Friday, 14 March 2014

Exclusive Books Children's Book Event!

 

If you live in South Africa, and are near to an Exclusive Books, this would be a lovely event to take your children to! With a variety of South African heroes reading from The Dewey's Big Book Guide for Kids, they will be completely enchanted! Whilst The Dewey's Big Book Guide for Kids will entertain your kids, it will also provide them with life lessons and introduce them the wonderful world of books and reading. 

If you would like to take your child to this, it's at any Exclusive Books store in South Africa on Saturday the 29th of March and it begins at 10:00AM and ends at 10:30AM. 

This is for free, however, it would be fantastic if you could take along some stationery that will be donated to a local charity!

To view more information on this exciting event, head over to Exclusive Books Blog!
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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Review - Dante's Girl - Courtney Cole

Dante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries, #1)Title: Dante's Girl
Series: The Paradise Diaries #1
Author: Courtney Cole
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: June 22nd 2012 Lakehouse Press
Pages: 356 Pages
Source: Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book to review in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 Cupcakes!
I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring. Until this year. 
And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:
1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes. 2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise. 5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.
Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis. I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots. See the difference? 
But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl. 
My heart just might be crazy.
I received Dante's Girl to review quite a while back and it was a book that I was extremely excited about. I didn't read it as soon as I received it to review (one of my bad habits) but the other day I was looking through my e-galleys and saw it sitting there and I read the first page...and I couldn't stop reading. Dante's Girl certainly didn't disappoint, in fact, it didn't just meet my expectations, but it exceeded them. It's definitely a read that I would recommend! This is a definite must-read contemporary!

Dante's Girl is about seventeen year old Reece who is in the Amsterdam airport waiting to catch her flight to visit her father in England. When she runs - literally - into a godly looking boy named Dante and he keeps her company while they board, a freak accident happens while they're on the plane's runway about to take off and it shuts all the airports down. Reece is in a frenzy, as she has a fear of flying. She won't be able to go back home or to her dad as all airports are shut down due to volcanic ash. When the beautiful boy, Dante, tells her he can come with him on his helicopter, Reece immediately jumps at the chance.

On their way to Dante's home in Caberra, she learns that he is the son of a Prime Minister and his dad runs the Gilberti Olive farm, making him a billionaire and a prince to the people in Caberra. Reece then stays in Dante's family mansion for the summer, while the volcanic ash clears. She can't believe her luck! As she starts falling for sweet, kind Dante...and he seems to like her back she knows that they can't be together. Their worlds are too different. She's a rough and tumble girl from Kansas and he's basically a prince. She doesn't expect this summer holiday to be so magical, filled with first love, summer kisses, heart-break, rivalries and self-discovery, but that's exactly what it turns out to be.

This book was really adorable! It's the perfect summer read. Today was stifling hot and definitely had a summer vibe, so this book was perfect to read! I absolutely loved the setting. I love books which are set in Europe, even though Caberra is a fictional place, it has that perfect European feel. I would've liked slightly more description of the place, though, as sometimes I feel like the book was centred too much on the relationship and didn't really give the story room for lots of description of the setting.

I really enjoyed the writing in this book and I could really connect with it. I really appreciate that the author didn't use hectic swear words in Dante's Girl nor did she use God's name in vain a lot. I hate it when books over-use swearing/blasphemy so it was a nice surprise that this book didn't contain that. There were a few typos in this book and the tenses changed around a bit, but otherwise it was fine. I would've also liked slightly more description but it was fine without it!

I absolutely ADORED the characters in this novel. I would love to be best friends with Reece! I absolutely love her as a narrator, she has such a unique voice. She's your typical teenage girl. She gets awkward, she gawks at hot guys and sometimes gets freaked out. She is also extremely headstrong and likes doing her own things, but she also has a vulnerable side when she is with Dante. I also like that Reece wears her heart on her sleeve and will say exactly what she's thinking, which can be quite entertaining at times. Reece is a phenomenal character and I can guarantee you that you will connect with her straight away! She's absolutely hilarious and sweet and by the end of the novel she will definitely feel like your best friend.

Dante *swoons*. He is utterly amazing! So eloquent, polite, caring, thoughtful, kind, sweet and witty. Sometimes he did seem slightly too perfect, though. I loved all the things he did for Reece and he always thought of her before he thought of himself. I also felt extremely sorry for him as he had lost his mother as baby and never really met her and you could see how sad he was about that in the book. Dante is definitely one of my new favourite book-boyfriends. He is truly wonderful and he is just so amazing to Reece. You will definitely fall head over heels in love with him.

I also liked the secondary characters, such as Mia, Gavin and Becca. I adored Mia. She's so bubbly and sweet and a genuinely nice person and I adore how she took Reece under her wing. She's so rebellious and full of spark but I think she also has an air of vulnerability. I didn't see much of Gavin but I loved his mischievous character that I got glimpses of occasionally. I liked Becca towards the end, I think that she completely over-exaggerated about the thing (won't mention what) that she found in Reece's diary. She shouldn't have even been in her diary and it wasn't even a big deal. She completely over-reacted. She seemed nice towards the end though, and I would have liked to see more of an interaction between her and Reece, as they are supposed to be best friends but it didn't really seem like that when I read the book. I would've liked it if the author focused on developing friendships, as the book was focused a lot on the romance between Reece and Dante, and I would've liked to see Reece's growing relationships with other people.

The romance in this book was extremely sweet. I did think that the beginning was quite unlikely though, as they barely even spoke to each other before the accident on the runway and I doubt he would just whisk a complete stranger off. I would've liked it if the author showed them having a conversation before they boarded etc so it felt like that there was a reason for Dante to take Reece with him to Caberra. I am glad that he did though as it showed he cared and he didn't want her in danger. Like I said, I loved their relationship and you can see that they had a connection. They didn't immediately rush into a relationship and they took time to get to know each other first. Their romance was definitely swoon-worthy and Dante is such a sweetheart! I also love how they can joke around with each other and are constantly exchanging witty remarks. They're best friends in love and I love that.

The plot was good! This book moves at a fast-pace and the action begins straight away. There were quite a few unexpected things that happened that had me seriously concerned for the characters. There were some parts though that I felt that nothing much happened and sometimes the story dragged out, but I still loved it!

Dante's Girl is an absolutely delicious summer read! Full of summer love, first kisses, sunshine, European boys and gelato, Dante's Girl will have you swooning! This was such a fun read and I completely devoured this book. You will fall in love with the characters, adore the writing and be completely immersed in the fantastic story! I can't not wait to begin reading Mia's Heart and learn more of one of my favourite characters! I highly recommend this book, you will definitely fall in love with it.

*Does contain minor swear words and a sexual scene*

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

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Top Ten Tuesday #12 - Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Here are my top ten authors that I haven't yet read! I know, I'm ashamed.

 

1. John Green
Yep. I haven't read a John Green. I don't like reading books with illnesses as it saddens me and I can be quite a hypochondriac, so reading TFiOS or such would cause me to become more of a worrier. I do want to try his other books though!

2. Lauren Oliver
I have Delirium on my Kindle but for some bizarre reason I have never her books up! I've heard quite negative things on her books, so maybe that's the reason?

3. Gayle Forman
I have Just One Day and Just One Year sitting on my bookshelf but I still haven't gotten around to reading it.

4. Lauren Kate
I received Teardrop to review, I still haven't picked it up though. I have gotten Fallen out the library a few times but I don't think I'd really enjoy it because it seems a bit like Hush Hush, and I didn't enjoy that at all.

5. Lauren DeStefano
I bought Wither two years ago and it's still sitting on my shelf, unread. *looks down in shame*

6. Richelle Mead
I haven't read the Vampire Academy books. Disgusting, I know. I hate vampire books though, they're too bloody O.o I did receive the first VA book to review though...

7. Maggie Stiefvater
I've heard that her Raven Boys novel is AMAZING as well as the Shiver trilogy but I keep putting off reading her books. I do not know why -_-

8. Kiera Cass
I haven't read The Selection yet, I've been meaning to buy it and the other day, I did! So I shall be reading that very shortly!

9. Michelle Hodkin
I have heard from EVERYONE how amazing the Mara Dyer series is and I REALLY WANT TO READ IT but I can't find it anywhere! Maybe one day I shall order it from The Book Depository!

10. Rainbow Rowell
Everywhere I look I see rave reviews for Fangirl and Eleanor & Park. I LOVE contemporaries, so I will definitely be on the lookout for these!


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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Discussion: Do You Review Every Book You Read?


I've been wondering about this a lot lately,  do you review every book you read?

For me, I do. It's become a habit for me. It doesn't matter if it's a book I bought, a library book or a review book, I review every single book I read. I feel like it's my duty to. Afterall, I created this book blog to share my love of reading with others and voice my opinions on the books I have read and I've been doing this for almost two years. To be completely honest, it has become slightly tedious. I can't remember when last I read a book just for pleasure, without reviewing it afterwards, without making endless notes and spending lots of time on formatting the review and typing it up. 

There have been lots of times where I want to only review the books that I have received to review and books I have a very strong opinion on (whether it be that I loved it or hated it) but then I end up reviewing them anyway.  I feel like I have to . I'd feel guilty if I didn't. I want to share my opinions with you guys but sometimes I don't feel up to writing a review on that book. I also feel bad when I see comments on my book hauls saying  that they can't wait to see my opinion on the book, which makes me feel like I need to review it. Does anyone else have this predicament?

I also feel like I am expected to write these really well -written reviews. Publishers and authors see my reviews and as much as I would love to write fangirling, gushing reviews with an explosion of gifs, I have to hold back because I need my reviews to be professional.  My reviews I write are extremely long, in depth reviews and it gets quite tiring after a while if I'm reading book after book after book, but I want my reviews to be the best quality that they can be. Sometimes I think, why do I even write such long reviews when it seems like nobody is even reading them? It's really upsetting knowing that I've spent all my time on these reviews and sometimes I don't even get a single comment on it. I know this happens to all book bloggers and that's why I always try to leave a comment on a post I have read. Just so that the blogger knows that someone has taken time to read their post.

Reviewing every book also really slows down my reading. I need to make notes for every book I read, format the blog post, type it up, promote it and doing that can sometimes take me a day and then I've lost a whole day of reading because I have been so busy reviewing the previous book. I have this rule, where I will not start the next book until my review for the previous book has been completed. 

I find that this process is seriously depleting my love of reading and blogging and I don't want that to happen. Since I was 6 I have been a complete bookaholic and I can't remember a time of my life where I haven't loved reading and I don't want this to feel like work, because it isn't! It's a hobby. One that I love.

So I really need your opinions! Do you review every book you read? If you do, do you find it hard? If not, how does it work for you?

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February Wrap-Up and March TBR Pile


 Unfortunately, I didn't get to read as many books as I would have liked to this month, but I did manage to read a few. A lot of them being contemporaries! I've been on a bit of a contemporary binge lately and I read some really good ones! 

Do you guys like my banner I made? A lot of you know I want to be an astronomer/astrophysicist when I'm older so I decided to do a space theme for my banners, hope you like it!

Books I Read in February:
CloakedBeastly (Beastly, #1)Knowing Me, Knowing YouThe Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Secrets Of LoveDante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries, #1)I Funny: (I Funny 1)I Even Funnier (I Funny)

My favourite? Definitely Beastly, I LOVED it and couldn't stop reading it, it was flawless. I also adored TSPoLaFS and Dante's Girl! Must reads!

March TBR Pile:
*These aren't a definite...I change my mind frequently over what I want to read or not*
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)The Morning GiftThe Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2)

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