Monday, 30 June 2014

June Wrap-Up!


Books Read in June:

I actually had a pretty good reading month! I read 9 books (which is pretty good for me) and I loved most of them!
1. Boy Nobody - Allen Zadoff  (5/5)
This book was incredible! I think I finished it in one or two days and I literally couldn't put it down. The ending shocked me and almost reduced me to tears, the plot was phenomenal as was the writing and it was just so incredibly fast-paced and amazing.

2. City of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare (2/5)
You might've seen my DNF review for this book as I hated it when I was reading it the first time and I couldn't bring myself to finish it, but I decided to read the last 100 pages or so that I didn't read and I've finished it. Still don't like it.

This novel was incredibly cute and I loved the whole idea behind it and it was really adorable!

4. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Gargia and Margaret Stohl (5/5)
I loved this book! I'd heard so many negative things about it, but I actually really loved it!

5. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (5/5)
My first time reading this book and I loved it. It shattered me and it broke my heart but it also made me laugh and think about life. It was so good!

6. Wake - Amanda Hocking (4/5)
I read Switched by Amanda Hocking last year and I hated it, so I was scared reading this one. I loved it, though, and I'm excited to read the next book in the series!

7. Finding Violet Park - Jenny Valentine (3/5)
This book was very average, nothing much actually happened, the characters were quite dull and it just didn't satisfy me.

8. Just One Day - Gayle Forman (4/5)
I LOVED this book and I am currently reading the sequel. I loved reading about Allyson's journey to discover herself and to find answers and GAH - SO GOOD!

9. This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen (4/5)
I generally don't like reading Sarah Dessen's novels. When I started this I almost DNFed it, but from 45% it started picking up and I really enjoyed it! 


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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Review - The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Series: N/A
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: January 1st 2012, Dutton Books
Pages: 313 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Exclusive Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. 
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
(Highlight between the words *SPOILER* if you would like to read them. One of the paragraphs contains spoilers and I have stated that. The spoiler paragraph is over when you see ***.)


Yes, I finally read it. I finally decided to (despite being a hypochondriac of note) read The Fault in Our Stars, the book that everyone seems to have read, and loved. I was afraid going into it, I don't like reading sad stories or books that have been too hyped. With The Fault in the Stars, however, I made a good choice. This book was flawless. From the moment I began reading, I felt an instant connection to the story. I was enthralled, engrossed and completely absorbed in this magical, romantic, harrowing tale that John Green so beautifully crafted. The Fault in Our Stars was every bit phenomenal as I was hoping it would be. I am utterly in love with this book.

I feel as if I am the last person on Earth to read this book and that all that could possibly be said about it has been said. However, I will try to gather my wits about me and form a coherent review that will express just how I feel about this masterpiece. "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations," Augustus once said, and this is how I feel right now, sitting in front of my computer, quite speechless.

The Fault in Our Stars is about sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, at the age of thirteen. Three years later and she is still alive, her life has been temporarily prolonged by a miracle drug, but Hazel feels dead inside and is swimming in clinical depression. She then starts attending the Cancer Support Group and meets the gorgeous, clever Augustus Waters. Lover of life, video games and objects that have a deeper metaphorical meaning. When Hazel felt this was the end of her life...it was actually just the beginning.


This book was truly amazing. It produced deep emotions within me and it broke my heart then haphazardly stitched it back up and then mercilessly crushed it again. Even as I think of the beautiful characters that inhabited the story and now my heart, the tears well up. Never before has a book made me so emotional and made me want to laugh and cry and think about the true meaning of life and what it's like to actually live. John Green, you're a literary genius.


You know sometimes when you look at your bookshelf and you just feel an irresistible pull towards a book that you've been waiting for the right moment to read? And you know, you just know that now is the right moment? That happened with me and The Fault in our Stars. I just knew that now was the right time to read it. I've put off reading this book for so long due to it being about cancer that I regret not reading it sooner. I regret not reading it sooner because as soon as I opened the book I just clicked with it, completely so that the connection I had with the book felt nearly tangible. I immediately fell in love with the story and, the characters and the writing - right from the first page. I flew through the pages and I literally couldn't put it down. This book is every single synonym for beautiful.


The characters in this book were so fleshed out, so real. They had flaws and it made me love them to an even fuller extent. Hazel was tenacious, she had such a dry sense of  humour and she was relatable, funny and honest. She's wise and brave and I admire her. She accepts the truth about her medical condition and she's just such an amazing, snarky person who I could see me becoming best friends with. 


Augustus Waters. Unlike Hazel, I fell in love with him at once. I love the way he spoke about life and death and wanting to leave a legacy. He was amazing. He was such a wonderful friend and so optimistic during most of the novel, despite his and Hazel's situations. I can't quite describe just how much I love him.


Hazel and Gus's relationship was absolutely magical. They could have these deep and meaningful conversations about books, dying, cancer and living. The dialogue between them was always scintillating and intelligent and never failed to make me laugh. Their love was extraordinary and you could just tell how much they loved and cared for each other. You can clearly see how they realised they didn't have an infinite amount of days and they appreciated and cherished every second spent in the other's company. 


The secondary characters were just as amazing. I absolutely loved Isaac and the friendship he, Hazel and Gus shared. Gus was such a good friend to Isaac and vice versa. It absolutely obliterated me when Isaac said *SPOILER*he'd rather stay blind then see the world without his best friend.*SPOILER* I'm getting teary-eyed again so I'll round up this review shortly. I also loved Hazel's parents and the relationship that they all had with each other.


The story in itself was simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming and John Green combined them perfectly. I love every single part of this novel, although the ending left me completely emotional. However, even though the ending made me sob, I appreciate that John Green wrote it like that. It addresses the fact perfectly that what was happening to Hazel and Gus does also happen in real life and that not everything has a happy ending. 



Spoilers:

I accidentally stumbled upon spoilers and I braced myself for the ending, but it still broke my heart. The deterioration physically and mentally with Augustus was evident and he really fought hard to hold on to life as much as possible. My heart continued breaking when he said how he hated himself and was disgusted with himself, he hated that the cancer came back and that he couldn't fight it. Hazel was so strong and amazing and she was constantly by his side. I admire her for that - I would be a weeping mess. His death had such an impact on me and here I am, two weeks later, still sitting here and thinking about it. I don't know if I will ever recover from the emotional damage that this magnificent story inflicted upon me. 



***

The Fault in Our Stars is a spectacular book which deals with a tender subject in an honest and captivating way. The witty dialogue was realistic, beautiful and more often than not, perfectly hilarious. The imperfect characters made me fall in love with the story even more so. John Green is a phenomenal writer and he writes with an honest, sincere voice and doesn't sugarcoat what people with medical conditions actually have to go through. His writing is raw and unflinching. The Fault in Our Stars broke my heart, it melted it and it taught me to be thankful for my life and my health, including that of my family and friends. This novel is powerful, captivating and indescribably beautiful. Emotional and beautifully crafted. John Green blends joyfulness and sorrowfulness together perfectly and I was on an emotional roller coaster ride (not one that only goes up, though). 


One of my all-time favourites and a book that everyone should read. And Augustus? You did leave a mark in this world.


Okay?

Okay.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review - Wake - Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong #1)Title: Wake
Series: Watersong #1
Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: Young Adult, Mythological, Paranormal Fantasy
Publication: July 24th 2012, St. Martins Griffin
Pages: 309 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending me this in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 Cupcakes!
Enter the world of Amanda Hocking's Watersong, a place of breathtaking beauty, immortal power—and terrifying secrets.

Gemma Fisher seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now she’s falling harder for him every day.  But Gemma doesn’t know that her ordinary life is about to change forever.

Penn, Lexi and Thea are strangers in town for the summer—and they’ve been watching her.  Three sisters with mysterious powers, they invite Gemma to join their exclusive circle, and it changes her in ways she never imagined.  Suddenly she’s stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price.  And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
I received Wake a couple of months back to review, it sounded fantastic and it had a gorgeous cover! I was hesitant to read it, though, as I had read one of Amanda Hocking's books in the past and I wasn't as fond of it as I hoped I would be. However, last week I picked up Wake, and with much trepidation, I started to read it and I am extremely glad to say that I was hooked. I flew through the pages, I was devouring the words at an alarming rate and I was ferociously reading as much as I could before I had to go to bed. Wake had me completely and utterly enthralled. I was immensely surprised at how much I adored this novel. I am eagerly anticipating the second book in the series.
 
Wake centers around quite a few characters, it is told in third person which I don't generally like, but for this novel it works. There is sixteen year old Gemma, who is brave, determined and has an insatiable hunger for the ocean. There is Gemma's older sister, Harper, fiercely protective of her sister, level-headed and ready to fend off anything that might harm her family. Then there are the mysterious, alluring and striking three girls that have arrived in the little beach town for the summer; Penn, Thea and Lexi. All strikingly-gorgeous, all perfectly-seeming. However, Gemma and Harper believe that there is something dark about them.  Something sinister lies behind those eyes. When Gemma goes for her nightly swim to the bay and encounters the girls, she is discovered bruised and battered in the morning – nearly dead. However, the bruises heal unnaturally fast and Gemma is stronger, faster and even more gorgeous than she previously was. She doesn't want to be this way. But now that she is, there are only two choices...stay with the sirens – or be a prisoner of death. 
 
This book was fantastic. I am a sucker for books that are to do with mermaid mythology and although this isn't your standard mermaid novel, I absolutely adored it. There were one or two things that slightly decreased my overall enjoyment of this novel but it was such a fun, exciting read nonetheless!
 
I really liked the characters. Gemma was reckless, she was stubborn and determined and too proud to ask for help, yet I still liked her. She was an interesting character with lots of spunk and I am excited to see her character grow throughout the series. I absolutely adored Harper, who reminded me of me. She's more quiet and protective and she thinks things through clearly before proceeding with the action, unlike Gemma. Her character reminded me a lot of Laurel's from the TV series, Arrow. I really admired Harper for continuously trying to help her sister and to talk to her and find out her predicament. Harper views herself as a weak character but I saw the steely determination when she needed to protect her sister and I'm really looking forward to reading more about her.
 
The love interests in this book were swoon-worthy. There is no dreaded love triangle, each of the girl's have a singular potential love interest. Gemma is in love with Alex, Harper's best friend. And Harper herself isn't interested in a love life when she'll be going to college soon and will have to leave behind her boyfriend anyway. However, she is slowly becoming friends with Daniel, a boy who lives near the docks. As mysteries start surrounding the little beach town, Daniel seems to be the only person she can lean on.

I loved Harper and Daniel's friendship, there's definitely chemistry between them and I just adore them together. I love Daniel! He's so laid-back and has such a fantastic sense of humour and I loved reading about how he slowly got Harper to trust him.

Alex was extremely sweet and goofy, however, I felt that his and Gemma's relationship was quite awkward and I didn't see a proper connection form between the two of them, hopefully in the second book though.

The Sirens, Penn, Thea and Lexi weren't like the innocent mermaids in the books you were to as a child: they were vicious, manipulative, deadly and savage. Quite frankly, they nearly gave me nightmares. Penn is the main one and she is violent and she manipulates people and she is horrendous. I liked Lexi, although I use that term very, very, loosely, she was probably the nicest one out of the Sirens...if you can even label any of them as nice. I'm quite interested in learning more about Thea, I don't think she enjoys doing what she does and I think maybe further on in the series there could be a bit of a dominance battle between her and Penn. These three girls are vicious and dangerous and they eat humans, they're not like a person's childhood beliefs of mermaids.

Some people might find the pacing quite slow, but I thought it was perfect. The more mythological aspects are only introduced in the second half of the novel, and the first half of the novel helps us to become acquainted with the characters. I liked how the first half of the novel was spent showing me the characters' lives before it drastically changed - it left more of an impact on me as a reader.The plot really intrigued me, there was a murder mystery element as an undercurrent to the novel. Three boys have gone missing and one of the characters was one we were introduced to, however, the resolution didn't surprise me at all and I had already guessed what had happened. This novel was quite predictable but I'm hoping the next three books will be more shocking and have more mystery and surprises woven through it.

One thing I did have a problem with, is that sometimes the dialogue/writing seemed unnatural and didn't flow well. There were times when it seemed quite forced. Penn was a mean girl cliché with a mythological twist and when she was being bossy and manipulative (like she is) towards Gemma, the dialogue was cliché and it seemed like the dialogue you would find in a typical American high school movie. I also found that there were some phrases that could be quite repetitive. One example being when Hocking described the way Penn spoke. She stated two or three times that Penn spoke with a "silky smooth baby voice", not the exact words but something along those lines and I'm not really too fond of it when an author repeats the exact same phrase throughout a novel.

I really loved the mythological twist on this novel, I loved how there was mystery, mythology and contemporary elements interwoven throughout the story and it blended together smoothly to create a highly entertaining novel. I absolutely loved the take on Sirens and how they're quite sinister. It was interesting to read about a different mythological creature instead of vampires/angels.

I had a fantastic reading experience with Wake. I was completely hooked and I read more than half in one sitting, which doesn't happen often as I'm generally a slow reader. I loved the sinister twist Hocking spun on Sirens and I loved reading about their desire for the seaa and just learning more about Sirens as a whole. I liked the characters and the developing romance between Harper and Daniel, I need to see a spark between Alex and Gemma though, as I wasn't entirely feeling their relationship. I highly recommend Wake and I am extremely excited to see where the author takes the story! The perfect summer read with a dark feel to it that will keep even the most reluctant of readers intrigued.

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

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Monday, 23 June 2014

It's Monday! What are you Reading? #6

 
Hosted by Book Journey!
 
 This Lullaby
I'm not a fan of Sarah Dessen's books, I read Dreamland and The Moon and More last year and the year before and I really didn't enjoy them. Everyone raves about her books though and I am determined to find one that I really enjoy! This Lullaby is getting better, I almost DNFed it though as I didn't like the main character who was so cynical and messed up her life just because her mom kept remarrying.

Finding Violet ParkWake (Watersong #1)
I really enjoyed reading Wake! It was so much fun! Review to come soon. Finding Violet Park was an average read, the ending was very rushed, there was practically no description and I just didn't enjoy it unfortunately.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

I've been meaning to read both of these but I've been on a contemporary kick but now I'm in the mood for some fantasy - looking forward to these! 
 
What are you currently reading?
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Friday, 20 June 2014

Stacking the Shelves #63

Stacking the Shelves

Helloooooo! It's the weekend! Time for lots of reading and blogging and bookishness! YAY!


This is my new favourite GIF, I just love it.

ANYWAY.

I have kind of been on a Netgalley-requesting-library-hopping binge and I have quite a few books to show you from the last two weeks.

BEHOLD, THE BEAUTIFUL, SPLENDIFEROUS BOOOOOOOOOKS:

Aren't they gorgeous? They are, admit it. *strokes shiny covers*



I got the bottom 7 books from the library WHICH I AM SO EXCITED FOR!!! DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, BOY NOBODY GAAAHHHH. I have heard nothing but good things about Laini's books and I read the first few pages and me think I'm going to likey.

I received extra copies of The Fearless, Seven Second Delay and Urgle so a giveaway shall be coming your way shortly ;) I might make it international but postage is so expensiveeee.

Then from Netgalley I got the following:
Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea #1)Disruption (the Cambridge files, Book 1)The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2)We Were Liars

I am SO, SO, SO, SOOOO EXCITED for these! Threats of Sky and Sea and Disruption look amazing. I LOVED the first Lockwood & Co book, so I am excited to read this one and I've heard that We Were Liars is mind-blowing. 

Leave me a link in the comments and I'll head over to your post! :)


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Bookish Giveaway!

Hi!

It's GIVEAWAY TIME!


I was contacted to run a giveaway on my blog promoting Enid Blyton's beloved Secret Seven books. There is a fantastic prize to be won - you can enter below.

THE PRIZE:
5 sets of the Secret Seven books and secret Seven Club packs. The packs include pencils, badges and a poster!

THE RULES:

1. You must be over 13 to enter, or have your parent's consent.
2. This is for people located in the UK ONLY.
3. You must have a legit mailing address to receive your prize.

There are a few ways you can earn entries. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Review - Rooftoppers - Katherine Rundell

RooftoppersTitle: Rooftoppers
Series: N/A
Author: Katherine Rundell
Genre: Middle-Grade
Publication: February 26th 2013
Pages: 288 Pages
Source: Thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for sending me this in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 Cupcakes!
Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has - the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers - urchins who live in the sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie's mother before she is caught and sent back to London, and most importantly before she loses hope.
Before I was offered a chance to review this, I hadn't heard of Rooftoppers before but I'm so glad that I did and that I had a chance to become acquainted with this charming novel! This is one of the most unique books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I adored everything about it and I think it's a book I will definitely be re-reading in the future!

Rooftoppers is an incredibly unique novel about Sophie, a girl with hair the colour of lightning, who was found as a baby floating down the English Channel in a cello case, by an incredibly kind intellectual named Charles Maxim. Eleven years later and Sophie is twelve. She is tall, has an unrelenting love for literature, has a habit of breaking plates, so she eats off an Atlas instead and is extremely skillful at the cello. Sophie loves her life and she loves living with Charles, who has taught her so many things, but Sophie still can't help but wonder about her mother, who she was told had died on the Queen Mary, the ship that went down, causing Sophie to float down the Channel in a cello case. Sophie doesn't believe her mother died, she believes she's still out there. There was no list of the people who died or survived and she knows that it's possible her mom is out there, and, as Charles taught her, never ignore a possible.

When they are visited by social workers who think it's inappropriate for a young lady to be brought up by a single man, stating they'll be there in 2 days to collect Sophie for the orphanage, Sophie and Charles are heartbroken and destitute. But then Sophie finds a clue to where she might find her mother, Charles agrees to her plan and off they travel to Paris.

Whilst they're there, they find several clues that Sophie believes leads to her mother. She also befriends a young French boy called Matteo, who is a rooftopper. A boy who never walks the ground but instead travels and lives among the Parisian rooftops. As he takes Sophie under his wing, she makes several friends, learns to live like a rooftopper and discovers important things about herself, all whilst having a beautiful of Paris.

This book truly is original. I absolutely loved the idea of these kids escaping these prison-like orphanages and living among the rooftops and trees, living near the sky and staying away from the ground. I loved the descriptions in this book, they were absolutely gorgeous. The way she described Sophie and Charles just made me fall absolutely head-over-heels in love with the characters! She describes them in the way which I found similar to the way Stephanie Perkins does. They both give the reader little facts about the characters which makes it seem more personal and more like you actually know them. I absolutely adored learning about their little characteristics and I just fell completely in love with these loveable, realistic characters.

Sophie is definitely one of my new favourite characters and I think for any little, or not so little, girl reading this book, I think she's a great role model. She is loyal, brave, knowledgeable, adventurous and positive. She never gives up hope no matter how frequently people dismiss her ideas and wonderings. She is unflinching and will do whatever she needs to do in order to accomplish what she set out to do. I love how she plays the cello like a pro and her love for literature, it's something I can relate to. She is just such a brave, clever, determined little girl and I think anyone who reads this book will love Sophie.

I absolutely adore Charles, he is so amazing and we need more people like him in this world. He is an avid reader, teaches Sophie all the things one needs to know, he believes in just loving a child and letting them have their own free will but not to the extent where they become brats. He is so kind, polite, wise and understanding. He's such a fantastic character!

Matteo was a character which I couldn't always quite figure out. I liked him, but I sometimes found him to be offish with Sophie, which is understandable, as he doesn't often speak to people who aren't rooftoppers. I just wish he had been more open with her and more easy-going. He obviously liked her though yet I just wish he expressed it more. I didn't fall in love with Matteo but I respected him and perhaps that's what the author intended.

I was also introduced to Safi and Anastasia, two sisters who live among the treetops. I liked them and I'd love to hear more of their stories, and of their background, as well as Gerard's.

The interactions between the characters were impeccable. I adore Charles' and Sophie's relationship. The way they write letters on the wall to each other and eat their dinner off an atlas or such and read the book afterwards was also interesting, although I could never put food intentionally on a book! They had such a trusting, honest relationship and it was beautiful. Finally, a book written with proper parental involvement!

Sophie and Matteo's relationship was one I, at first, couldn't quite decipher. Matteo didn't really show that many emotions until later on, so it made me feel a bit unsure about him. I did, however, start to warm up to his and Sophie's relationship. They way they slowly started to trust each other and Matteo's evident, begrudging admiration towards Sophie's roaring bravery was wonderful.

This novel is fairly short, yet the author paced the story extremely well. I really appreciated how she first let me be properly introduced to the characters and informing me of their little quirks and their backgrounds and then she let the mother-hunting begin. This book had a very relaxed feel and I loved it. There wasn't an urgent, frantic feeling behind it (unless there was a cop/social worker scene) and it was relaxed and peaceful. It had this beautiful, happy, mellow feel about it that one can relish in. Towards the middle it felt slightly slow and like not much happened, but it soon picked up. My only complaint is that the ending was slightly abrupt and I wanted more! I wanted to view the reactions in depth and read more on this next stage in Sophie's life. I'm begging for a sequel or a companion novel!

The writing added even more of a beautiful quality to this remarkable novel. The author has a distinctive writing style, I love the beautiful descriptions that often had such an effect on me. The idea for this novel was genius. I loved it from the beginning and I could tell I was in for an extraordinary novel when the first page consisted of little Sophie, wrapped in a sheet of symphony paper in a cello case, floating down the river after the ship she was on sank.

This novel was just so light-hearted and so extremely fun. The characters were lovable and unique and quirky and I just completely fell in love with them all! Matteo took me awhile to warm up to but once I did, I quite liked him! The idea of these children jumping from rooftop to rooftop and living near the sky and seeing the view of Paris was just so original and I loved every minute of it. I highly recommend this novel to people from the age of 7 and upwards. It's a perfect novel for people of any age and one that many will cherish for years to come. I loved this novel, it was absolutely indescribable and amazing. Read it, please.

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!


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Monday, 16 June 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #16 - Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List


Because it is winter here in the African continent, I will be doing a list of the top ten books on my TBR list! In winter I love reading paranormal, dystopian and wintery-themed contemporaries. Any recommendations would be highly appreciated! :)

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List:
The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2)Disruption (the Cambridge files, Book 1)Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea #1)The Stepsister's TaleDaughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Don't Even Think About ItSiaSplintered (Splintered, #1)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)Wake (Watersong #1)

These are the main books on my winter TBR pile, which one would you recommend I read first? :) I am so excited for all of these!
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #5

 
Hosted by Book Journey!
 
Finding Violet Park 
I read one of Jenny Valentine's books back when I was around ten and I remember enjoying it. The synopsis is quite vague but I know it's a mystery novel and one that is also about self-discvovery.
The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)The Fault in Our StarsCity of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)
I had so much fun reading The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place! It was cute, quirky and humourous! Can't wait to pick up the sequels :) The Fault in Our Stars was AMAZING, I was a sobbing mess, I can't believe I didn't read it sooner. I read the last 100 pages of City of Fallen Angels as I had previously DNFed it, I will be continuing with the series all though my love for it slightly pattered out in this book.

Wake (Watersong #1)
I'm excited to read this! I love mermaid books/books that take place in the sea, so I'm looking forward to it. I was going to read More Than This by Patrick Ness next but I decided to put that on hold as apparently there are some graphic descriptions of violence and stuff in there and I hate reading stuff with that kinda things in.
 
What are you currently reading?
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Thursday, 12 June 2014

What's Next? #15

*Blurbs taken from Goodreads*

This wonderful meme is hosted by IceyBooks! I never know what to read next and it would be much appreciation if you guys commented on what you think my next read should be! 

1. Wake - Amanda Hocking 
Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
2. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling -  Maryrose Wood
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

3. City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare
 What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review - Boy Nobody - Allen Zendoff

Boy Nobody (Boy Nobody, #1)Title: Boy Nobody
Series: The Unknown Assassin #1
Author: Allen Zadoff
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publication: April 25th 2013, Orchard Books
Pages: 352 Pages, Paperback
Source: From the library, but I will be buying my own copy!
Rating: 5/5
Who is Boy Nobody?
The perennial new kid at school:New town, new name... new mission.
The perfect assassin:Kill your target and move on.No fear. No sympathy. No remorse.
But this time is different. The stakes are deadlier. The memories are surfacing. And Boy Nobody is about to find out who he really is.
(Highlight white space to read spoilers)
Wow. That is all I can say. I never read thrillers, I'm not too fond of them, but when I saw this my interest was piqued and I decided to try it out. I am so glad I did! Boy Nobody was fast-paced, exhilarating and suspenseful and I couldn't recommend it more!

Boy Nobody is about a sixteen year old boy who was trained by The Program and is an assassin. His parents were killed when he was twelve by one of his friends working with The Program. Taken in by them, he is given the choice whether to live and become an assassin, or die. Four years later and he's one of the best of his kind. He shows no remorse, he's intelligent and he finishes the job quickly, then moves onto the next assignment.

When he is assigned with a high profile assignment of killing the Mayor of New York, Ben (his name for this assignment) isn't expecting it to be hard. Just like the rest of his previous jobs, maybe with a bit more factors to consider, but a job he has been doing for years, nonetheless. The Mayor is guilty of something and he deserves to die, anyone who is his target is guilty of something. Things, however, get complicated when he genuinely begins to fall for Samara "Sam", the Mayor's teenage daughter. Originally, Ben spends time with Samara "Sam" just to get closer to the Mayor, but as the days fly by Ben realises he's slowly starting to really like Sam and it's getting harder for him to take her dad away from her when she's already lost her mom. Although Ben loves spending time with her, he knows it's dangerous, Sam makes him start questioning things about The Program and his lifestyle, which he can't comprehend. However, when Ben appoints Howard, the school's nerd, to hack into the Mayor's files, things are revealed that no one could've suspected. Not even one of the best assassins...Ben.

This book was INCREDIBLE and I am waiting in eager anticipation for the sequel to be released, nine more days! This book made my heart pound, my jaw drop and tears fall. The ending shocked me and although the person was a villain, I couldn't help being sad when the person died. The characters were believable and I felt a connection to each of them.

Ben had such a tragic childhood that turned him into this person who feels nothing, who is strong and confident, shows no remorse, asks no questions. I love how the author slowly revealed Ben's childhood and there are some unanswered questions at the end of the books that makes me even more incredibly excited for the sequel. I loved Ben's character, and although he is an assassin, he doesn't kill anyone violently or out of rage, but instead only the people who are harming the safety of America. The author portrayed Ben as a sixteen year old in a very realistic light. He noticed girls and he wasn't afraid to make them aware of that fact. I'm really hoping that in the sequel we'll learn even more about his childhood that has shaped them into the person he is today. I loved reading as slowly the author peeled that hard layer off from around his heart, even if it was only a little bit. It was interesting seeing him cope with these new feelings and thoughts. I really like Ben and I'm excited to see more of his character development in the sequel

Another character I liked throughout most of the book was Sam, she was headstrong, rebellious, passionate and she spoke her mind. She was a very complicated character and the author wrote her extremely well. *spoiler* Despite the terrible things she did, I was sad when she died. I could see her and Ben really connected. She was just so troubled and it shaped her into the person who made horrible decisions. I felt so sorry for Ben as I didn't want him to be the one to kill her and I was shocked when he actually did.*spoiler over*

I liked the romance, it would be considered instalove as the story is set over four days from when him and Sam meet, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. The author wrote it very well and paced it extremely well. There was no "instant in-loveness" but instead the four days really showed how they interacted and learned stuff about each other.

I really liked the mayor as well, he seemed like a genuinely nice character and I was constantly pleading in my head that he wouldn't die. I can't really say more though, as it would be spoilery.

Howard was also a great character, the social outcast because of a disgusting thing he did back in ninth grade, but funny and extremely clever and I hope to see more of him in the next book.

The plot was amazing, as well as the pacing. I started this book at 8 in the morning on Sunday and by the time it was 8:45, I was already almost on page 100. I  generally never read a book so fast, but with this one, I did. I made sure to finish it on Monday though and not on Sunday as I wanted to story to last. I didn't want it to end at all! There was a plot twist at the end of the book which I wasn't really expecting, but due to a reviewer slightly spoiling it in her review, I knew the character had something to do with it. You really could sense that lingering feeling of apprehension that comes with not knowing if you really can trust someone and it added to the eery, slightly dark, atmosphere.

I also appreciated that the author didn't make this book gruesome. Ben was an assassin but he wasn't cruel or bloodthirsty and each of his targets were people who were involved in something to do with harming the American economy/population. I also preferred that Ben didn't take to bloodily murdering someone but instead gave them a quick injection which was painless and happened in within 4-6 seconds. So, thank you to the author for not creating a gruesome thriller.

I highly recommend this book, I barely ever read thriller novels but Boy Nobody may just have altered my viewpoint on the genre. I was completely absorbed in the book, the action scenes were written extremely well and I could picture everything with a  pure clarity in my head as if I were watching a movie. The characters were complicated and they were human and they all had their issues, but I loved most of them. This novel was raw and touching in some places and I was nearly in tears at the end. I couldn't believe the character was behind that and as much as it was wrong of the person, I had still grown to like them throughout the novel. I quite liked the romance and I would've liked to see more of it, as Sam and Ben were quite suited. Both trying to escape from the memories of a shattered past and looking into a dire future, they were both complicated characters but they were very realistic and it made me love them even more!

Boy Nobody was a gripping, enthralling novel that I highly recommend to anyone.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!


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