really just need to know what happened to her after the novel.  I have so many questions (too many probably) and I'd also just like to revisit her a couple of years later.  I also wouldn't mind seeing Park again, but I feel as though I've already done multiple characters from a lot of books so.