Friday, 31 January 2014

January Wrap-Up Post

Hi guys!

I hope you all had a fantastic start to the New Year and that you read some fantabulous books!

I read quite a number of books this month. I marathoned the whole Ally's World series and it's companion novels, so that added up to 18 books, and then I read some 4 YA books. I would've read 5 but I ended up DNFing a book I never thought I'd DNF...City of Fallen Angels. I had 150 pages left and I just wasn't enjoying it, so unfortunately I dnfed it. I did read the last few pages so I do know what happens, and I don't like where Cassandra Clare took the story.

Anyway, here is the run-down on which books I read this month!

Books Read in January 2014: 
Total: 22 Books
The Past, the Present and the Loud, Loud Girl by Karen McCombieDates, Double Dates and Big, Big Trouble (Ally's World, #2)Butterflies, Bullies and Bad Bad Habits (Ally's World, #3)Friends, Freak-outs and Very Secret Secrets (Ally's World, #4)Boys, Brothers and Jelly Belly Dancing (Ally's World, #5)Sisters, Super Creeps and Slushy, Gushy Love Songs (Ally's World, #6) Parties, Predicaments and Undercover Pets (Ally's World, #7)Tattoos, Telltales and Terrible, Terrible Twins (Ally's World, #8)Mates, Mysteries and Pretty Weird Weirdness (Ally's World, #9)Daisy, Dad and the Huge, Small Surprise (Ally's World, #10)Rainbows, Rowan and True, True Romance(?) (Ally's World, #11)Visitors, Vanishings and Va Va Va Voom (Ally's World, #12)Crushes, Cliques and the Cool School Trip (Ally's World, #13)Hassles, Heart Pings! and Sad, Happy Endings (Ally's World, #14)Angels, Arguments, and a Furry Merry Christmas (Ally's World)Summer Special Sunshine, Sunburn And Not So Sweet Nothings (Ally's World S.)A Guided Tour Of Ally's WorldThe Raspberry RulesAnything to Have YouCity of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)George's Secret Key to the Universe

I'm really glad with the amount of books that I read this month! What did you guys read in January? :)
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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Series Review - Ally's World - Karen McCombie + Mini Reviews of Angels, Arguments and a Furry Merry Christmas (Christmas Edition) + Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings (Summer Special) + A Guide to Ally's World

Series: Ally's World (#1-14)
Author: Karen McCombie
Genre: Young Adult, Middle-Grade, Contemporary
Publication: 2001, Scholastic
Pages: 200 Pages, Paperback
Meet the Love children: oh-so-perfect Linn, airy-fairy Rowan, animal-obsessed Tor - and Ally, trying to have a normal life somewhere in the middle of it all. Which isn't easy when you live in a house that's a cross between an animal hospital and something out of 'Changing Rooms'. And then there's school and the small matter of the forgotten history project and the obnoxious new girl that - oh joy! - Ally's been nominated to look after. It's going to be a fun couple of weeks...
This is the first in the wildly successful, utterly loveable "Ally's World" series.
I have finally finished the series. All fourteen books, in a space of ten days. I read the first four books in the series when I was ten or eleven, and I adored them. This January, I really felt like revisiting them, as well as continuing with the rest of the books in the series that were still in the garage. I was scared that I wouldn't like them anymore in case I felt that they were too young for me...but I think I loved them even more this time round. IT WAS JUST...SO... PERFECT! *sobs* And I am now officially emotionally attached to this series. 



The whole Ally's World series centers around thirteen year old Ally who lives in Crouch End in London, in her ramshackle house with her quirky family. Throughout the series we are introduced to her sweet, but dippy dad; her seventeen year old sister Linn, who is neat freak and is quite grouchy with the fact that she has to live in such a chaotic house; Rowan, who is fifteen years old and is away with the fairies, her room is completely overtaken by fairy-lights and her own misshapen art projects; last but not least is her seven year old brother Tor, who is an animal fanatic, with a bedroom that doubles as the equivalent of London zoo. The only person missing in this equation is there mom who left them four years ago, battling bad post-natal depression after having Tor, to go travel the world that she has always wanted to see. 


I absolutely ADORE Ally's family. They are all so loveable and quirky and I just adore them! Linn is the super-sensible, neat-freak and the oldest one out of the siblings. She also thinks that she has actually been adopted and belongs to a royal family somewhere out there. I felt sorry for Linn, at times I wished she wouldn't be so grouchy, but I could understand the frustration that she felt. I completely adored Rowan, she was utterly adorable and so sweet! I loved how she wasn't afraid to be different and dress quirkily, as it really just made her such a fantastic character that was strong in her own way. Tor was utterly adorable, he is such a cute character, and I loved reading about all his endless pets. I also loved Ivy, who was such a sweet little thing, she is only introduced way later in the series though, so I won't say much else!


I love that Karen McCombie has shown us all these little things that the characters do and how different their personality traits are. She wrote the family aspect amazingly - capturing the chaotic, yet wonderful, every day life of being in a big family. The characters had their ups and downs, where they lent on each other for support when there were times as trouble and I could clearly see the strong bond they all had with each other. It was truly wonderful the way Karen McCombie wrote the life of the Love family.

THE WHOLE FAMILY BOND IS JUST SO BEAUTIFUL.
Throughout Ally's World, we also become acquainted with Sandie, Ally's best friend who can win the award for being The Shyest Person in the Universe; Kyra (my name!), who, at first sights, is seen as rude and obnoxious...but there is more than meets the eye; Billy, Ally's boy best mate and her four other friends who we also begin to know, but not quite as well as the others, who are made up of Chloe, Jen, Salma and Kellie.

The characters in this series are fantastic! 


Ally is such a phenomenal character! She is sarcastic, funny, kind and she tells her stories with such an authentic voice. Throughout the series it honestly feels like we have become best friends. I love the way she tells the stories of her everyday life and how she deals with certain situations. She is also a character that I can relate to, as we are both professional worriers.


Then there are Ally's three best friends: Sandie, who is such a sweet character that I immediately liked, although she did disappoint me later on in the story as she did something that she really shouldn't have done, but I suppose it did all workout in the end. Billy, I adored Billy! He is, as Ally calls him, such a berk. He's absolutely hilarious and I often found myself laughing at the ridiculous antics that he could get up to. Then there is Kyra...at first I was disappointed to share my name with her, as she was quite rude and obnoxious without a singular tactful bone in her body.


However, I soon learned about Kyra's troubled home life in book four and I felt sorry for her. Kyra, as a character, definitely improves throughout the series. She is still loud and obnoxious...but she is funny and sarcastic too, which is a good thing. I think. 


This is a truly phenomenal series. I would love to say more, especially about books 10 to 14 in the series. Some truly shocking things happened and there were times where I wanted to cry, scream, hug the books and fling them across the room.



My family's reaction to my fangirling state. Ahem.
Whenever I started reading the next book in the series, I felt like I was being welcomed into my second home. It felt like I was literally living in the story, and partaking in the hustle of the Love household's every day life. I  felt like part of the family. I know the characters' histories, I know their fears, their wants and I know each of them as they were my own sibling. 

I think that's the truly amazing thing that Karen McCombie accomplished when she wrote the stories, is how she makes you feel like you're living in their world. She makes the characters seem so unbelievably real. 


When you open another Ally's World book, you'll feel as if you are walking into your second home. 


These books are absolutely perfect. The characters are loveable, the dialogue is fantastic and Karen McCombie has a way with words that will have you devouring every word on the page and constantly in hunger for more. 


The last book was highly emotional, as I saw how far the characters had come, compared to where they were at in the first book. Laughs will be had, tears will be shed, hearts will broken, unexpected love lurks around the corner, families will fall and families will be completed. The last book was stunning and I was a highly emotional person after the final page had been read. A series that I will cherish. After reading this whole series, I can safely say Karen McCombie is now one of my favourite authors.




If you are to read these books, I'd recommend that you make sure you have all the books in the series at your fingertips, as you'll want to keep reading and drinking in the words and completely losing yourself in Ally's World.




I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!






***

Mini Review - Angels, Arguments and a Furry Merry Christmas (Christmas Edition) - Karen McCombie

Angels, Arguments, and a Furry Merry Christmas (Ally's World)
Series: Ally's World Christmas Special
Author: Ally's World
Genre: Young-Adult, Middle-Grade, Contemporary
Publication: Scholastic
Pages:173 Pages, Paperback
Source: My Own
Rating: 3/5 Cupcakes!
Well, 'tis the season to be jolly... er, actually, there's a dangerous shortage of jolly-ness this Crimbo - what with bickering sisters and Chloe nicking my Really Good Idea. Still, at least I might get a kiss under the mistletoe this year (yeah, right!).
*Blurb taken from author's website

As you may know, I am completely addicted to and obsessed with this hilarious, fantastic, loveable series. I marathoned the entire Ally's World series is in little over a week, as I was constantly just wanting to be lost in Ally's world. Karen McCombie is a fantastic author and she has created all the characters in such an honest, realistic manner.

Angels, Arguments and a Furry Merry Christmas, is almost like a prequel in the Ally's World series, as Ally recounts the previous Christmas and all the chaotic happenings that happened in the jolly season. It would help though if you've already read a lot of the series, as you'll be able to connect to it more!

This wasn't the most fantastic Ally's World book, but it teaches you how to be grateful, honest and appreciative whilst making the best of the situation. Ally is such a fantastic character and I really admire her! She never whines or moans, even if she doesn't have as much as her other friends...being with her family is enough, even though her mom still hasn't returned from travelling the world.

In Angels, Arguments and a Furry Merry Christmas, the Love household isn't feeling very festive. They have little money as it is, and when one of the dogs trip Rowan up whilst she's holding the Christmas box of decoration, the breakable items don't survive the trip. Then, Ally and all her friends have to think up a theme for the Christmas Fashion Show event being held at the school, as the winning theme gets to model some of the outfits that are being designed and entered into the fashion show. Yet when a blissful moment occurs for Ally & Co, one of her friends dishonestly takes the idea as her own. Then there is the disastrous dates with a boy who likes Ally and who Ally is trying to force herself to like. Ally just wants a peaceful Christmas spent with her family but with things going the way it is, it's not going to be a merry Christmas.

This was a really cute addition to the Ally's World series, emanating festive vibes, it's a perfect read for the Christmas season! I like how this book showed how you don't need the flashiest of decorations or the tallest, fullest of Christmas trees, but if you're just with the ones you love, you can have a fantastic time!

Angels, Arguments and a Furry Merry Christmas, was sweet and entertaining read that will make you feel warm inside, as if you have just had a frothy cup of hot chocolate. With Christmas festivity giving the book a warm, jolly atmosphere, Angels, Arguments and a Furry Merry Christmas displays themes of kindness, selflessness and gratitude. An adorable read!

I give it: 3/5 CUPCAKES!







***
*Review below contains spoilers for the whole Ally's World series so only read the review if you've read the series or if you want the series to be spoiled, which would be a very bizarre thing.*
Mini Review  - Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings (Summer Edition) - Karen McCombie


Summer Special Sunshine, Sunburn And Not So Sweet Nothings (Ally's World S.)
Title: Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings
Series: Ally's World Summer Edition
Author: Karen McCombie
Publication: Scholastic
Pages: 193 Pages, Paperback
Source: My Own
Review: 5/5 Cupcakes
We’re on holiday! Yay! It’s only camping in Cornwall, but me and my family are pretty excited – except there IS one thing bugging me: why isn’t Bily answering my texts? Where’s the big berk go to…?

*Spoilers for the Ally's World series*


I absolutely adored Sunshine,Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings! It's the fantastically fun summer edition in the Ally's World series.

In Sunshine,Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings, Ally and her siblings are being whisked away to Cornwall on a camping holiday. Ally is looking forward to it but she knows that Linn's grouchy attitude and lack of enthusiasm towards camping as well as Rowan's abnormal downcast mood, will most likely put a damper on the whole holiday. Despite her sisters' moods hanging over them like a black thunder-cloud, Ally is determined to have fun in the sun! However, Ally struggles to keep the mood light when her and her dad sees how happy Ally's mom is being with the people from her past and they think she might regret ever coming back to them, as well as when the farmer's son wrecks Ally and Billy's relationship. A wonderful holiday is swiftly turning into a disastrous one, but Ally is adamant to have a bright, positive viewpoint on the trip!

This book was so much fun to read! I absolutely love reading any books from Ally's point of view, and I look forward to reading any other books that Karen McCombie will ever write from any point of view from the family members in the Love household.

As you know, I love the Ally's World series and I feel extremely connected to the loveable characters and through reading this book, it was like I was finally able to go on holiday to St Ives with the Love family, and it was so much fun!

It was interesting seeing how they all acted when they were camping, and everyone's reactions to it. Linn freaking out about not having electricity, Ally worrying about Billy not answering his messages and Rowan seeing an opportunity to turn the tent into a dazzling display. They feel like my family, these characters d o and I loved getting to know even more about them and experiencing this with them. 

The farmer's children were so completely infuriating. Sol was a complete and utter idiot and I detested what he did to Ally to deepen the gap between her and Billy. I was happy when Lana and Linn bonded, and I started seeing things through Linn's eyes and how she felt about certain things.

Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings, also had me feeling a hint of nostalgia. A year has gone by since the final book in the Ally's World series. All the characters are a year older and have adjusted to the changes that happened in the last few books in the series. I miss Sandie not being around anymore, but I'm glad that it's deepened the bond between Ally and Kyra and Billy. It was lovely seeing Kyra in the book, as she's really matured a lot since the first book, yet she still can be quite obnoxious but I, like Ally, am used it now.

Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings, was a fantastic, fun addition to the marvelous Ally's World series! With lots of sunshine, ice cream and endless fun, Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings is a perfect holiday read!


I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!



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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review - The House of Hades - Rick Riordan

The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4)Title: The House of Hades
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: October 8th 2013, Puffin
Pages: 584 pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Penguin Publishers for sending me The House of Hades in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
The House of Hades is the fourth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series, set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson.
The stakes have never been higher. If Percy Jackson and Annabeth fail in their quest, there'll be hell on Earth. Literally.
Wandering the deadly realm of Tartarus, every step leads them further into danger. And, if by some miracle they do make it to the Doors of Death, there's a legion of bloodthirsty monsters waiting for them.
Meanwhile, Hazel and the crew of the Argo II have a choice: to stop a war or save their friends. Whichever road they take one thing is certain - in the Underworld, evil is inescapable.
HIGHLIGHT SPACE BETWEEN THE WORD *SPOILER* IF YOU WANT TO READ THE SPOILER. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK, THAT PROBABLY ISN'T A GOOD IDEA.*

After finishing Mark of Athena and barely being able to cope with that cruel ending, I immediately dived into House of Hades.

Once again, Rick Riordan has created a fantastic novel that I adore and has me eagerly waiting for the next book in the series, The Blood of Olympus.The House of Hades begins a few days after where The Mark of Athena ended. Percy and Annabeth have been confined to the fiery, hellish pit of Tartarus, the place where monsters go when they have been killed. A place that no demigods' eyes should ever see. While Percy and Annabeth struggle to survive in the fiery pit of despair and get to the Doors of Death to delay the awakening of Gaia; Hazel, Frank, Piper, Jason and Leo, along with the help of Coach Hedge and Nico, the enthusiastic satyr hell-bent on revenge and Nico, the son of the god of the Underworld, have to try and close the Doors of Death from the mortal side, otherwise known as The House of Hades. 


Although this isn't an easy quest in itself, there is still an on-going war brewing between Camp Halfblood and Camp Jupiter that needs to be stopped, as they need to combine forces to be stronger, in order for them to have all the strength possible in order to defeat Gaia and her minions. But with Gaia growing stronger with every waking second, as well as more monsters being unleashed through the Doors of Death, and the disturbing lines of the Prophecy of the Seven, things aren't looking good for the demigods, but hopefully with their wits and courage, the seven (as well as with the help from others), they'll be able to defeat Gaia and close the Doors of Death.

I loved The House of Hades. Rick Riordan has brought yet another fantastic piece of work to life. Combining humor, adventure, danger, and lovable characters together to create a riveting novel. I was once again amazed at the intricate novel Riordan has created. His words bring the characters from Greek mythology to life, as well as the demigods that we have grown to love. It's easy to see how Rick Riordan has been named the Myth Master, as he gives the stories a life of their own.


I think what makes Rick Riordan's novels so fantastic, is the characters. They all have their individual personalities and their own little quirks that makes us love them even more. Not one of Rick's characters seem the same, and through reading his books, it honestly feels like I have become best friends with each and every one of them. As I have progressed through the books, I have grown to know the characters. I have seen them overcome their greatest fears, seen them fall in love, seen them battle with their inner demons. I have grown close to each and every one of these characters and I look forward to knowing them even more in the following book. Rick Riordan has a way with words that honestly makes the characters seem alive. In The House of Hades I fully got to appreciate the character growth that each character has undertaken. There is a visible change in each of them, they have all become stronger, yet sadly, more cautious and more weary, their innocent minds tainted by things no one should have to experience.


Percy and Annabeth, delving into the pit of Tartarus, witnessing endless suffering and endless monsters thirsty for blood *SPOILER*and managing to stay alive and escape unscathed*SPOILER*. You could see the weight of worry and stress that being in Tartarus had placed on them. Yet with their wit, charm, faith and wisdom, they managed to avoid becoming a soulless void that was expected by the people wanting them to fall. Percy was still brave, loyal and determined. Still ready to lay down his life for those he loved. Annabeth was amazing. Using her wisdom and being so encouraging so that their spirits weren't completely snuffed out by the darkness that so desperately wanted to envelop them. 


After reading House of Hades, I was once again awestruck about how these two completed each other, how devoted they were to the other. Every word of encouragement, every hug, every kiss, you could see the pattering out hope be restored once again. I love Percy and Annabeth, I can't explain it, but they are just so perfect for each other. They bicker like any ordinary couple but we all know the love that they share for the other. After finishing HoH I could see that their experience in Tartarus hung like a cloud over their heads, but I have faith that they will help each other ease the nightmares that will inevitably consume them.

Hazel and Frank were astonishing in this book. I could just see the physical and emotional change that they undertook in this book, and the new power and confidence that they radiated. Since I met Hazel in The Son of Neptune, I instantly fell in love with her character, as well as Frank's, and I hated it how they doubted themselves...but after what they managed to do in HoH, I can't imagine that they, or anyone else for that matter, will ever be in doubt again. They both displayed extreme shower and strength and I am so proud of them for doing that! They're just such sweet people and I'm glad that they're finally getting some recognition for their talents.

I warmed up to Jason and Piper in The House of Hades, I never really connected with Jason in the previous books but in HoH he seemed more likeable. He pulled his weight a bit more and wasn't constantly being knocked unconscious like in The Mark of Athena. You could also see that he was more comfortable around Percy and not as challenging. Sometimes I think maybe I just misunderstood him in the previous books.

Piper was also fantastic in HoH. I've always liked Piper, I didn't quite connect with her in TMoA but in the HoH, I once again liked her. I could see her really becoming comfortable in her skin and learning how to use her charmspeak to the fullest abilities.

I'm also beginning to see the strength in her and Jason's relationship and they are extremely well suited to one another. Both poised, brave and ready to jump into battle.

Leo, my favourite, changed a lot in this book, especially towards the end and it saddened me. He didn't have that same enthusiastic energy within him after being to the island and becoming love sick when he returned. I really hope that the relationship will work out between him and the special girl who he fell in love with. I won't mention her name, as I don't want to spoil it, but her and Leo are perfectly suited for one another, they both create things and are both unafraid to get their hands dirty. I love Leo. He has an amazing personality and sense of humour, and I wish he would stop feeling inferior and comparing himself, because he is utterly amazing. Towards the end of the book, you could see he had lost some of hope and their were personal issues clouding his mind. Including him needing to devise a plan to rescue the girl he might just have fallen in love with.

The secondary characters were just as developed and real as the main characters. From Bob the friendly Titan who helps and protects Percy and Annabeth when they're in Tartarus, to Damasen the friendly giant who believes he is a failure and is cursed to kill a drakon every day and is destined to a fate he can't escape, to Nico, son of Hades, who has a secret that he is ashamed of and when he is forced to reveal it, it shatters him.

I loved Bob, he was so sweet and gentle and I got a fright when he begun to recall his previous life as a Titan before his memory was wiped. But luckily he chooses to do right and not be bad like his relatives.

I felt extremely sorry for Damaster. Destined to the fate of killing a drakon every day and not being able to leave his house that is now a prison to him, all because he has decided to be good, like Bob. The ending saddened me when it came to him and Bob and I hope things will end up better for them, *SPOILER*when they reform*SPOILER*.

We also begun to understand more about Nico and why he was so bitter and full of resentment. At first I wasn't expecting the twist to do with Nico but as the story went on I started suspecting it. I wouldn't have thought he was *spoiler*gay*spoiler* but it added an interesting aspect to the story. Nico has been through a lot and I couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards him.

The plot was once again fantastic and I don't have many complaints - only one. I feel like the problems in the stories are solved too easily. It's too good to be true that they keep surviving all these things. It's not that I want the characters to be hurt but it isn't realistic, seeing as what kind of world they live in, for them to always find a solution to the problem. But otherwise it was an extremely good book.

The House of Hades was an amazing fourth instalment in the Heroes of Olympus series. With even more action, more devastating events and more evil, The House of Hades has me completely riveted and begging for more. This series is fantastic and The House of Hades was no exception - I couldn't stop reading. With characters who will become your best friends, witty dialogue and a heart-warming romance, The House of Hades will have you captured and needing more.


I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

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Monday, 20 January 2014

My Reading Plan #1


My own feature, yet it is similar to the meme hosted by BookJourney called What Are You Reading? :)

Books I Read Last Week:
Anything to Have YouCity of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)

*Read my review for Anything to Have You here.*

Books I Am Currently Reading:
City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

I am super excited to be reading this, as I absolutely LOVE this series!

Books I Will Most Likely Read Afterwards:
City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

I will most likely read this after finishing CoFA, I don't know if I'll be able to read another book this week as my holiday break is over and it's back to doing school work! 

What are you currently reading?



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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Review - Anything to Have You - Paige Harbison

Anything to Have YouTitle: Anything to Have You
Author: Paige Harbison
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: January 28th 2014, Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304 Pages, Ebook
Source: Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book to review in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 1/5 Cupcakes
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.
*Spoilers are in white, highlight them to read them* 
When I saw Anything to Have You on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. I love contemporary novels, as they are sometimes a nice change from my average dystopian/paranormal reads. When my request got accepted I was extremely excited and couldn't wait to start reading, however, when I did, my enthusiasm and high hopes for Paige Harbison's latest novel soon completely dissipated.

Anything to Have You sounded like it had a promising storyline. Our two main characters, Brooke and Natalie, have been best friends and inseparable since they were small. Brooke is the party animal. Wild, outgoing, confident and beautiful and her main diet consists mostly of alcoholic beverages. She likes being in control, she likes getting what she wants and she likes having everyones eyes on her. Natalie is the complete opposite. She like staying in and watching movies, reading and cooking up some splendid meals and Natalie's happy with that. Natalie hasn't set foot on the social scene for a year so, yet her popularity on the social ladder is high, higher than ever. 

One night, Brooke forces Natalie to a attend a party with her and her boyfriend, Aiden, who shares feelings for Natalie that he shouldn't, and Natalie feels the same way. On the night of the party, Natalie promises herself she'll not make any rash decisions and be sensible and responsible, not like the last party she was at. Soon, one thing leads to another, leaving Natalie drunk and passed out and leaving her having just done something where the consequences will be life-changing. A drunken night, one she can't remember, an action that can never be reversed, a boy who is off-limits and remembers what really happened but is trying to forget...Brooke and Natalie's friendship will be pushed to the limits.

Do you see how entertaining and dramatic it sounds?! And it was! Yet there were numerous amounts of things that kept me from enjoying the full novel.

*Sigh* I don't know actually know where to begin, there is so much that I detested about Anything to Have You. I read the first 25% on my Kindle and then I skipped the rest and read the last 30% in the novel. Let's clear one thing: I have NEVER done this before. EVER. Why did I do it this time round? Get ready for some ranting.

THE THREE THINGS THAT MADE ME SKIP HALF OF THIS BOOK:
1). Blasphemy
2). Excessive amounts of (unnecessary) swearing
3). Characters who are seriously messed up with NO morals




Okay. Onto number one:

1). BLASPHEMY

I am a Christian and when there is hectic amounts of blasphemy in books, I will not continue reading it. I know most people out there say "Oh my God" and although I don't like it when people say that, if I see it in a book occasionally and if I'm enjoying the story, I will most likely continue reading it as long as it's not used too often. I'm not meaning to offend any of you, I can't tell a person what to say or do and it's up the an individual on what they want to say, I'm just saying as a Christian is offends me when reading this in a book.

However, in Anything to Have You, it was not merely that phrase that was used a couple of times, it was another phrase that I can't stand. These two phrases were used ALL THE TIME and it wasn't just the first phrase that I mentioned, oh no, it was them saying "Jesus Christ" every few pages. I'm sorry, but you don't say that, not all the time and not for trivial things either. I was so appalled by the amount of blasphemy in this book, I felt so extremely guilty for reading this, I know it sounds stupid but I seriously did and not just for this one factor but for the other two as well, which I will be addressing now.

2). Excessive amounts of (unnecessary) swearing
I think this is what really, truly made me skip most parts of Anything to Have You. Anything to Have You is a fairly short book, only about 300 pages or so and the amount of swearing that Paige Harbison managed to squeeze into this not-so-thick book was impressive. If I was stupid enough to be impressed by something so pathetic.

You know, when I read Young Adult books, I expect a few swear words here and there. YA books consist of teenagers, and I'm pretty sure about 90 % of teenagers swear. But when there is a cuss word on JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE PAGE, it's a bit of an overkill. And I'm not just talking about the "s" word, I'm talking about MAJOR F bombs. Major. 

Even my friend, who was reading over my shoulder at times said there was too much swearing and she wasn't liking the book because of that. She isn't some narrow-minded person, she doesn't mind swearing in books and she thinks it makes it more realistic but even she said this was just ridiculous and it decreased her enjoyment of the parts that we read.

This was the main reason I didn't read the entirety of Anything to Have You, because the characters swore way too much, I think if you had to do a count of the most frequently used word in Anything to Have You, it would be the "f" word.

Please. You're not going to earn readers by using copious amounts of language. You'll probably end up driving them away.



3). Characters who are seriously messed up with NO morals
I don't mean to be rude but the characters in this book were idiots. Immoral idiots with no self-respect.

At first I really liked Natalie, she seemed quiet, sweet and humble. In some ways I could even relate to her. Rather staying at home and reading then going out and getting completely intoxicated at parties. Later on I saw how she could be and it upset me because she seemed like a breath of fresh air, compared to Brooke anyway. Natalie is also a hypocrite, saying that she hates parties and it's stupid that girls walk around with their premature beer guts, yet she then goes and does the same thing as them. I also hate how she betrayed Brooke by sleeping around with her boyfriend. I also found that situation weird, seeing as Natalie hadn't actually been conscious when she had sex...

Brooke, Natalie's best friend was even worse. She drinks more than most guys, reveals a lot of cleavage (as you will see within the first few pages), uses an obscene word in almost every sentence and is just all-round horrible character. She was so self-centered, too. I found it disgusting how they both swore, drank and slept around. It's pathetic.

The sad thing is though, is that in reality lot of girls act like that these days. I don't really know any, but my friends come across them daily at high school. What ever happened to acting like a lady? To having respect for yourself and for others? I don't know either, but it's rare to find such a person like that, these days.

This book is about friendship, and I could see the girls had a tight friendship even though sometimes it seemed a bit one sided  and at times it seemed that they didn't care for each other, when you see how they treated each other. What Natalie did to Brooke was disgusting and well done to Brooke for forgiving her, because if my best friend did what Natalie did to Brooke, I would forgive her but I don't think I could be friends with her again. Although when I think about it again, Brooke was also a pretty rubbish friend, seeing as she forced Natalie into doing things she didn't necessarily want to do and caring mainly about herself.

The parenting in this book was freaking atrocious. Natalie's dad tells her that she should go out more, he's fine with her drinking and he thought it was sensible to sleep over at this party and rather not come home drunk. *facepalm repeatedly* How can her dad let his only daughter go to a party and let her SLEEP there where there are boys where she could do stuff and let her sleep at some random person's house that he doesn't even know?! And instead of letting her sleep there, why didn't he DRIVE there to go pick her up like a decent human being?! Another thing that irked me (not that I know if her dad was incredible naive or he just really TRUSTED her) is that Natalie didn't appreciate her dad's trust in her at all and completely took advantage of it by going and getting herself *spoiler* pregnant*spoiler* on that night! She was so stupid, really.

I don't have much to say on the romantic relationships, as I skipped half of the book, but I could immediately tell the relationship between Brooke and Aiden were forced and that there was more chemistry between Natalie and Aiden.
Aiden was alright, I would've liked him more if he didn't sleep-around and swear.

Towards the end however, you could see how much the characters had matured and how they decided to turn their lives into something better, which is good.

There is a lot of drama in Anything to Have You, and it's extremely fast-paced and interesting and I would've finished it, hadn't it been for those three factors that I mentioned earlier. There's a lot of real-life problems in this book and I guess that if a teen reads this it'll show them what they can do to not end up in a mess like the characters in this book. There's teenage pregnancy in here, cheating, drug usage, being hospitalised and excessive amounts of swearing and drinking.

Anything to Have You seemed like it was going to be a fun, light-hearted read yet I was extremely disappointed. The characters kind of disgusted me and had no idea how to treat anyone, or themselves, with respect. The friendship was written well, for the parts I read anyway. This novel had potential, but the amount of swearing and blasphemy that it contained decreased my enjoyment for this book. I didn't read the middle part of this book and I skipped to the end to see what would happen and if it was worth reading, so I can't judge the whole book. I was disappointed with what I read though. Anything to Have You could've been good but it fell flat with me and I really didn't like it. At all.





I give it: 1/5 CUPCAKES!



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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 - Wrap-up!

Bout of Books
Day 7 of the readathon! 

WE SURVIVED.

This readathon was so much fun and congratulations to us all whether or not we reached our goals! *throws confetti*


I can't believe the readathon has finally come to an end, it's been so much fun and I can't wait for the tenth one! I'm really proud as I managed to complete my goal of 12 books! (Even though they were pretty thin >.<)

On the last day of the readathon I read The Raspberry Rules by Karen McCombie and it was quite good, but I was slightly disappointed.

Here are all my updates for the readathon! :)

Updates:
Monday (Day 1):
  Total number of books read today: 1
Total number of pages read today: 175
Total number of books read in total: 1
Total number of pages read in total: 175
Books Read Today: Parties, Predicaments and Undercover Pets by Karen McCombie
Tuesday (Day 2)

  Total number of books read today: 2
Total number of pages read today: 445
Total number of books read in total: 3
Total number of pages read in total: 620

Wednesday (Day 3)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 398
Total number of books read in total: 5
Total number of pages read in total: 1018

Thursday (Day 4)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 404
Total number of books read in total: 8
Total number of pages read in total: 1422

Friday (Day 5)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 222
Total number of books read in total: 9
Total number of pages read in total: 1644
Books Read Today: Hassles, Heart-Pings! and Sad, Happy Endings by Karen McCombie

Saturday (Day 6)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 301
Total number of books read in total: 11
Total number of pages read in total: 1945

Sunday (Day 7)
  Total number of books read today:
Total number of pages read today: 285
Total number of books read in total: 12
Total number of pages read in total: 2230
Books Read Today: The Raspberry Rules by Karen McCombie
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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 - Day 6

Bout of Books
Day 6 of the readathon! 
I've read all the Ally's World books and I loved them! I've also finished The Raspberry Rules by Karen McCombie but that will be included in tomorrow's post! :)

Yesterday (Saturday, Day 6 ), I finished Sunshine, Sunburn and Not-So-Sweet Nothings and The Guided Tour to Ally's World.

Updates:
Monday (Day 1):
  Total number of books read today: 1
Total number of pages read today: 175
Total number of books read in total: 1
Total number of pages read in total: 175
Books Read Today: Parties, Predicaments and Undercover Pets by Karen McCombie
Tuesday (Day 2)
  Total number of books read today: 2
Total number of pages read today: 445
Total number of books read in total: 3
Total number of pages read in total: 620

Wednesday (Day 3)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 398
Total number of books read in total: 5
Total number of pages read in total: 1018

Thursday (Day 4)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 404
Total number of books read in total: 8
Total number of pages read in total: 1422

Friday (Day 5)
  Total number of books read today: 
Total number of pages read today: 222
Total number of books read in total: 9
Total number of pages read in total: 1644
Books Read Today: Hassles, Heart-Pings! and Sad, Happy Endings by Karen McCombie

Saturday (Day 6)
  Total number of books read today:
Total number of pages read today: 301
Total number of books read in total: 11
Total number of pages read in total: 1945
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