Sunday, 20 October 2013

Blogging break

Hey guys! I hope you are well!

I just wanted to let you all know that I might not blog for a couple of weeks as we are having some Internet trouble. My school work is also hectic busy at the moment which is also slowing my reading as well as my blogging. I'll hopefully be back soon!  :)
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review - I Love You, Beth Cooper - Larry Doyle

I Love You, Beth CooperTitle: I Love You, Beth Cooper
Author: Larry Doyle
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: 2007, Harper Collins
Pages: 253 Pages , Paperback
Source: Library, thank goodness I didn't buy this book!
Rating: DNF
Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced:It could have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is. And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species. And Kevin, Beth's remarkably large boyfriend, is in town on furlough from the United States Army.

I've been looking for a heart-warming read that will make me smile and make me feel a sense of happiness. When I saw I Love You, Beth Cooper sitting innocently on the shelf at the library, I was drawn in by the humorous, light cover and when I read the blurb, it confirmed my decision to check it out of the library. Oh, how pretty covers and interesting blurbs can be deceiving. This book was vile, disgusting, stereotyped and shallow, all wrapped up in pretty packaging. I'm not even sure where to start. This won't be a long review as I only got through 100 pages, but it will be a ranting one nonetheless.

 The blurb sounds sweet, innocent and entertaining. Our main character, nerdy Denis Cooverman, school outcast along with his best friend, Rich, decides to announce the love that he has had since grade seven for Beth Cooper, most popular girl in school and head cheerleader. He doesn't pronounce his love for her in private but instead, as the Valedictorian, he announces it in his graduation speech, in front of 3,512 people. Everyone sits in shock and Beth flounces off from the embarrassment of a nerd being in love with her. Beth and Denis than speak later, and he gets half-beaten up by Beth's soldier boyfriend, Kevin.  Denis that invites her to his house, claiming that there will be a party, but of course it's only him and Rich there. That's all I got up to because I could barely stomach the story.

Denis has got to be one of the most arrogant, idiotic, know-it-all, perverted characters I have EVER unfortunately had to come across.  He spoke in complicated phrases that  I couldn't understand half the time and generally made no sense, whatsoever. He often rambled about stupid things in what the author probably thought was in a logical manner, but managed to come across as conceited and full-of-himself. He took chances and never thought things through. I thought I would end up having sympathy for him because he was such an outcast, but I found none. The author made  him get into trouble and have stuff that you'd put down as "bad luck" happen to him, some may find it funny, but I just found it quite idiotic


That's not the real thing that irked me though, the thing that made me put this book down was how perverted and sexual the characters were. The things they thought repulsed me and just when I thought there wouldn't be another crude moment, there was one. I decided enough was enough and I abandoned it. There were such pathetic things him and Rich thought and stuff they said that disgusted me, I won't elaborate as I have got younger readers that read this blog, but there were way too many vivid explanations of boys going through puberty and I did not need to know a lot of what I was read. It was just tmi, too much information.

Him and Rich were also shallow and the other characters were stereotyped. The nerds falling in love with the most popular girl in school who happens to have a meathead boyfriend that is going to punch up the nerds. In the first 100 pages I read, it seemed that the only reason Denis liked Beth was because she was pretty, there was no depth to the story. There was no depth to the characters. They were one dimensional and taken straight out of a bad comedy movie. 

Obviously, I can't say much about this book because I only read  about a quarter of it, but from what I did read, I was greatly disappointed. This book has been turned into a movie and I think it is better off a movie than a book. I didn't find this book funny at all, despite the supposed humour that the book was supposed to contain. The characters had no personality and were stereotypes from a high-school movie. 

The romance that I found in this book was basically Denis just having continuous sexual thoughts of Beth and it was extremely off-putting. As a girl, I found their humour disgusting and degrading towards females. I would not recommend this all. I really try to finish every single book I finish, but if a book is this bad and doesn't show any signs of getting better I will abandon it so that I can spend time reading books I actually enjoy. 

A contemporary novel that I thought I would enjoy, but ended up hating. Superficial, shallow characters with no emotions whatsoever and inappropriate thoughts throughout what I read, I Love You, Beth Cooper, was not for me. I won't be reading anything by this author again, as I, personally, didn't enjoy his writing style that didn't generally make sense to me. If I could unread what I did read of this book, I would. Very disappointing.

I give it: DNF...no cupcakes.


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What's Next? #11


Which book should I read next?

How to Keep a Boy as a Pet (Circe Shaw, #1)
The Official Truth about dating the male human species!
Can taming a gorgeous boy really be as easy as walking a dog?
Circe Shaw is on a mission. She must transform into a fabulously sophisticated journalist and discover the amazing scientific truth about boys. Urgently.
But life is beyond complicated. Circe has to deal with a poisonous rival, her mum’s annoying ‘just friends’ men and her own Dark Past.
Can Circe’s daring investigation really teach her the facts of love? 
Will it help her finally get a boyfriend? 
Or will it break her heart…?

Chime
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy, #2)
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead.
Not this time.
But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.
Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.
But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.
And unless Pierce is careful, this time there'll be no escape.

Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard, #1)
The world is changing-the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now kids are disappearing. For fifteen-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside-down when they are hauled out of bed one night, separated from their parents, and thrown into a secret compound for no reason they can comprehend. The new government is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager.
Imprisoned together and condemned to death, Wisty and Whit begin exhibiting strange abilities and powers they never dreamed of. Maybe there is a reason they were singled out. Can this newly discovered witch and a wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents-and maybe the world?

The Paladin Prophecy (The Paladin Prophecy, #1)
Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.
Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.
Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural

The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)
The first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series sinceHarry Potter and His Dark Materials.
They were taken from their beds one frozen night, when the world was covered in snow. The silhouette of a tall, thin man has haunted Kate ever since.
Ten years on, Kate, Michael and Emma have grown up in a string of miserable orphanages, and all memories of their parents have faded to a blur. Arriving at Cambridge Falls, the children quickly realise there is something different about this place - and Kate feels sure she has seen the dark, crooked house before.
As they explore, they discover an old, empty leather book. The moment they touch it, an ancient magical prophecy is set irrevocably in motion, and the children are thrown into a dangerous alternate reality of dark enchantments and terrifying monsters. Only they can prevent the terrible event that will ruin Cambridge Falls - and stop the world from falling into complete devastation.

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #18



 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week I am very eagerly anticipating...

Title: Nil by Lynne Matson
Publication Date: March 4th 2014

This book looks utterly amazing, refreshing and original, and intense... I so badly want to read it!
Nil
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.
Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.
Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.
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Monday, 14 October 2013

The Problem With Grammarly

I don't know if any of you have heard of the website, Grammarly? I have and I thought it seemed like a good website, but then realised it wasn't actually free, anyway, moving on. Yesterday I received an email from someone working at Grammarly saying that they would like to advertise their website on my blog in exchange for a $20 Amazon gift-card voucher. When I received this my parents and I were elated, but then when we re-read the email, things seemed a bit...suspicious. When I was on Twitter and I saw my blogging friends had received the same kind of email and Amber from Mile Long Bookshelf also created a post on her suspicions about the email she received, I thought I would also create a post to see what you guys think.

Here is the email I received on Monday 14th October, 2013:

"Hi Kyra,

I just stumbled across your review of “Divergent” (which is fantastic, by the way) and thought to myself, “What a perfect fit!” We’re currently looking to sponsor bookworm bloggers like yourself with a small text ad to appear in one of your blog posts in exchange for a $20 Amazon gift card.

In case you haven’t heard of us, Grammarly is an automated online proofreader that finds and explains pesky grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes that are bound to find their way into any writer’s first draft. Think of us as a digital second pair of eyes that saves you the embarrassment of making a silly mistake on anything from book reviews to manuscripts. If you'd like to join our 4 million users and try the premium version of our proofreader for free, let me know and I'll make it happen!

Please send me the expected publishing date and topic of your next appropriate blog post (ideally something about books or writing) so I can give you the details you’ll need.

Cheers,
Nick

P.S. Let me know if you ever find yourself in foggy San Francisco; I’d love to grab some coffee. :)"

This seemed completely harmless to me and I probably would've replied to the email, had it not been for that last sentence there at the bottom. "Let me know if you ever find yourself in foggy San Francisco; I'd love to grab some coffee:)"

Excuse me? Meet me for coffee in San Franciso? 

I don't where to begin with how wrong this is.

Firstly, this is supposed to be an email coming from a professional and they're saying that they want to meet up in San Francisco? I don't know if this is a scam, but I'm pretty sure it is. Especially since most of my blogging friends got sent almost the exact same email. 

I don't know if this person is actually Grammarly or not, but I will not be replying to this email or going through with it. I don't know if this person does actually work for Grammarly and if it is and they just wanted to be friendly, they should've thought this through. And if it is some perverted person pretending to be Grammarly then it just shows us how careful we need to be when blogging. As we often forget about the dangers that comes along with spending a lot of time on the internet.

What do you think of this?

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Review - Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Publication: January 1st 2012, Harper Collins
Pages: Paperback, 525 Pages
Source: Thank you to my local bookshop  for a copy of this to review!
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.
Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever... because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead

 I'm not sure why I took so long to get around to reading Insurgent but I couldn't bring myself to read it straight after reading Divergent, I think I just wanted to bask in the amazing feeling of experiencing Divergent, first. Anyway, I decided to re-read Divergent and read Insurgent straight after in preparation for Allegiant and HOLY COW, it was...amazing, astonishing and horrifyingly brilliant. I can't express my thoughts and feelings on how I feel about this. This might potentially be a very dramatic review, just a warning.

Insurgent picks off exactly from where Divergent ended, with Tris and Tobias on the train trying to escape the crumbling world that has been ravaged by war, lives have been cost, factions are waging destruction on each other as well as factions being divided into smaller groups and joining with others, I shan't say anything more except that if you haven't yet read Insurgent you need to. Preferably straight after you've read this review and stocked up on Nutella. Insurgent will have your heart pounding, your mind racing, your palms sweating and your whole view on their lives, and the story, completely altered. 

A lot of people who reviewed Insurgent said it didn't live up to Divergent, but I loved it, I might take it so far as to say it was even slightly better than Divergent. Everything is so extremely different, from the characters' growths to the new revelations of the world Tris lives in. You might also, like myself, find how reading Insurgent overwhelms you with a strong sense of nostalgia for Divergent. It makes you miss the old times, the order, and the not quite as brutal destruction that now envelops Tris' new world. I felt like I was literally in the story and, like the characters, I yearned for the better days. As you see how dramatically the characters have changed and how they've had to grow up, you will feel such a deep sympathy for them. All I can say is that this book is utterly amazing and that your mind will be blown by what you will discover in this book.

The amount of change the characters showed in this novel was unexpected, but I loved learning their stories and seen their world through the new eyes they seemed to own. In Divergent Tris was hardcore, she wouldn't let anyone get in her way, she would instantly fire a gun without thinking but due to the life-changing events that she has had to experience you begin to see her resolve slowly crumbling before your eyes and it saddened me, it really did, as I love Tris and she was one of the first YA characters I was ever introduced to and she will always hold a special place in my heart. I was so accustomed to seeing this daring, dauntless Tris and the new side she revealed in Insurgent was not what you would ever expect from her, her new side that would eventually let the tears come (without being taking self-pity on herself), who would give in to death without fighting back and the Tris who can't even pick up a gun. Her new side hinted of the fragility that was beneath the hardened fa├žade she had to display in order to survive. 

The events she had experienced had broken her so much that she no longer valued her life and at times, all she wanted was escape. It was excruciating for me, as a reader who loves these characters more than any other characters, to see them ache like this, see them lose the ones they love. You could see the grief, guilt, anger, frustration and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair envelope Tris and the other characters, like a smothering blanket and I was rooting for her till the end that she would make it through this and she did, because Tris, Tris is brave and amazing and we should all strive to be a little like Tris.

Then there was Tobias who I just fell in love with all over again. I really begun to see just what a devastating impact his father's abuse had on his life and how it shaped him to be who he is. It was beautiful the way him and Tris loved each other and how they needed each other to survive in this world, but also knowing that they couldn't depend on each other because the world they live in might cruelly rip them apart. Tobias and Tris' relationship was beautiful and it broke my heart when they were slowly slipping out of each other's grasp due to the world they live in.

When him and Tris were slowly drifting apart and been involuntarily distanced by the secrets they kept and the betrayal they felt at time. Whenever she lied to him again so that she could save someone else I wanted to shake her and yell at her that she was jeopardising such an amazing relationship whilst simultaneously risking her life and she's not thinking about will happen if she dies, what will happen to Tobias.

I loved how in-depth the secondary characters were. From the ones I grew to love, to the ones I detested with passion. I absolutely adored Christina and how she forgave Tris for what she did and remained being a loyal friend and helping Tris on her latest rescue missions to save the world. I loved Uriah, Marlene, Tori and even Lynn. They all had their own distinct personalities. Then their were also the characters I loated, ones that did evil to the world for their own guilty pleasure, yet you could still see all the complexes they themselves had and you could see why they became this way. There was one character that has been malicious and vile since Divergent yet partakes in a surprising courageous act, and then there is one character who was incredibly close to Tris and who I thought adored her and whom she loved, who then betrayed her. I was gobsmacked. 

Veronica Roth has such impeccable skill, it's incredible.

The plot was amazing and I honestly I couldn't put Insurgent down, I needed to take deep breaths at some points to calm down, I needed to let the news sink in that yet another character I had grown to love had been brutally murdered, by force or by free will. I loved how I got to see more of Tris's world she lived in and how we got to learn more about the different factions and initiation processes. Every minute of Insurgent I read, I adored. Some parts would make my heart ache with a sweet, romantic, private moment shared and other parts I would want to let out a frustrated scream as to how Veronica Roth could think of doing this to the characters. And that ending, oh my, that ending.

That ending. What the cheese cakes was that? So unexpected, I literally just stared in shock at the page and...felt like my whole life had been a lie, as you can see my flair for being dramatic has now kicked in. Never when I first started reading Divergent did I expect this is what would become of Tris's society, how protected and sheltered they actually were by being placed in factions according to their personalities. I was shocked by the ending of Divergent and was excited as to where Veronica would take the next two books and Insurgent was mind-blowing, out of this world amazing. That ending had me literally feeling numb inside, it had me terrified as to what was going to meet Tris and the others on the other side of the fence. Some people might not have liked how Veronica Roth ended Insurgent but I loved it and I absolutely am completely enthralled as to what will be happening in Allegiant. Can the 22nd come any sooner?

I loved the writing in this, despite the cruelty and brutality in the writing there were quite a few humorous moments that had me smiling and bookmarking the sentences. I love the way Veronica Roth writes the action and fighting scenes as well, she writes it perfectly and it doesn't feel like the characters are treading through treacle like in some books I've read.

This was an astonishingly amazing, heart-breaking novel that shows what the cruelty humans are capable of and how destructive witnessing such horrors can destroy even the bravest of heroes, but how with love and friendship you can overcome any obstacle.  Veronica Roth shows us her full potential in Insurgent and just how spectacular her writing skills are. This book has betrayal, love, war, romance and will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. After reading this book and seeing what our destructive human nature can do and how guilty our mistakes can make us feel, you will want to try and be a better person. Veronica's books not only give me a look into a whole new world and have me running on adrenaline as well as being transfixed, but also teach me life lessons. Teach me how to be a better person. On almost every page there is a quote worth noting. Read this book, it's honestly, simply, stunning.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

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Friday, 11 October 2013

Review - Darcy Burdock - Laura Dockrill



Darcy BurdockTitle: Darcy Burdock
Author: Laura Dockrill
Genre: Middle-grade
Publication: February 28th 2013, Random House
Pages: 278 pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you so much to RandomStruik for providing me with a copy of Darcy Burdock in exchange for an honest review! :)
Source: 4/5 CUPCAKES!
Introducing Darcy Burdock, a new, cool, all-conquering girl character with a fresh and distinctive take on the world.
Ten-year-old Darcy is one of life's noticers. Curious, smart-as-a-whip, funny and fiercely loyal, she sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her.
Written and illustrated by Laura Dockrill: author, poet & performer – think Lady Gaga meets Mother Goose.

When I received Darcy Burdock to review, I was immediately drawn in by the gorgeous cover and the entertaining synopsis, and I started it almost right away! Because, as you all know, I absolutely adore a fantastic middle-grade novel.

Darcy Burdock is about 10 year old Darcy. An imaginative, fun, vibrant girl! Reading Darcy Burdock, you will take a look into her colourful mind and the interesting, beautiful way she views things in life. You will learn how to calm an Angosauras rex (with Maltesers), how having a pet lamb could lead to sore knees (kneebows, as Darcy calls them), how baby brothers don't like dressing up in girls clothes and how the snobby dancers at Darcy's sister's dance classes can't appreciate a good dance. The things Darcy get's up to will have you giggling in amusement, that's for sure!

Darcy is an extremely loveable main character. She's entertaining, funny, sweet and down to earth AND a mermalade. She also shows us exactly how she is feeling and doesn't hide her emotions, she's a real character, not a bland, two-dimensional one. She reminds me of me when I was younger, I use to always read and write stories (still do) and I always use to notice my noticing (if you've read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about) she's just a bit more spunky and rebellious than I was! However, I think everyone will be able to relate to her. She's a normal ten year old, she's not uptight and you can see she just wants to have fun and be herself.

I also loved how caring, good-natured and observant she was. She's really good to her younger siblings and that was sweet to see. It was also lovely (and occasionally humorous) seeing how she described people and the way she viewed things.

She's also loves reading and writing, in fact, writing helps her with any problem she faces. If she's scared or has had a tough day, she turned it into a story, which I found very clever! I also loved reading Darcy's poems and stories, they were so imaginative and so brilliant! 

The storyline was cute! The antics Darcy would partake in, as I previously stated, were highly amusing and I was constantly being surprised by her latest endeavors.

Laura Dockrill is a fantastic writer! She really unleashed her inner child whilst writing Darcy, and I felt like I was honestly and truly reading the book as if it were written by ten year old Darcy herself, which just proves what a fantastic author Laura is! I also love the cute illustrations that were on every few pages, made the book even better then it already was!

I adored Darcy Burdock, I fell in love with her unique, quirky character and the amazing perspective she held on the world. I loved reading about her life and the interactions she held with her friends, family and enemies (yes, she does have one or two) and the way she dealt with her emotions by writing (fantastic) stories. Throughout the book Darcy also learned valuable lessons, lessons that readers will learn whilst reading. How you should be kind to everyone and most importantly, we are unique in our own way and should be happy about who we are. I enjoyed this novel a great deal and I can not wait to read more about the lovely Darcy Burdock! Anyone young or old will have a spectacular time reading Laura Dockrill's wonderful, imaginative novel.

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!





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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #17

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week I am very eagerly anticipating...

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved by Jenny Han
Publication Date: April 22nd 2014
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
I'm super excited for this as I was an absolute HUGE fan of her Summer series! Can't wait for this to be released! 



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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Review - Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young-Adult
Publication: November 15th 2011, Harper
Pages: 338 pages, Ebook
Source: My Own
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that th e survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
I've never entirely been sure about what Shatter Me is about, but whenever I'm on Twitter I somehow end up hearing about how someone else has become a devoted fan of Tahereh Mafi's work. I made a reading plan this month that I was planning on sticking to, but then I entered a giveaway to win Unravel Me and I became highly intrigued by what these books were actually about and even though I wasn't planning on reading Shatter Me this month, I did, and I loved every exhilarating, achingly beautiful, astonishing part that made up this book. 

Tahereh Mafi has managed to create such a heart-felt, original, breathtaking story that will creep into your heart and never leave. I can safely say this is one of the most riveting and brutal books I have read this year whilst simultaneously remaining one of the most delicate and sensitive books. An astonishingly well-written debut novel that deals with self-acceptance, learning to love and be loved as well as how what could become of this world if we don't change our way of living soon. A novel that will leave you clutching the book to your chest and leave you feeling dumbstruck at how someone could possibly create such a wondrous book that will leave you feeling giddy once you've read it.

Shatter Me is a dystopian romance that is set in the future where the world as we know it has been torn apart by war and been destroyed by our own mundane stupidity. The Re-establishment has made promises to the people that things will get better, that there will be food to cure the starvation epidemic, they'll save the animals that are being poisoned by plants that have had chemicals scattered onto their surface, they made a continuous stream of promises that they aren't actually going through with, yet they're hiding secrets that would anger the citizens further, revealing just how greedy and self-absorbed the government is, yet if someone speaks out about the twisted things that could be happening, they will be shot or threatened. The only thing controlling these people is fear.


Then comes Juliette Ferrars, seventeen years old and she hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days, not since she killed an innocent person with her bare hands, when she was just trying to engage in an act of kindness. A girl whose touch is lethal and used as an instrument of war. Juliette can not touch or be touched, for anyone she touches will either suffer crippling agony or, even, die. Accused for a crime she didn't commit, viewed as murderer, Juliette is taken away and stowed in an asylum, but when a boy she has memories of and shared some of her past with, walks into her cellroom, Juliette's life completely alters.

This book has such an incredible storyline, a lot of times I find dystopian novels can lack originality but Shatter Me has been one of the most original, mind-blowing novels I've read. I gaped at every unexpected turn of events, I swooned at every tender moment shared between Juliette and Adam that steadily pieced her shattered life together and I bristled in fury, and fear, for every time Juliette was lashed out upon, physically or mentally.

The plot was well thought out and there were a lot of things that happened that I would never have thought could've happen. I absolutely adored the ending, it was a fantastic round-up that didn't leave you on a major cliffhanger but that left you asking enough questions that you would want answered in the sequel to Shatter Me. The ending to me was perfect, I just loved the *spoiler* organisation at the end that was so determined and hopeful to transform the world into the happy place it use to be. I loved how there were others with powers like Juliette and how you could already see she was starting to fit in and accept herself.*spoiler*

The characters were flawless. All individual, with their own complexes, with their own inner battles trying to survive in the world. We have Juliette, destroyed and wilting, her life has been shattered from the beginning and all she has are broken remnants from a painful past that have embedded themselves in her brain and refuse to be loosened, no matter how hard she tries. You will love Juliette. She has been treated like a monster, a creature from hell since the day she came into existence. She hates the skin she lives in as she knows that her hands, and her body, draws power from innocent victims when she accidentally touches them, drawing power from them whilst they get weaker and she grows stronger. She hates that she has hurt people, she hates that when she did murder one person, a crime she didn't mean to commit, people saw her as an abomination that needed to be locked up. I honestly felt so much sympathy towards Juliette and when you read Shatter Me you will feel an ache inside as you just hope and pray the whole way through that she will find happiness in the end. She was feisty and courageous in the face of danger and she revealed how strong she was underneath the fragility and delicateness. There were times where she could punch through a wall with her bare hands and times where she would grab a gun and fire. And then there were also times where her nightmares would cause her to scream and leave her sobbing in heap on the floor. 


Warner was an interesting character and I still haven't made a decision on him yet. He had me wanting to slap him and shake some sense into him but then simultaneously having me wanting to hug him and teach him how to treat people. Teach him how showing kindness, love, affection will win more hearts than holding someone captive and killing people. He had an unquenchable thirst for power and that posed a problem, he wanted control of the world and Juliette felt that he wanted to use her as a pawn in the game between good and evil, and she was caught on the side she didn't want to be on, Warner's side. 

Yet underneath this hardened, war-crazy, thirst for power exterior you could see that beneath that was the little boy that had been taught the wrong ways from an early age and he needed someone to bring out the good in him, which he was hoping would be Juliette, but she hasn't seen that yet.  He had me shaking my head in disbelief and anger as to how he could do murderous acts to people but then he showed how his softer side co-existed, and an amusing side, and you couldn't help but feel a small amount of love for him,  as you could see he loved Juliette in his twisted way and he felt angered, bewildered and upset and disappointed when she didn't return her affection. I also found him and Juliette's equivalent stubbornness quite amusing to watch.

Adam, oh, Adam. So genuinely kind and good despite the cruel, abominable childhood he had to endure. He, unlike Warner, doesn't believe in retaliating with the intentional harming of others but instead focuses on bringing happiness and positivity to those around him. I loved the way he was unafraid to try touching Juliette, to show the passionate love he so deeply felt for her I loved his humour, his personality  and the multiple descriptions of his eyes that are like pools of rain and rivers of ink that you want to see and experience for yourself.

The romance in the book was amazing. I loved how Adam and Juliette loved each other, I loved reading about their tender, heart-felt words that warm your heart. It was amazing seeing how two of the most broken people could complete each other. They have history together and I hope they will have a future together too, as they are perfect for each other.

I did felt sorry for Warner though, with his contorted misconception of  how to love someone and how to be loved, not by force or materialistic ventures but the kindness of words, the intimate touches, how that when that person looks at you, you know they think you are beautiful and not able to do a wrong deed. And Warner, he has never been shown love as he was brought up by a power-seeking family that demand nothing but the best and will be volatile if their expectations are not met. I saw through the hardened face of a killer, a brutal leader who lusts for power and control and enforces cruelty there is a misunderstood, broken boy with feelings and emotions to complicated to explain, but despite it all, I think his love for Juliette is authentic. He still needs to discover that he must alter his actions, since every other one has driven her away and deepened her disgust for him.

The author's writing is astonishingly brilliant, a pure, raw talent gifted from above. She manages to transform simple things of this world, into a seemingly exotic object. She manages to find the underlying beauty in everything and it is rare to find an author capable of having such talent. She painted vivid images in my mind, images I wouldn't have been capable of seeing if I had not read Shatter Me, my imagination is her canvas and her thoughts and words are the paintbrush that paints these otherworldly descriptions in my mind. Her writing is unbelievably magical and hypnotizing that once you've read a sentence her words have you in her grasp and however much you try to look away (although you would never dare dream of that) you won't be able to stop reading because you feel like in order to breathe you need to continue reading the heart-wrenching words printed on the page that weaves it's way into your heart. You need to read to be closer to the characters, to watch them fall in love, to watch them slowly piece back together their destroyed, shattered lives that they have helplessly had to watch be decapitated in front of them, piece it together by kind words and tender touches. 

The descriptions are so intricately carved, so beautifully composed they make you feel as if you are being enveloped in a warm embrace, the help you see the beauty in things we take for granted, they make us realise the fragility, strength, beauty, horror and destruction of what humans are capable of.

Shatter Me is a sensational, riveting and remarkable debut from author Tahereh Mafi. Perfection at it's finest. From tormented characters to a brutal world. This book shows what an undeniable fact that this is what could become of this world if we continue letting our greed and thirst for power and control to rule us. You will fall in love with the characters and be reeled back by the unearthly writing that this author is capable of creating. Everyone must familiarise themselves with Tahereh's books. One of the best books read this year.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
 

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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Stacking the Shelves - Haul of Epic Proportions!!


These are the books I've received over the last two weeks and I am SO excited! I also made a whole reading plan of books I'm going to read this month, but then...the library happened. I got to dance early so went to the library with my two friends, and they had gotten books I'd been wanting to read FOREVER and...I just couldn't say no! :P

And I just want to say thank you to Evie from Bookish for being one of the most kindest and awesomest people out there! xxx

*click  on book cover to add to Goodreads page*

Physical Books To Review:

FANGIRL WITH ME. THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS TO REVIEW. I CAN'T EVEN. And I got my second copy of Clockwork Princess which I loved reading! It's nice having two copies but will probably donate to my library :') Anyway, back to FANGIRLING! *spazzy panda dances*

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Raven's Gate (The Gatekeepers, #1)Oblivion (The Gatekeepers, #5)How I Live NowKiss Me FirstThe Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4)

E-galleys To Review
Rain of the GhostsFreak of Nature (IFICS, #1) Unaccompanied MinorThe Tale of Mally BiddleSiaStirring Up Trouble (Stirring Up Trouble, #1)Big Honey Dog Mysteries #1: Curse of the ScarabAberrant (Aberrant #1)Beyond the Firefly FieldPawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Cold Spell (Fairytale Retellings, #4)

Library Books
How to Keep a Boy as a Pet (Circe Shaw, #1)I Love You, Beth CooperChimeUnderworld (Abandon Trilogy, #2)Witch and Wizard (Witch and Wizard, #1)The Paladin Prophecy (The Paladin Prophecy, #1)The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)

Bought Books:
Saw The Luxe series at a charity store in near-perfect conditions so I had to buy them! I have the second BZRK book to review so I was glad I got the first one for so cheap! :D
The Luxe (Luxe, #1)Rumors (Luxe, #2)Splendor (Luxe, #4)BZRKBeastlyThe Valley Of The Ancients

                   


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