Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February Playlist

Here, at last, is my February Playlist!  
I originally planned to get both this and my February wrap up posted and up before the end of the month, but unfortunately stuff happened, and so as much as I wished I could have I was unable to get either up on time.  Luckily I have now sorted everything out, with my February Wrap Up scheduled and ready to go up on Sunday, and for now here are some of my favourite songs that I have been listening to over the last month.  And so, enjoy!

What songs have you been listening to lately?

Monday, 20 February 2017

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon Review

After reading Why We Broke Up, I was entirely certain that I was in the mood for one genre and one genre only - YA contemporary.  However, if it wasn't for my sister telling me about this one and recommending that I should give it a go then this would certainly never have been the one I picked up, as it just didn't sound like the type of thing I was usually a fan of.  I also knew that the film for this book was set to be released later this year, and so knew that by reading the book now I wouldn't have to rush to read it before the film or even go and watch the film feeling guilty knowing that I hadn't even given the book a go before watching it.  And so, in the end I thought there was no reason not to at least pick it up and give it a go, and so that is exactly what I did.  

This book follows our main character of Madeline who has SCID and for 18 years has never even left her house.  Before going into this, the concept and idea of this was one of the main things that drew me in as it seemed like such a unique story that would have a very unique perspective on things.  And whilst I didn't think it was the most individual story, I did really enjoy seeing what Maddy's life was like and how she felt about everything throughout the story.  I also really liked the general plot of this book and how both the romance and Maddy developed and grew as the story went on, as well as how the story incorporated romance and later other storylines into one. 

But one thing I can't talk about this book without mentioning is the amazing plot twist I was not expecting to get at all in this story.  It took me completely by surprise and was so unpredictable that it threw me so off guard that I had to rethink what I had just read.  I just really enjoyed how shocking it was as well as how it added something else to a story that otherwise would have been primarily romance. 

Moving on from the plot, I did enjoy the characters in this novel for the most part, although they were definitely not my favourite characters or some of the best characters I've ever read about.  Whilst I really getting to know them all and watching the relationships between them all develop, I just don't feel like we got to see a great deal of depth to any of the characters at all or at least not as much as I would have liked to have seen.  Saying that, I did really enjoy Olly as a character who provided some humour into the novel as well as how strong he was considering his family situation and how he tried to stand up for what he thought was right.  

One of the key aspects of this novel is the romance between Maddy and Olly, and I do have to admit that I really enjoyed this throughout most of the book.  I loved how Olly was the boy next door character and how they slowly began to bond over text messages and emails before they even meet properly in person.  I also adored how swept up in it all they both became and how they were stuck in this whirlwind romance that seemed to capture them both within it.  

However, as much as I enjoyed there romance, I did have a few problems with it.  Whilst most of the time I loved how the relationship between these two, there was a fair bit of instalove in there as well, with Olly and Maddy only meeting a few times before they seemed to be in love or at least past the point of just starting to develop feelings for one another.  I also just had the slightest problem with some of Olly's actions when he was with Maddy, especially how easy-going and risky he seemed to be with her at times, a girl who is described to be pretty much allergic to everything.  For me this just made it seem a little less realistic as he didn't seem to be as conscious of her well-being or and of her illness as he maybe should have been for someone who really cared about her.

But for me, one of my favourite things about this book was just how addictive it was.  I loved how quickly I was able to fly through this simply because I never wanted to put it down and was drawn in from the start.  The writing style made this book so engrossing that before I knew it I was 100 pages from where I'd started and still nowhere near wanting to put it down.  I also adored how short the sections and chapters in this book were, as well as the messages and emails that were dotted along the way, which gave this book another feature whilst not focusing on it too much, allowing it to just add to the story and not overwhelm it.

Overall, I did on the whole enjoy this novel despite having a few issues with it as well.  I enjoyed the characters, plot and most of all adored the plot twist and writing that improved this book so much for me.  I think this is a great one if you are looking for a fast-paced, addictive contemporary with a romance that you will in love with.

Character: Olly 
Quote: 'Sometimes you do things for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones and sometimes it's impossible to tell the difference.'

Relate a:
Song: Bubblegum - Mystery Jets 
Other Book: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett 


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Top Ten Tuesday Seventy Four

Top Ten Favourite Slowburn Romances

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I was really excited for as I am such a big fan of romance in novels and so will never complain about the chance to talk about my favourite couples or ships.  However, this list is still not the longest (sorry!) as it has just felt like I've had no time recently, and so didn't manage to think of a whole list of 10 for this week.  And so, enjoy! 

These two are one of the most recent couples I really loved and really enjoyed reading about their relationship.  I just really adored how these two both seem to fit together and don't at the same time and how complex their whole relationship is throughout the book.

 I can't tell you how much I have adored these two, from the moment they first meet to when we get to see their relationship develop and grow all the way till the end of the last book.  Throughout the trilogy they just seem to both grow individually and together until they can finally trust each other and learn that that's not a bad thing either.

 As much as these two definitely don't go from hate to love, and aren't as slow a burn as some of the others from series, I still can't help but adore them together already.  I just love how they already trust and rely on each other but still have quite a complex relationship due to the circumstances they are in but how when they are testing instead of their friendship and relationship crumbling it grows almost into something more.

Out of the couples on this list, these two are by far the ones who took the longest time to actually get together and so I was so happy when they finally did.  I just adore how open she is with him and how they slowly but surely develop and grow their relationship throughout the books until they finally realize how much they care about each other.

For a book whose main concept focuses on a game in which the two players fall in love, these two actually took a little longer than I expected to actually get together, which honestly just made it that much better when they did.  I just loved how these two kept meeting and interacting and even sharing moments, with something always getting in the way but this never stopping the growing chemistry between them.

Who are some of your favourite slow burn romances?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Why We Broke Up Review

After months and months of reading fantasy, historical fiction and sci-fi, I finally felt the absolute need to dive back into a genre that will always be one of my favourites: Contemporary.  Whilst I have adored reading so many books outside of what the majority of my reading used to consist of, I had finally had enough of reading about different worlds and magical powers, and just needed a good old contemporary this month, and so this just seemed like the perfect candidate.  Not only have I been meaning to read it for a good while now, but I also knew that it would give me the romance that I was dying for.   

This book follows our main character of Min as she recites the course of her and Ed's relationship through a box full of items all relating to their time together and all with a story attached to them.  One of things that first drew me into this book was this concept of the whole book being written almost in fragments and made up of smaller stories instead of simply as one whole one, as it just sounded like such an interesting and unique way to write a book.  So, unsurprising this soon not only became one of the things I was most looking forward, but also one of the things I enjoyed the most as well.  I adored how we didn't just get a running order of everything that happened but how each item held its own story and contributed to the story individually without making it feel too jumpy or too disjointed.   

Along with this concept came the added bonus of the pictures that allowed the items to be visually seen before the story about it was told, which were equally as beautiful as the story that follows.  I loved just being able to see the images and illustrations of the object and to not just have to imagine them, which made it all seem that much more realistic.  

As anyone can tell from the synopsis, the main plot follows the relationship of Min and Ed and so quite obviously focuses hugely on this throughout the novel.  Now whilst I do love romance in books, I was a little worried that because the focus seemed to be solely on their relationship that the story would get a little boring and repetitive, when actually this was not the case at all.  Instead, by giving the whole book to talk about their relationship and to do so in such an intimate fashion, it gave a realistic approach to it and allowed the reader to become so involved and invested in their relationship.  It made the story feel so personal and raw as it dove so deeply not into their relationship itself but also the effect it had on the other characters and how this affected everything.  My one bugbear, however, did come from how certain moments just seemed a little too predictable, even if they did help the story, and so they didn't have as shocking an impact as they otherwise would have. 

But for me the relationship and the story wouldn't have felt as realistic if the characters themselves hadn't been believable.  Despite it taking a while for me to warm to her, I did really enjoy Min as both a narrator and as a character and by the end had fallen in love with her voice and her description of the events.  I loved how relatable she was as she seemed just like a normal girl who got swept up into this relationship so quickly without thinking, and how she didn't always say or do the right thing.  Above everything, both she and Ed were flawed people who made mistakes and sometimes didn't see that they had straight away either.  

Despite everything I ever say about side characters, in this one exception I actually really enjoyed not the lack of side characters but really the lack of them having any huge impact on the story.  Whilst both Min and Ed had friends and people around them, they never seemed to have that large an impact on their relationship, despite being affected by it themselves.  However, I did still enjoy seeing these characters, particularly Al and Joan, as I think it truly showed how it wasn't just Ed and Min wrapped up in this story, but everyone else as well.  I also just adored Al as a character in himself and loved how supportive a friend he was even when he wasn't the biggest fan of Min or Ed and didn't agree with what she was doing. 

But one aspect that adored more than all the rest was the writing style and Min's own narration and recounts of her relationship.  Not only did it allow it to feel so personal, but it also allowed her emotion to run through as she describes the rush of young love, with the informality of the writing making it seem that much more realistic.  The fact that the entire book and so their entire relationship only takes place over a fairly short space of time also helps this, and makes this book so much more addictive as everything seems to be happening so fast.  

Overall, I really did end up loving this book alot more than I was expecting to.  It just drew me in from the offset and dragged me straight into the story without a moment's thought.  I adored the characters and the writing and just almost everything about this very unique book.

Character: Min
Quote: 'The thing with your heart's desire is that your heart doesn't even know what it desires until it turns up.'

Relate a:
Song: Like a River Runs - Bleachers 
Forever Halloween - The Maine
Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
Other Book: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan 


Have you read this one - what did you think?  

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Top Ten Tuesday Seventy Three

Top Ten Books I wish had more friendship in them

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week I only have a very short list as I had a really hard time trying to think of books that I wished had more or less of something in them.  Eventually I choose to pick some books that I wished had a little more friendship in them, as I am also a fan of a good friendship in a book, and so a little more would never go a miss.  And so, enjoy!

As much as I adored this book to pieces, and loved the story it told, I did go into this expecting a book that had more of an emphasis on friendship than was actually the case in reality.  As much as it isn't the worst book for ignoring friendship, I would have loved to have seen just a little more interaction between our two main characters just to be able to see their friendship develop and grow that little bit more.

Through all my bugbears about this book, one of my biggest ones was the lack of friendship there was in it.  It seemed so heavily focused on the romance aspects that despite everything Lennie's friends were always so out of the picture in the book and only seemed to pop back in when they were needed for another part of the plot.  I just would have really enjoyed to have seen them a little more involved or even just spoken about more than they were throughout this story. 

This is one of those ones where I would have loved the friendship in this had the love triangle not been introduced that took away one of the key friendships that we could have seen in this.  I also would have just loved to have seen even more of other characters such as Genya a little more than we got to. 

Similarly to The Sky is Everywhere, I just felt as though the romance and other aspects of this story took such a lead role that any kind of friendship was neglected.  I would have loved to have seen more moments where our main character actually interacted with her friends or even spoke about them as they seemed to be so disconnected and only mentioned briefly, if at all, despite them seemingly still being involved in the main characters life.

Whilst this series is addictive and has a great story, one thing that I really missed throughout it was a friendship element, as so many of the key friendships later develop into something more.  I would just love to see more of a positive relationship between the main characters and just one other character or just see them have one friend who supports them throughout the story who is just there as a friend.

Are they are books you wished included just a little more friendship?  What are some of your favourite books that have a strong friendship element?

Sunday, 5 February 2017

January Wrap Up

It seems like just a couple of days ago I was writing my winter TBR and thinking up some of my news years resolutions, yet somehow now we are already 5 days into February!  But despite January passing by in the blink of an eye, I did still manage to quite a bit of reading throughout the month.  Although I am not yet up to reading as much as I would ideally like to, I am so happy with how much I managed to read this month, especially considering one of the books I read was over 600 pages in length!  It was also a great reading month in terms of how much I enjoyed what I was reading, with all the books I read rated 4.5 stars or above.  And so, enjoy! 

I actually started this one at the end of last year as it had been so long since I'd read Chamber of Secrets, and so knew it was about time I continued on with this series.  And, as much as I adored both of the first two book, I have to say that this was the book that really kept me hooked and where I felt so into the story that I had to stop myself from straight away continuing on to Goblet of Fire.  I really loved the plot of this one and the characters as always, but one thing that I enjoyed in particular was seeing more a backstory to Harry's father and the marauders and their story as well.

Rating: 5/5

Next up I actually decided to start one that was actually on my Winter TBR and so choose this historical fiction that follows our main character Yael, a death camp survivor, as she impersonates Adele Wolf, the last winner of the Axis world motorcycle race, in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. It has been a good while since I read a historical fiction, and so adored being immersed in the past once again, even if this one was an alternative one, and loved that aspect of the book so much.  I was also really surprised at how much I enjoyed the general plot of this, as I never expected to get so addicted and so hooked by a book that mostly follows a motorcycle race.

Rating: 4.5/5

Finally, this is another one that was on my Winter TBR and one that I have needed to pick up for ages as it is the last book in a series that I have been reading for years now.  And oh my goodness I can't tell how glad I am that I finally managed to pick this up because this book was by far the best book in the series by a mile!  I loved everything about it, from all the characters who we got to delve deeper into, the amazing plot and the ending that completely broke me - its been a long time since a book has made me cry that much!  Overall it was just a great way to end my month of reading, with a book that truly gave me everything I wanted in the ending to this series.

Rating: 5/5 

What books did you read in January?  Which was your favourite - tell me in the comments below!