Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review of Paper Towns by John Green

Paper TownsPages: 305
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: October 2008 (first published)

Plot: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew. (Goodreads)


Good Points: As you probably know a lot of the books that I read have some form of fantasy/ paranormal element to them so it was nice to read something a little more realistic for a change.
 Paper Towns starts of with the story of Quintin ('Q') and Margo as children who stumble upon a dead man in the park. Neither really speak to each other for the next few years, despite Q hopelessly falling in love with her from afar, until one night when Margo climbs through his bedroom window seeking help.
I've got to say, there was a LOT to love about this book. I loved the witty banter between Q and his friends  (Black santa's everybody...) and the way that Green manages to make even the most mundane thing sound somewhat poetic, such as the way Q describes Margo's full name. Everything he writes seems somehow raw. I guess you could say that this book is a sort of mystery. Margo is the mystery that must be solved and throughout the novel we see Q try to slowly piece together information about the girl he thought he knew.
There's definitely themes of expectations and discovery within Paper Towns and the more you read the book, the deeper you get tangled in the mystery of Margo. At times I found myself torn in two mindsets due to her character and her actions, but then I loved her free spirited personality and the development of her character overall throughout the book. One of the main things that I loved about Paper Towns was that despite Margo not physically being present throughout a large portion of the novel, her character still develops as she is explored by Q and his friends as they attempt to find her.

Things I didn't like... At times when I thought the writing and dialogue was just a little too poetic. I'm all for refreshing and thought provoking elements in books, but somehow I just don't think a little girl would look at a dead body and say 'Maybe all the strings inside of him broke'. As lovely and thought- provoking that statement is, I just felt it was a little forced on the character.

To Sum Up... I have to admit although I didn't love reading this as much as The Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns definitely drew me in. The plot I thought, was original and intriguing from start to finish and the mystery of Margo and where she could possibly be was one of the main factors that kept me reading. I'd definitely recommend anyone this book as overall it is a good story and I feel like I have gained something from reading it, one of them being I now know what a 'paper town' is.

Have you read Paper Towns? What did you think? Leave a comment below.

Monday, 3 June 2013

ARC Review of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 416
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
FangirlRelease: September 2013

Plot: Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be room mates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. (Goodreads)

Good Points: I didn't really know what to expect from this book having never read anything by this author before but I actually really enjoyed reading this.
The book's tag line 'A coming of age-tale of fan-fiction, family and first love' definitely intrigued me into reading it. I'm not exactly someone who reads much fan-fiction but I still managed to relate to the main character, Cather in multiple ways. Her love for writing and her obsession with the made- up 'Simon Snow' book series echoed my own experience with the Harry Potter franchise. The similarities between the two were uncanny however Rowell manages to make the series seem believable; crafting her own Wikipedia page and supplying multiple extracts from the books. This was one of the main things that stood out when I was reading 'Fangirl'. Rowell has this amazing and rare ability to successfully write in different styles believably. There were three main tones to the book- the main story of Cather and her tale of growing up and finding independence,  the extracts of the Simon Snow series written by the original author and finally Cath's own fan fiction of the series. Each could be easily identified in my opinion without stating so. Cath's fan-fiction was undeniably good yet sought of seeped more humour than the original Simon Snow extracts.
To be honest though I think Rainbow manages to capture the truth of what it really is to be a fangirl and she portrays the obsessive, sit-at-your-computer, slightly unsociable character extremely well.
 

Things I didn't like...  I did think that maybe the book was just slightly too long. However at no point did I get bored of reading about Cather, Levi and Simon Snow.

To Sum Up... Although it's unlikely that I'll read this book again, I have to admit that I did enjoy it. There were moments within 'Fangirl' where the writing style reminded me of John Green's books which is always a good thing and even after I had finished reading I was stuck in the world that Rainbow had created. Although some may not like the ending because it does leave a couple of things unsolved I thought it worked really well and reflected that not everything in life will end up with a happy ending. I'm trying really hard not to give a spoiler here so I apologise if I sound cryptic.
Basically I would reccomend anyone to read this book especially if you think a.) You are a fangirl and you love fan-fiction, b.) You're heading off to Uni/ College soon or c.) You just really want a good book to become absorbed in for the next couple of days.
I'll definitely be checking more of the books by this author ( Eleanor & Park) and Fangirl is out later this year (September 2013)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Review of The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Pages: 326
The Summer I Became a NerdPublisher: Entangled Teen
Released: May 2013


Plot: On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favourite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn't just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever. (Goodreads)


Good Points:
I actually really loved this book! The plot was basically a sort of coming-of-age tale mixed in with tons of nerdy references like the FACT that Voldemort would totally beat Vader in a death match because of Avada Kedavra and of course the ultimate question: Which is better? Marvel or DC.
The main character Maddie however is poisoned by the belief that if people at school knew about her love for comic books and sci-fi marathons with her dad then her life as the popular cheerleader would vanish quicker than she could even say 'Comic-Con', which to some might be a ridiculous concept because who cares, right? But I guess this book addresses the social standings within high school in an arguably stereotypical yet possibly honest way.
 As the book develops however the reader gets to see Maddie grow more comfortable in herself and you eventually see her for the awesome character she is. The plot has pretty much everything covered that you could want in terms of mystery, romance (with 'Awesome Logan'), comedy and even a little action when Maddie starts LARP-ing (live action role playing) and of course what every book needs- a pretty cool ending.
The plot also succeeds in keeping the majority of the supporting characters interesting which some YA novels fail to do. Both Maddie and Logan's parents/siblings/friends have strong roles within the book, making regular appearances and adding to make the plot more realistic. This is something I love to see in YA books as I've pretty much got to the point of screaming 'Where are your parents??' at those teen based novels where the parents only ever make a brief appearance in the first book just to let you know that they are in fact real. The Summer I Became a Nerd didn't do this though. The majority of the main characters parents made multiple appearances and even had active roles within the plot and Maddie's development.

What I didn't like...
Okay so Maddie isn't perfect but that's okay. Yes, she can be selfish and a little too obsessed with what others think about her, I mean come on, she even hides from her friends when she's out on a date with Logan. But to be honest I kind of think she redeems herself as the book goes on. She proves that everyone has faults and makes mistakes yet shows they can be amended (just in this case amended during a cool LARP battle), which basically reinforces the whole message or moral that runs throughout the novel- Be yourself. Be the person you want to be and be the person that makes you happy. So not really a bad point after all...

To Sum Up... 
I'd definitely recommend people to pick this up and give it a try. It's an easy read as the dialogue flows smoothly and there's a few humorous moments in there too, mainly from Logan's slightly foul mouthed best friend 'Dan'. Overall though its a cute fun read that kept me hooked until the end. Pick up/ download a copy today :)

Like this book? Leave a comment below?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

ARC Review of The Elite by Kiera Cass (The Selection book 2)

The Elite (The Selection, #2)Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: April 23rd 2013

Plot: Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending. (Goodreads)


Good Points:
I cannot tell you how much I have wanted this book after finishing The Selection around a year ago. The last book left so abruptly that it had me hanging on for more so you can imagine my excitement at receiving my review copy a couple of days ago.
Firstly, I have read The Prince so I went into this book already with a different outlook of some of the characters, namely the king than that I had received from reading the first book.

The Elite continues basically where we left off in The Selection with only six girls remaining including our main protagonist America Singer (whose name to be honest still frustrates me).
 The tension increases with this book as you'd imagine as the competition draws ever closer to its conclusion which I am sure we will eventually see in the next and final book to the trilogy which has yet to be titled. There is also an increased tension as we see America switch between Prince Maxon and Aspen, the boy from her past, and this is a theme that is consistent throughout the series, more so in this book as the reader gains a clear understanding into not only America's confused emotions but also the difficult choice that will pave the path to her future, ultimately the question of who will she choose?
America's secret meetings with Aspen are also proven even more dangerous as we see the consequences of what happens to those who do not abide by the rules.

 The characters did develop in some aspects it could be argued as we discover and begin to sympathise with characters that didn't really get a massive look-in in The Selection, and of course there is also the increasing worry and fear of the rebels which attacks grow more frequent and chosen targets prove fatal for some. However it did feel that something was missing from this book that I craved.

What I didn't like...
As much as I hate to admit it I didn't really think there was much of a plot to the book. There were moments where I got excited expecting something to happen only discover that it didn't.
The Elite in my opinion is more of a filler book, where basically you get the opportunity to discover more about the lives, emotions and thoughts of the characters yet they don't really seem to get anywhere with anything.

Yes, we do see a couple of the characters stand up and defend themselves and there are moments where we discover certain truths about them, however these just lead on (I hope) to the final instalment to the series. I understand that the final book is the revealing book where everything comes to light and we see whether the character we invested so much time into gets her happy ending, however I would have liked just a little more action or just something to make this book stand out a little more and I think especially the sub-plot of the rebels could have been introduced a little more firmly than it was.

To Sum Up:
Overall, yes, I didn't think it was as good as The Selection however it wasn't a bad book.
 The Elite lives up to some of my expectations and I know I must have liked it after reading it in only a couple of sittings.

I recently watched one of the authors Youtube videos where Kiera Cass is describing her books and I think she sums it up pretty well and in a food orientated way. Her books are like comfort food, namely mac and cheese which I love! They're easy to read, yet loveable and you always find yourself going back for more.
Don't let my negatives about this book stop you form picking it because ultimately its only one side to the story and only my opinion. With every book there is good points and bad points and I have faith that the next book will deliver everything that is promised (hypothetically, of course) in a concluding novel of a series.
Kiera Cass, I need more comfort food from you but until then I'll just have to re-read the series so far.

Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear what you thought of the book!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Review of The Prince by Kiera Cass

Pages: 59
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: March 2013

The Prince (The Selection, #0.5)
Plot: Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection...
Before Aspen broke America's heart...
There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life...

Don't miss this thrilling 128-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection. Also features a teaser to The Elite, Kiera Cass's hotly anticipated sequel to The Selection. (Goodreads)


Thoughts... Its been a long wait but I finally read the novella to the Selection series by Kiera Cass and just like her first book The Selection, The Prince continues to strengthen my love for this series.

Within this short e-book we see the story told in the perspective of Maxon in the lead up and briefly during the arrival of the 35 girls taking part in the competition. We also discover that there was another girl in Maxon's life before the competition named Daphne, the daughter of the King of France and we get to explore Maxon's relationship both with her and his father.
 The relationship between Maxon and his parents, the King and Queen however is in my opinion defined in The Prince a lot better than I thought it was in The Selection as the reader get's to the chance to explore Maxon's views and relationship with how his parents treat him.
The Selection (The Selection, #1) I'd definitely say that the King especially is put forward in a much more negative light as we are introduced further to the idea that the Selection has possibly been meddled with by the King and that he is actually rather unpleasant towards his son.
My opinion of the Queen has also changed and my suspicions have grown that there is possibly something...off? about her character. The quote "I couldn't imagine a circumstance that would dim my absolute adoration of her (The Queen)" that Maxon speaks of within the book about his mother immediately jumps out as a huge opening to the story that almost begs for his view of her to be challenged and possibly a truth may arise about her character soon that would change this. Just a theory though...
To conclude, if you haven't already read The Selection I highly recommend you read that before the novella as I think you get a broader understanding of what is happening within this story.
 The sequel,The Elite, is out later this year however I have just received my Review copy of it and am literally dancing around my room with excitement, so the review for that shouldn't be too far away if I read this one as quickly as I managed to devour the first book to the series.
Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear what you think about the series so far!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

ARC Review of Ink by Amanda Sun

Pages: 377
Ink (Paper Gods, #1)Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release: June 25th 2013

Plot: On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive. (Goodreads)


Good Points: One of the major things that stood out for me when I read this book was the obvious love the author has for Japan. The description of the people, traditions and scenery all helped beautifully create a vivid image for the reader right from page one which I absolutely loved. The use of the Japanese language throughout for me worked really well also, as at times a character would say something and you wouldn't necessarily find out what they had actually said, only what they had implied, and I thought this fitted into the book really well as the reader gains some understanding and a brief insight into the humongous challenge that Katie has of being placed in an environment where she doesn't really know the language yet. I thought this was a nice touch to the story.
Also every now and then there's a little drawing that's relevant to the scene which was nice seeing as though its a book involving drawings coming to life and for a moment I did look at the pictures on my Kindle and expect them to move -_- Just saying... 
Continuing with the Japanese setting in the book, traditional Japanese mythology is used to create the paranormal element to the story and explain the strange things that Katie is sure she is seeing such as the moving drawings that she catches staring at her.
Overall though the book did get slightly better the more I read on though I think the first half ruined it a little for me in the end and that's why I'd probably only give it 2, maybe 3 stars if I was rating it. 

What I didn't like: I really wanted to love this book but I just didn't. I saw INK a couple of months ago on Goodreads before I received the ARC and it sounded really interesting with its plot being set in Japan where a girl see's drawings come alive. Sounds pretty good, right? But instead I guess you could say that I just felt a little let down.

Firstly I would have loved for the book to deal a little more with Katie starting out in Japan rather than jumping dramatically to the point where she meets Tomohiro and seemingly falls in love with him pretty much from the start. This is reflected in her infatuation with her following him despite his cries of 'Get away from me, I'm dangerous!" which I have to admit had me rolling my eyes. I don't know, maybe I'm finally getting tired of this sort of stuff cropping up in YA books. Yes, the whole drawings to life and Japanese culture playing a key role within the book were unique I give it that, but the sub-plot wasn't. It was you're typical bad yet mysterious boy falling for the new girl at school who is being sought after by that other guy and they somehow get caught up in danger. 

To Sum Up.... I wouldn't completely rule this book out because I know some people will really love it but for me it just wasn't my cup of tea. 
The book hit shelves June 25th this year so look out for it! 

Friday, 5 April 2013

Review of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Pages: 375
Publisher: Puffin Books
Released: 2005

Plot: After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus. (Goodreads)

The Review... People have been recommending me to read these books for a while now and so I thought it was about time I gave them a try. I watched the film with Logan Lerman a couple of years ago and thought it was okay but I have to admit after reading the book I finally understand what everyone in the Percy Jackson fandom were arguing about. The book is so much better. Honestly you can barely recognise that the film even came from the book there's so many differences to it.
The main character Percy was introduced well. He has all the characteristics of a likeable character loyal, caring and at times funny which add to the book being a fun read alongside the adventure Percy, Annabeth and Grover embark on, of finding Zeus's stolen lightning bolt.
Basically I'm going to keep this review short and sweet. I was a little bit sceptical about reading the book to begin with because of the hype surrounding them and I have to hold my hands up to this when I saw Percy was a 12 year old boy I immediately thought kids book. But DON'T BE FOOLED! The book was fantastic! It was fast paced and the plot moved smoothly yet never got boring. To be honest, I kind of forgot that Percy was 12 after a while due to his smart mouthed and outgoing character that took charge in going to find not only the lightening bolt and his mother but also taking on the Gods as well.
Overall I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone of any age, the story's great, there's five books in the series and it centre's around Greek mythology. Honestly, what more could you want?
Reviews of the next books in the series to come!

Seen the trailer for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters movie? Any thoughts? Leave them in the comments below :)


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Review of Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices#3) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Pages: 568
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: March 2013

Plot: Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy
Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her. (Taken from the back cover)


Good Points: One of the major things that I love about Cassandra Clare's writing, especially within this series (TID) is her beautiful descriptions of things that would usually seem ordinary.
 Everything seems vibrant in the world she has created and The Clockwork Princess does not fail to continue in proving Clare's worth as a writer. 
The Infernal Devices series undoubtedly as a whole is amazing. The characters in which I have grown to love continue to develop right up to the very last page of the book and every character in the series felt important, even the cook Bridget whose constant yet prophetic singing annoys the entire institute to the very end. Within the book there is also the inclusion of a series of letters between the consul and the inquisitor and other members of the clave which were an interesting addition to the story giving a back channel to what else is going on outside of the Institute. 
There was everything that I wanted and expected the concluding book to have- action, romance, drama and the bond between Jem and Will is just as breathtakingly good and strong as shown in the first two books, probably more so in this book than the others. 
The ending had me in tears because it was just so... I guess you could call it bitter-sweet. To be honest I'm still unsure on how I feel about it and I'm trying to do this without revealing spoilers and all I can think of saying is that it is like nothing I have ever read before of even imagined would or could possibly happen within the story.
You realise throughout the series that although Will and Jem share the Parabatai bond, they also share another bond with the inclusion of Tessa.The relationship that the three of them (Tessa, Will and Jem)so obviously have and the love that they share for each other is just as described throughout the series with the mention of Sydney Carton from a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. You realise as the story progresses and this love grows even stronger that each of them is willing to die to save the lives of the other, and the tangled mess which they cannot control is so complex and painstakingly beautiful that the ending could never have been more fitting.

Bad Points: If I am being truly honest I must admit that for the first hundred pages or so I just couldn't get into the book, maybe this was down to the fact that the gap between the last book felt so long, I don't know but that was my only problem with the book. Aside from that it was just...WOW.

To Sum Up... If I had to make the choice between The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments the choice, I think, would be an easy one. Hands down, The Infernal Devices would win simply down to the characters.
 In TID the depth to which the characters are developed and the relationships they share with each other and the reader are just...perfect. I am literally at a loss for words to describe just how good this series is and just how much it means to me. Tessa is the character that most relates with me as a reader simply down to the fact that she reads. She's a character that's real; she's faulted, she makes mistakes yet she tries her best to cope in the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders which she is thrust into. 
Her relationship with Jem and Will throughout the series has left me hanging on for more. It made love triangles seem unlike the slightly over-used structure of YA fiction and instead made it seem important. I grew at war with myself over who Tessa belonged with and it was clear as the books went on that Tessa's heart truly was split in two.
Overall this books was just the perfect ending to a perfect series. If you haven't read the Infernal Devices I strongly recommend that you read them, not only for the amazing characters, the beautiful described Victorian England setting or to find out who Tessa does end up with in the end, but for the story. I can promise you its not one you'll forget.

*Also try and get the Collectors Edition of the book as it includes a pull out poster with the family trees of the families. 

Did you like the ending? Leave a comment below :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pages: 435
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenReleased: 1813

Plot: When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life. (Goodreads)

(Slight spoilers-so be warned!)
Thoughts: I really loved this book! If I'm honest I was a little sceptical at reading it first simply because I didn't think I could handle reading such a delicate romance without getting bored but I couldn't have been more wrong! I really loved Elizabeth's character. I thought she was headstrong, at times funny and very much ahead of her years in terms of her character developing towards the modern. The story is plotted well and at no time whilst reading did I feel that nothing of specific interest was happening. Everything felt...right, as though each event and character played a vital part to the story which in some books I have read recently isn't a common feature. Although at first, like many, I was sucked into believing that Darcy was an arrogant fool but as the story develops and more secrets and truths are revealed I ended up seriously falling for his charming character.
Jane AustenI think this is another reason why the book is so well... relatable. Each character develops an actual personality and as the reader we see more clearly these 'sides' to the characters as Lizzie changes her opinion on the figures that surround her due to specific actions and twists within the plot. I think because the themes titled still resonate with today's society it is why the book is still very entertaining and a factor that makes each character likeable to some extent in their own way as each are faulted and make mistakes yet learn to overcome their prejudices.
Overall  I am pleasantly surprised by this book and would definitely read it again. 5 STARS!


To Sum Up: I cannot recommend this book enough, I absolutely loved it and you can tell why it has become such a classic among society. I have yet to see any of the film adaptations of the book though I have been watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series which I posted about a couple of days ago.
Loving this author though and cannot wait to read more of her novels.

Any recommendations on which Jane Austen novel I should read next leave in the comments below :D

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Amy

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries- 'It was illuminating'.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across something that I would never have guessed would evolve into one of the major highlights to my week.
That something was the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a web show based around the classic novel Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen.
 The show, styled as a series of vlog entries by the character Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Bennet is a modernised adaptation of the book and each week two videos are uploaded onto Lizzie's channel in which she spills the beans on events such as her sister Jane's romantic entanglement with the handsome Bing Lee to her own encounters with the mysterious figure that is William Darcy.

Firstly, I have to applaud the writers, actors, directors and anyone else who was involved in the making of such a wonderful adaptation of Austen's novel. The series is truly a fantastic creation that I am sure has made many people more susceptible to Austen's works and the growing world that is online web series.
I for one am one of those people.

Originally, and as much as I hate to admit it, I probably would have looked at Pride and Prejudice gingerly, fearful that I wouldn't be able to understand what was happening because I mean come on its like 200 years old and the language would be far too complicated for me to understand. I can honestly say however that was probably one of the stupidest things I have ever said in my life.
I read the book, it was awesome and probably one of the best books I've read in ages (aside from TFIOS by John Green which is one of those rare books that has managed to make me both laugh and cry), and I think I owe a HUGE thank you to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries for getting me there. 
The series,which by the way consumed my entire Saturday night as you can imagine kept me glued to my computer screen hugging a pillow and gasping each time a new revelation to the story was revealed.
I grew to love the characters, each and every one of them and they made my previous reading experience of the book even more enjoyable as an entire new dimension was added to the story.

Lizzie is every bit of the complex character that she is in the book, even more so perhaps due to the seemingly direct relationship we as the audience have with her character. With social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter playing their part alongside the weekly vlogs you genuinely feel as though these characters are real people that exist as they interact on these formats and with the audience.
Hank Green and Bernie Su you really are geniuses! You've brought us something new and unique that I am sure will long be remembered, watched and loved after the series comes to a close on the 28th March 2013. I for one, am extremely grateful that you took the chance in making the series happen and making me aware not only of how great web series can be but how one book can interact on so many levels with so many people in a way I never imagined it could.
I could probably talk/write for ages on the details of each character but I want to leave this post with one final note.
Hopefully we will see more online book adaptations from you and others in the future but I just wanted to say, before the series finishes, a huge thank you for bringing the Lizzie Bennet Diaries to life...It definitely was illuminating.  ;)

Many thanks,
 A Lizzie Bennet Diaries Fan.



     For those that haven't seen the show before, I highly recommend it to you! But be      warned they're addictive :D




Thursday, 28 February 2013

BOOK HAUL 1

Hi so this is my first Book Haul!

Recently I've been buying quite a lot of books, more so than usual just because I've been seeing them fairly cheap.


Books from the top to the bottom...

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
I downloaded this for free on the Kindle's classic list. I've been putting off reading it for ages now but so far I'm really enjoying it.

2. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I bought this the other day from Tesco's. It was book of the week and offer for £2.95.A bargain me thinks :)
Although I'm not entirely over the moon that its got the movie tie-in cover, simply because I'm OCD in the fact I like my books to have book covers I'm pretty excited to read it. I've been hearing mixed reviews but I think I'll give it a go.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K Rowling. RE-READ.
I have to re-read the entire Harry Potter series for my English assignment which is based on the language used in Harry Potter, so that's currently on my bookshelf.


4. The Element Encyclopedia  of Secret Societies by John Michael Greer
I bought this for £3.99 at The Works in Manchester. I'm really into these types of books mainly because I think they're really useful for writing and inspiration.

5. The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols: The Ultimate A-Z Guide from Alchemy to Zodiac by Adele Nozedar.
Again bought from The Works for £3.99 in Manchester for the same reason as the other book. This one also has some really cool stuff on the history of symbolisms as well.

6. The Percy Jackson Book Series by Rick Riordan!!
Okay so I finally bought it after so many recommendations for me to read them on both Goodreads and via message and stuff. I bought them off Play.com for £14.40 *squeals with glee* and haven't yet started them but there will deffo be a review to come. But seriously just look at them - they are a thing of beauty ;D

Thanks for reading and don't forget to comment on what books you've bought recently or you're thoughts on what I should read next! :)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Quick review of Drip Drop Teardrop by Samantha Young

Pages: 151
Drip Drop TeardropPublisher: Released by Samantha Young
Released: 2011

Plot: Even Death Can Fall in Love...
Avery hasn't had it easy. 
When she was ten years old her parents died in a car crash. Now nine years later her Aunt Caroline is the only family she has left. And Caroline is dying. 
So when Death comes knocking (quite literally) in the form of the damaged and dangerous, Brennus, Avery makes a deal with the reaper in order to save Caroline.
Brennus is an Ankou.
One of the many, once mortal men and women, who were given the choice to become an immortal in exchange for ferrying the dead over into their afterlife. 
Nine years ago Brennus took Avery’s parents and tried to take Avery, but she fought him and won. Amazed by her strength Brennus followed Avery and has watched over her. 
Now he knows Avery is the one to offer him freedom from his obligation to the dead. 
And he’ll stop at nothing to have her.


Thoughts: Okay so I quite enjoyed this book. Though it isn't my favourite by Samantha Young I still really loved the overall story. The characters were developed well although I'm still not exactly set on the idea of Brennus keeping watch over her, to me that just sounds a bit creepy, but still... each to his own I guess.
Much like all of Samantha Young's books she has this great nack of drawing elements from history to create the basis of her species and each world she creates in a way that makes it appear fresh and cool to the reader. Even down to the back stories to each of the characters that are later revealed help build you're overall opinion of them and also the individual story of each of the characters. 
I have to admit I would have liked the book to be longer, and yes I am aware that it is a short story but still, I feel like Oliver asking for 'More please' with that sad expression Puss in Boots from Shrek does oh so well. 
Looking back on my other reviews of Samantha Young's books I've probably written the same line over and over again- 'Go buy them', but I genuinely do mean it and I honestly cannot understand how someone hasn't snatched her Young Adult fiction up already so its published in stores!
On a final note this book is recommended for older readers of the YA genre due to some scenes. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Review of Blood Will Tell by Samantha Young

Blood Will Tell (Warriors of Ankh, #1)Pages: 273
Publisher: Published by Samantha Young
Released: July 2011

Plot: What would you do if you were born to be a predator? Would you fight your natural instincts or give in to your nature? 
Eden is a soul eater closing in on her awakening. Her family has convinced her that soon she will have to take a life in order to save her own. It’s a decision Eden doesn’t want to deal with even as her hunger for souls grows stronger every day.
To complicate her impossible position, new guy in school Noah Valois’ determination to befriend her puts Eden in touch with a humanity she’s never known. Addicted to his company, his friendship and affection, she becomes more and more terrified that giving into her hunger will mean losing him forever…
… But when she discovers that Noah is not what he seems, his betrayal forces her to face two choices. One will offer her revenge and the destruction of a boy she loved. The other may offer her a life of eternal redemption…


Good Points: I first found this author over a year ago now, just after the time I bought my Kindle. The book was Slumber by Samantha Young, it was about 77p and one of the first self-published books I ever read. Since that day I have been hooked, seriously hooked by her writing and almost read all of her books and not been disappointed by a single one of them.

The warriors of Ankh series does not fail to break this fold. Man, I loved this book. I think it has just about everything you could want in a YA book. It has mystery, a great bunch of characters that you feel a range of emotions for and an original plot that not only is filled with adventure, a splash of potential romance and action but also the possibility that you will never be able to put this book down.

As I have already said I really liked the main character Eden, although I wasn't overly enthusiastic about her name I liked how she wasn't like most YA protagonists where she was this unknowing participant pulled into a world she knew nothing about. Eden knows about Soul eaters and she knows about some of the history of how they came to be. Her family is horrible and when I mean horrible I don't just mean 'oh they don't talk to her and treat her bad' they are literally the worst parents ever- keeping prisoners in the basement to torture and rape them? Oh yeah this book has it and it gets a lot worse as the story unravels.
One of the major things that I loved about Blood Will Tell was that the characters aren't all easily distinguished into the good and bad categories and you see Eden go through this challenge of categorising herself within the book.

Small things within the book really helped build the story as well like Eden's brothers nickname for her 'paradise' which as cheesy as that name is helped build and identify their close relationship immediately to the reader.

 Also Noah, Oh Noah... (yes, I know another biblical name- what's with that?) but honestly he clicked immediately with me and not just because of his uber great sense of music but because of his overall character. Definitely looking forward to what will happen in the future concerning him :)

Bad Points: There was one point in the book where Eden is being told about the history of the warriors which got me a little confused just because of how much information was put into that chapter and how quick it was given out.

To Sum Up... Loved this book and I would seriously recommend you go out and read it. Although Slumber will always (probably :P) be my favourite Samantha Young novel I have to admit this has trumped Tales of Lunamorte so far and replaced it as firm second. Go read it!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment :)
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