Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead Review

I love this series so much! It's been a while since I finished the Vampire Academy series (which I also loved) and my friend bought be Bloodlines for my birthday (back in October) so about a month ago I decided it was about time to start the series. I planned on reading gently throughout June because I was in the middle of my A levels, but I ended up reading the entire series.. oops. It really was worth it though because it's one of my favourite series, I feel in love with the world and characters all over again and it was amazing.

I won't do a full review  of the series but there are lots of books and therefore a lot happened, so instead I'll give a general overview of my feelings.

Synopsis ( for the first book, Bloodlines)

Sydney's blood is special. That's because she's an alchemist - one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside - and within - the school grounds. Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.  

Thoughts

I was initially hesitant going into the book after having loved the vampire academy series so much, I wasn't sure how I'd find reading about a different character, but I took to Sydney and the other characters quickly and was hooked very soon.

My favourite character was predictably Adrian. I always liked him in VA but he was a much more developed characters in this which I liked, and I enjoyed his relationship with Sydney.
I was going to say which book was favourite, but every time I think I've made a decision, I change my mind, there a such good points and storylines in each book.

Although it was a good ending, I'm still left wanting more, because there are so many storylines I want to continue (*SPOILER ALERT*) e.g. Dimitri and Rose's engagement/potential children, Neil and his son, and Eddie and Jill.

Overall, I gave this series 5/5 stars on goodreads, and highly recommend it, especially if you've read the VA series!


Thursday, 9 June 2016

'Me Before You' by JoJo Moyes Review

Hello, I'm Me Before you and I will break your heart and destroy your soul.

But seriously, if you didn't ball your eyes out at this book there must be something wrong with you, it was beautifully written, and the story was beautiful and magnificent. My mum read the book a long while ago and has been trying to make me read it ever since, but now I've read I don't know why I resisted for so long - and really wish I'd read it soon.

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)

   
'Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.'


Thoughts
There is something wonderful about Jojo Moyes' writing, where even if she is describing something trivial I still find myself entranced to the story and unable to put the book down. Many of the characters are relatable, even if the major story lines they're involved in are not. Their reactions are realistic and you can  see your self in these characters whether you've been in their particular position or not, which is always nice when you are reading a book.

It's hard to get into this book and what I think about it without spoiling anything for those who haven't read it, but it is beautiful and heart-breaking and I definitely recommend everyone reading it if you haven't already.

Spoilers...

So... I don't even know where to start. I'm still not over how good this books is. I'm going to go through the main characters first and then move onto the ending...
I loved how quirky yet normal Louisa is, living at home in a small town trying to make some money. Her relationship with Will was so well explored, and I felt as I was reading it that I was Louisa making the decisions she was making, which just demonstrates even further how well written it is. She quirky dress sense just makes me wish I dressed that like. I love how she didn't care what people thought.
Although Will's situation is not a common one, and it's hard to know how I would act if I was in his position, I feel that Jojo Moyes wrote very sensitively and made he a very real character. The two main characters and their relationship was not over romanticised which meant it was a heart wrenching love story while still portraying a realistic and tragic story.
As well as the main characters, there were a number of secondary characters who were a part of Will and Louisa's story, such as Patrick and Treena.
I couldn't stand either Patrick or Treena, but that isn't a criticism of Jojo Moyes because I think that was the point. They were both incredibly selfish characters, and both made Lou feel guilty if she did something even slightly for herself. When Treena let her parents sleep on the floor downstairs
r so her and her son could have the room was when I realised how much I disliked her, and I think Patrick was never made likable throughout the whole thing.

On to the ending... Although of course part of me wishes he'd lived, I respect Jojo Moyes' decision for him to die, because it made it realistic to the situation rather than over-romanticising his situation too much, making it about more than just their love story, which is important. The part to got me the most was Will's letter, I was sobbing so much I could barely see my page through the tears. I'm glad Louisa went to Switzerland in the end, and I'm also glad she took Will's advice and travelled to the place in Paris he told her about.

I've given this book a 5/5, and I can't wait to read the sequel 'After You' now and see what happens.


Edit

The film came out so I went to see it last week and I loved it! The portrayal of the characters was amazing, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin -  among the rest of the cast - did such a good job. Although some part were missed out (e.g. the parts I hated with Treena's character, and Lou's possible sexual abuse), I thought they did a great job at showing the key moments of the story such as the horse racing and the holiday and the ending. There was quite a bit of comedy in there as well, quite a few comedic lines had been added in that I really enjoyed, and I just think overall they did a really great job and I was so impressed!







Sunday, 7 February 2016

'The Sin Eater's Daughter' by Melinda Salisbury

'The Sin Eater's Daughter' by Melinda Salisbury

I bought this book last year after my friend recommended it to me, and I finally decided to start reading it at the end of last month, because her second book 'The Sleeping Prince' was being released (IT'S OUT NOW!!), and she was coming to my city on her book tour, so me and my friend booked tickets and I got reading. (P.S. I never actually got to meet her, as my friend couldn't make it, but next time hopefully!). My aforementioned friend had been nagging me to start this book for months, telling me how crazy and dramatic and exciting it was, and I was dismissive initially, but promised I'd read it at some point, and boy am I glad I did! Everything she said is completely true, it's all of those things, with twists and shocking moments and cute and romantic moments and I couldn't put it down. Before I get into the nitty gritty, I'll give you a synopsis, and a further little summary of what I thought, then I'll get into the spoilers and the craziness!

Synopsis/Summary

'I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.


Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.


Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...'


The book has so many aspects to it that I liked. Twylla, the protagonist, was a well written and complex character, I like how she was strong, yet still vulnerable, I found that that made her relatable and realistic. Similarly, all of the characters are extremely complex, which made the story very exciting, but also meant it was more believable. The story lines and relationships between the characters were also very complex and interesting, particularly Twylla's relationships with the rest of the characters e.g Leif, Merek and the Queen. Over all, the novel was extremely well written, and I found that it was well paced, as it never felt rushed, yet I didn't find myself bored at any point. I would certainly recommend the book that anyone who loved young adult fantasy, especially for fans of books such as the 'Throne of Glass' series.

Spoilers...

I highly suggest that if you're yet to read the book, that you stop reading about now - if you haven't already. I'm not going to discuss everything that happened, just some of the bigger things that happened - mostly towards to end.

Firstly, and very importantly is... Leif/Twylla or Merek/Twylla!?
As I said previously, Melinda is very good at adding complexity to the relationships and characters, and rather than making one man good and the other not so much, both men have their flaws and both their good points, so I was constantly changing my mind.
Merek seemed sweet to Twylla, and he was interested in her music, but then sometimes ignored her, and he was quite rude to Leif occasionally. Whereas Leif was also sweet, and seemed dedicated to Twylla, he was strong and protective and wanted to run away with her. Both seemed to want to looked after her, which I thought was nice, but it also made it hard for me to choose. Although I liked Merek, I thought I had come to the decision that I shipped Leif and Twylla, however at the end everything I believed shifted.
After it was revealed that Twylla was not in fact poisonous, and when Merek was apologising for not telling her, and then when Leif asked her to run away, I found that although I thought I shipped Leif and Twylla, I didn't want her leave with him, and to leave Merek behind. This was of course furthered when Leif's lies were revealed, and I was shocked and slightly heartbroken, but at the same time I was slightly relieved that they weren't going to run away together and leave Merek.

On the theme of romance and love triangles, I like the fact that when Twylla had the choice between these two men who loved her, she doesn't choose either. I love that she is a strong independent women, and doesn't need either of the men - although Merek does need her, so I'm glad she made the promise to help him when the Sleeping Prince comes.

I also liked the character of the Queen (obviously I didn't actually like her, but I enjoyed reading about her, she made the story interesting/exciting). I understand that she was ever so slightly insane, and the fact she planned on marrying her son repulsed me, but I still liked that she was so strong and powerful, and I like the drama she brought with the whole sleeping prince, pied piper (technically the 'bringer' but it was pretty much the pied piper) and killing the king. I also found it interesting that we never learnt her name, even though she was referred to by the King (also unnamed) and Merek, who in a normal situation, as her son and husband would have certainly called her by her name at least once (but I mean I guess she was evil and they hated her and all that...).


I've read quite a few reviews on goodreads since I finished the book, and I'm surprised that I found so many negative reviews, because I loved this book so much, and I can't wait to read The Sleeping Prince. I've given this book 4.5 stars (5 stars on goodreads, but .5 isn't an option so I rounded up), and 100% recommend it! xo

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Where I Get My Books

So today's post is a bit different. I just thought I'd talk a bit about where I get my books from (both hard copy and kindle version) and about good websites and cheapest copies and all the jazz. Buying a new book is always a commitment because they can sometimes be quite expensive, so I always look around for the best prices. I thought I'd share this today with you because you might not no of all these websites.

I'll start with buying hard copies of a book. A lot of the time I end up just buying a book from Waterstones because I love going into the shop and looking at all the vast shelves and choosing out a book (they always have a buy one get one half price table which comes in handy). However there are other places I go, and when I'm book shopping on line, I almost never order books from waterstones.

1. The Works
The first alternative shop I look at is 'The Works'. I think this might only be a shop that's available in Britain, so sorry if you're from elsewhere, but it is very good. It isn't only a book shop, and it has a lot of stationary and things also, but primarily its a cheap book shop. It has some books for a £1 (though not often particularly good ones) and has a 3 for £5 offer on a lot of the books. I used to find a lot of book deal there however recently the books don't seem to be as good anymore. Online, however, I believe they still have a lot of decent books for a good price, so I recommend anyone from Britain checking them out.

2. Charity Shops
You can find charity shops anywhere, and generally the bigger the city or town the more charity shops you'll find. You're not always guaranteed to find a good book, but me and my friends have a pretty good success rate in charity shops so I definitely recommend giving it a ago (and the beauty of them is that the books change a lot even day to day so you can visit two times in the same week or month and find completely different books) and of course they are very cheap. P.S almost every charity shop I go in tends to have at least one Harry Potter, Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey book in it, so if that's what you're looking for GO TO A CHARITY SHOP.

3. W H Smiths
So I don't go to WHSmiths as much as I used to anymore, as the prices are similar to waterstones, however they do sometimes have some good offers on and online the prices are sometimes cheaper.

4. Book Depositary.
Book Depositary is a wonderful website that has tons of books (generally cheaper than their normal price) and the shipping is free everywhere (AND YOU GET A FREE BOOKMARK) I've only fairly recently discovered this website, but I love it!

5. Supermarkets
I find that in the supermarket stores themselves there isn't often a very good selection of books and I rarely find any on there, however on the websites there are a lot more books at really good prices. Although I don't use supermarket websites that often (because of all the other websites mentioned) they can be very good for getting books cheaply.

6. Finally... Amazon.
So this is quite an obvious one, and I sure everyone already uses Amazon, so i'm not going to say to much about it. If you spend over £10 on books you get free delivery which is good, and I've found it comes really quickly (recently I.ve had loads that say 3-5 working days that have actually come the next day).

Now on to Kindle books. Because Kindle is created by Amazon the books I buy come from amazon, and the prices on amazon are generally pretty good, howveer there is one website that I use to help me out...

7. Bookbub.
Bookbub is a website that you sign up to and you put in details of the genres and types of books you like to read and then each day you get an email with a few free or very cheap (99p or £1.99) books that you might like, and then you click on it and it takes you to the amazon website. I have got a lot of books that sound really good, for free that's to this website. They're normally not very well known ones that I haven't heard of before, but that's good too, because you discover more books.

Thank you for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it will be helpful to you in your book buying future!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Top 5 Stand- Alones

Hello again! I've only done one 'Top 5' post in the past, so I thought it would be fun to do another one now. The list I've chosen to do today is Top 5 Stand Alone novels. I've read quite a lot of stand alones, and so it was extremely difficult for me to choose just 5 (especially as the likes of John Green and Rainbow Rowell have written a lot of stand alones that I read and loved) but I managed to choose 5 in the end and here the are:


1. Paper Towns by John Green.
I love all of John Green's books (well the 4 I've read anyway) but I decided to only choose one by him for this list. This was a very difficult choice for me between 'Paper Town' and 'The Fault in our Stars', but I came to a decision. If you haven't read this book I highly recommend it, because its mysterious, adventurous and fun and I just could not put it down!


2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
As with John Green, I limited myself to only one Rainbow Rowell book which was once again very difficult, and I still not 100% convinced I made the right choice. Fangirl is such a relatable book and I think that's probably why I loved it so much. Once again its a fairly light, fun and very real story. I would definitely recommend this to any fangirl/fanboy out there who I'm sure would also relate to it as I did.

3. We Were Liars by E.Lockhart
I love this book so much! It was intense and full of suspense and full of twists and surprises. You think you have an idea of what might be happening and you get theories but then the end just comes out of nowhere and completely shocks you. It is honestly what of the cleverest and most incredible books I've ever read.

4. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan
What can I say, it's a cute romance novel set in New York at Christmas (I mean is there anything better). The idea of the dare book adds an interesting twist on your average romance novel making it more exciting to read. It got me completely in the wintery Christmas mood, and I cant wait to re read it when December comes!

5. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I had quite a few options for this last slot (including 'Gone Girl' and 'A Monster Calls') but I went with 'The Perk of Being A Wallflower' (and not juts because Logan Lerman's in the film). I loved that the book dealt with very real problems such as not fitting in and mental health but didn't glamourize them. It made me think a lot and left a lasting impression on me, and I read it very quickly.

Hope you enjoyed that! Bye xo

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Taylor Swift Book Tag

HEYYYY! I haven't written a blogpost in a while but Because I got into a stage where I got lazy about doing everything but I'm trying to start doing things again and get more organised, starting with this blog.
The two things I love most in the world are books and Taylor swift, so you can imagine how happy I was when I discover the Taylor Swift Book tag! So here it goes: 


1. We are never ever getting back together. Pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with - I don't know what to say for this one, I don't think I can actually think of one I've stopped liking...
2. Red. Pick a book with a RED cover - An Abundance of Katherine's by John Green
3. The Best Day. Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic - I'm going to have to go with Twilight and the hunger games, because although I read books before, these are the series' that got me into collecting books and everything and I read them both a long time ago:)
4. Love Story. Pick a book with forbidden love - hmmmm, I guess a lot do, but I'm going to go with Vampire Academy for dimitri and rose's relationship (spoiler alert but I not that much of a spoiler really)
5. I Knew You Were Trouble. Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love - There are a lot of these (I always seem to fall for the bad guy) but I'm going to go with the every controversial choice of Sebastian morganstern from The Mortal Instruments Series . I would say he's one of my favourite male characters or anything but he's one of my favourite villains and I do love him.
6. Innocent. Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for - I have weak will power so I often saw a lot of spoiler before I finished true book, but one that someone spoiled that wasn't my fault was 'City of Glass' (*******SPOILER ALERT*******) where you find out jace and clary aren't really related. One of friends forgot I hadn't read that bit and let it slip, but I had suspected it a bit so it wasn't that bad.
7. Everything has changed. Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development - Two words. Will Herondale. I don't want to go into too much detail - both because it's three books worth and also it's a big spoiler - but he's beautiful and adorable and just my favourite  character.
8. You Belong With Me. Pick your most anticipated book release - I was going to say Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas  which is due to come out on the 1st September, but I preordered it and it
came today (2 days early) which is incredibly exciting!!
9.Forever and Always. Pick your favourite book couple - YOU CANT ASK ME THESE QUESTIONS. This is so hard I don't even know if I can choose so I might list a couple : 
-  Wessa (Will and Tessa from The Infernal Devices)
- Yelena and Valek from The Chronicles of Ixia
- Sizzy (Simon and Izzy from The Mortal Instruments)
10. Come Back, Be Here. Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much - I'm not sure if I'd necessarily 'miss' any too much, but I'm going to say Landline by Rainbow Rowell because it's signed so I'd be scared of not getting it back.










Saturday, 30 May 2015

'Paper Towns' by John Green Review

'Paper Towns' by John Green Reviews

Before I started this book, I'd read 3 books by John Green , 'The Fault in Our Stars' being my favourite, and I was adamant that it was going to say that way, however this book has changed my mind, and pushed The Fault in Our Stars into second place. The is something about the writing in all of John Green's books where you enjoy even if there's not much happening, however Paper Towns didn't have many moments like that, as the excitement and sense of adventure continued right to the end.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6442769-paper-towns?from_search=true&search_version=serviceMy Spoiler-free opinions:

Not only were the plot and writing consistently brilliant, but the characters were also likable and relatable. The beauty of many/most of John Green's characters is that they aren't "hollywoodised", but they are very real, you can relate to what they do and say and some of the situations they are in, and you can imagine them being one of your friends or someone you know. Q, Ben and Radar's friendship is amazing and immature, and exactly like a friendship being 3 teenage boys is like, and Lacey -despite initially appearing slightly like a shallow girly girl who is idealized by Ben - becomes one of my favourite characters as her character is developed and becomes more complex. A key idea in the novel is the idea that things and people are not necessarily who they appear to be on the surface, and also the idea of idealising people so that they become someone else entirely. Over all, the book kept me interested all the way through due to the mystery and suspense, and the series of adventures were very exciting and fun to read.

Spoilery "analysis"

Although most of what I'm going to say is not massively spoilery, I always think it's nicer to go into a book not knowing what's going to happen, even the little things, therefore I've separated these sections.
While some things they did were obviously fairly unrealisitic - as is the way with fiction- such as skipping graduation to spontaneously drive about 20 hours to New York, I found those bits the most exciting to read and didn't care that it most probably never would have happened (because really, how many things that happen in  books are ever really likely to happen in real life?)
I loved Margo's list of things that she and Q did, and I thought that would be the most exciting adventurous part, however the bit I loved the most was when Q, Lacey, Radar and Ben went on their road trip, and Radar had everything timed so perfectly, and they had to rush around the petrol station with their list of things to collect.
I also thought that the whole idea of the Paper Towns that were used in Cartography for copyrighting was very interesting and well used in this novel by John Green to add to the mystery and complexity of Margo Roth Spiegelman.
Finally is the ending. I always think it's hard to be satisfied by and ending because if it's a cliff-hanger then you're angry and want more, but if it's a happily-ever-after, you're disappointed and want more, but John Green did it well here. I liked the fact that Margo had actually been escaping, and that she is angry at them for coming. Although my reaction was something like Lacey's at the time, looking back it was clever and added a nice twist. I also liked Q's realisation at the end that , what I see as a message in the novel, understanding the person Margo really is and actually seeing her as a real and equal person rather than the pedestaled person he saw her as through her clues and the exterior she chose to show.


Overall I give this book 5/5 stars and definitely recommend it. It is a quick, fun read , and is not only my favourite John Green book, but one of my favourite books overall.

P.S. I'm also super excited to see the film, because the trailer and the cast looks fab