29 December 2014

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Title: Let It Snow
Author: John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
Pages: 354
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Book Description:
Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.





My Opinion:
This book was adorable and romantic and a perfect read for this holiday season. I'm not usually a romance reader but this was a great start to trying something new and I look forward to reading more from this genre! Below are 3 short reviews of each story:

The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson
116 pages
This was the first story in the book. I thought it was a fabulous start to the novel. I loved the characters and I liked the mystery behind Stuart. Considering there wasn't much space for mystery and intensity (because it was only a short story) I think the author did a great job of keeping me hooked! I found it a little predictable but I realise that with romances there isn't much space to expand and be unique, especially in a limited amount of pages!

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green
90 pages
In all honesty, John Green's contribution was the main reason I picked this book up. This was my favourite short story out of the three because it was humorous and light-hearted. I loved the characters and was so happy at the ending! It was a little tense at scenes but I enjoyed that because it made me want to keep reading. This story was similarly predictable but that is canceled out by the awesome plot.

The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle
137 pagesI really liked the final story to the collection. By the title, I was unsure of what to expect but then I found it was sad and funny and all round wonderful! It had a really unexpected ending and it was a really creative way of connecting the dots and linking the stories together. When I was reading the second story I saw how it linked with the first story and I thought it was so lovely how they all connected at the end. It did get a little bit confusing with all of the characters but it was done really well so I can't complain :)

Overall all the short stories in this novel were really well written and creative. I loved each of the short stories and would definitely recommend it if you're looking to get into the festive spirit!


Favourite Quotes:


No one is perfect, behind every facade of perfection is a writhing mess of subterfuge and secret sorrows

~~~~

I knew it was beautiful but knowing something is beautiful and caring about it are two very different things

~~~~

It's not what the universe gives us that matters. It's what we give the universe

~~~~

I may have been a complete lunatic, but I was a complete lunatic with manners

~~~~

Christmas is never over, unless you want it to be... Christmas is a state of mind




Rating ★ 
5 out of 5 stars

  Next book I'm going to review:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

23 December 2014

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Title: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
Author: Roddy Doyle
Pages: 282
Genre: Contemporary
Book Description: 
In Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize-winning novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, an Irish lad named Paddy rampages through the streets of Barrytown with a pack of like-minded hooligans, playing cowboys and Indians, etching their names in wet concrete, and setting fires. Roddy Doyle has captured the sensations and speech patterns of preadolescents with consummate skill, and managed to do so without resorting to sentimentality. Paddy Clarke and his friends are not bad boys; they're just a little bit restless. They're always taking sides, bullying each other, and secretly wishing they didn't have to. All they want is for something--anything--to happen.





My Opinion:
I really didn't enjoy this book. I had to read it for college, so I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I saw it in a bookshop but I persevered and finished it.

When I first opened the book I noticed that the font was almost in bold. This is probably just because of the copy I bought but it was still irritating. Secondly, the writing style is very annoying because the author doesn't use speech marks. Instead they indent using dashes when someone is speaking; this I found very frustrating although unique... Lastly, there were no chapters which I personally disliked because I always ended up having to stop at random places.

The story line was very slow paced and nothing really happened. There was no climax and all we heard about was Paddy's adventures with his friends. I have to admit some of these stories and adventures were entertaining but in general they were all pretty boring.

I did like how it was written in the perspective of a child. This is quite difficult to do and I think the author successfully managed to create Paddy's voice in a captivating manner. Not many novels are written in younger children's voices so I do enjoy novels where this has been done well.

The other part I liked was the ending. It was a happy end and I liked how we finally understand what the title means (the Ha Ha Ha part)

Overall I wouldn't recommend this book. It's good if you want to read something that doesn't have a set plot and is very casual but there are more things I disliked than liked.


Favourite Quotes:


I was the ref. I was the ref they didn’t know about. Deaf and dumb. Invisible as a wall. I wanted no one to win

~~~~

I jumped on Sinbad's bottle. Nothing happened. I didn't do it again. Sometimes when nothing happened it was really getting ready to happen



Rating ★ 
 2 out of 5 stars

Next book I'm going to review:
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

15 December 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 210
Genre: Young Adult
Book Description: 
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.


My Opinion:
I prefer to read the books before I watch the films and I have been wanting to watch the movie adaption of this novel for so long now that I finally decided to just pick up the book and read it. I can happily say I enjoyed it!

I think the beginning was really well written and I was hooked straight away. I always find books where the protagonist is in between worlds really fascinating because it gives us a sense of what it's like beyond death and during unconsciousness. (The Lovely Bones is a similar book like this, also very good, I must add!)
I also liked the flashbacks as Mia began thinking about previous moments in her life and how certain things triggered certain memories.
Another interesting factor of the book was that there weren't any set chapters. The author used times to separate scenes and I think this was a nice touch as it added to the realness of the situation. These were also quite short which meant I could read short sections when I had little time to kill.
I thought the ending was very creative. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but I really enjoyed Gayle's take on switching bodies and resurrection. All authors have a different perspective on this and it was interesting to see how Gayle would portray this in his writing.

The only thing I disliked was the pace. I thought this book was quite slow since not much happened but there were a lot of descriptions which added to the length. I understand it was mainly about Mia's internal monologue and her flashbacks but I felt like the book could have ended sooner...

Altogether this was a lovely and easy YA novel which is perfect for all young adult fans and reader. I look forward to watching the film and I'll certainly be picking up the sequel, Where She Went!

Favourite Quotes:


I'm not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I'm not sure that I want to wake up

~~~~

Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that's what it's like, I wouldn't mind

~~~~

It's quiet now. So quiet you can almost hear other people's dreams.

~~~~

When you feel sad, you look sad

~~~~

We are like Humpty Dumpty and all these king's horses and all these king's men cannot put us back together again

~~~~

Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you




Rating ★ 
4 out of 5 stars 

Next book I'm going to review:
Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

10 December 2014

The Christmas Gift Guide Tag


I was tagged by my lovely friend Blessie over at Mischievous Reads. Thank you!
This tag was created by Crazy For YA so here are a few tips on how to make your version of the tag easier:
1) Pick at least one book/series for each category
2) Spread some holiday cheer by tagging at least 3 bloggers
3) Add your link to the original post

So, with that out the way, let's get on with the tag!


FOR THE YA CONTEMPORARY LOVER


FOR THE FANTASY LOVER


FOR THE ROMANCE LOVER


FOR THE MUSIC LOVER


FOR THE SCI-FI LOVER


FOR THE MYSTERY THRILLER LOVER


FOR THE CHRISTMAS LOVER



FOR EVERYBODY



So there you have it; plenty of books I recommend. If you read any I'd love to know what you thought!

My tagged bloggers are:
Sabrina @ Sabrina's Stories




8 December 2014

1984 by George Orwell

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Pages: 326
Genre: History, Dystopian, Science-Fiction, Classic
Book Description:
While 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely that ever.1984 presents a "negative utopia", that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world — so powerful that it's completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.






My Opinion:
It's a love-hate thing with this novel. There were some really intriguing and intense scenes but there were also sections that bored me a lot.

Firstly, this book took me a while to get into. Around Part 2 was when I began to want to read on but up until then the story was just bearable.
Then, 3/4 of the way through part 2 I found myself getting very bored and actually skimming parts of the novel. There was just too much description and it was only describing the background to Oceania... I realise that the background did need to be explained but it lasted for too long.

However, there was a huge twist that I was no expecting at the end of this part which I guess makes up for the boring facts beforehand. The surprise was really successful and intrigued me a lot. Part 3 was definitely my favourite section because everything was wrapped up very nicely. I think the book ended very well and everything was explained.

The main thing I enjoyed was the creativity of the story line. I find it fascinating that someone can imagine this new and unique dystopia where everyone is hateful and horrid to each other. So much thinking and planning must have gone into creating this world it because it's mindblowing and so much detail has been included in the novel. There's even a section at the end which explains Newspeak!

I'm not really into Sci-Fi novels (if this counts as part of that genre) so I thought I'd give it a go and honestly it wasn't the genre that irritated me... So if one good thing came from this I know I'll be reading more from this genre!

When you think about it, this future George Orwell predicted has sort of come to existence. Camera's do watch our every move and there's so much war and, it may not be to the extent he believed, but it is evolving... I think people need to read this and experience the realisation I've just had about life and the future... Wow it's scary haha!

Although I did enjoy this book, it doesn't make me want to read anything else by him. I really enjoyed Animal Farm (review for that is here) but overall this wasn't as good. It was a more creative idea but more difficult to follow. I would recommend it to people who have the patience to bear with it or people who are a fan of Orwell's novels because it wasn't bad... just not my cup of tea:)

Favourite Quotes:


"We shall meet in a place where there is no darkness"

~~~~

He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear

~~~~

There was no such thing as happiness

~~~~

We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future

~~~~

It's a little chunk of history that they've forgotten to alter. It's a message from a hundred years ago, if one knew how to read it

~~~~

War not only accomplishes the necessary destruction but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way

~~~~

It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody

~~~~

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four




 Rating ★ 
3 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
If I stay by Gayle Forman

1 December 2014

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Title: The Perks of being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Pages: 231
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Book Description:
Charlie is a freshman.

And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.



My Opinion:
I really, really liked this book. The characters were amazing, the plot was lovely and unique and the quotes throughout this novel were on point!

I loved how this was written because it was so relatable and I'm pretty sure most people have felt the same way as Charlie. All of the characters were lovely too. Patrick or Nobody was probably my second favourite character because he was so gay and hilarious.

This novel was very well written and the plot was amazing. I loved how each character had their story to tell and how accurately it shows teenagers. The characters haven't been exaggerated or anything; they are fair and honest and the plot captures this so well. I am also a huge Rocky Horror fan so I also loved how that was weaved in.

The only thing I disliked about this novel was the fact that it was written in a diary format. This is a personal opinion only because I'm not a huge fan of entire novels written in the style of a diary. Although this factor doesn't affect the story line or characters, if it wasn't written like this I'd probably have given it a full 5/5 stars...
This book reminded me a lot of It's Kind of a Funny Story (my review for this is here) and I felt like the story line's were very similar. It may be it's because I read the novel by Ned Vizzini first but I just saw the story line as something that's been done before. Nevertheless I loved it and there were some unique twists and characters!

I would recommend this to anyone because anyone can relate and it's such a feel good book. That characters and plot are amazing and Chbosky is an amazing writer. I can't wait to read more novels from him!


Favourite Quotes: 
We accept the love we think we deserve

~~~~

Let's go be psychos together

~~~~

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite

~~~~

He's a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.
I didn't think anyone noticed me

~~~~

I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be

~~~~

I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other



Rating ★
4 out of 5 stars


This film was such an awesome take on the novel. The actors were so well cast (Emma Watson and Logan Lerman tho...) and they didn't really change anything about the book; I hate it when directors change the story line of a book they're basing the film on ugh! I would probably give the film 5/5 stars and I certainly recommend you watch it as well.


 Next book I'm going to review:
1984 by George Orwell

22 November 2014

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green
Pages: 308
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Book Description:
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans.






My Opinion: 
Another fabulous novel from John Green. It was humorous and lighthearted and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After reading The Fault in out Stars and Looking for Alaska, I was expecting this to be another amazing but sad novel. This was not the case! Will Grayson X2 was funny and relatable and showed the life of teenagers clearly and accurately. The novel was filled with passionate and true quotes and I was very sad to finish it.

My favourite part had the be the ending. It was so caring and I felt like everything added up. I liked the second Will Grayson the best just because I could relate to him more and I see myself in him a lot! Tiny was another really lovely character and I felt them come alive in the pages (wow how cheesy...)

The only thing I didn't like, was the grammar for the second Will Grayson. There were no capital letters (it was meant to be that way!) and I understand it defined the two Will's but that is just something that gets on my nerves a lot. There was nothing wrong with the plot or the characters, they were all really well written, it was just the punctuation hahaa :)

Altogether this was another amazing book by one of my favourite authors. He never fails to let me down :) I would recommend this is anyone, whatever age, because it puts you in the mind of boys which is funny (if you'e a girl) and shows the true struggle and happiness of teenagers. Anyone can relate to this.
The last book I have to read by him is an Abundance of Katherine's so I'll definitely be picking that up soon.


Favourite Quotes: 

why is it upset? shouldn't it be downset?

~~~~

His problems are so huge that your can hide behind them

~~~~

i am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me.

~~~~

Some people have lives. Some people have music.
And some people have neither

~~~~

If you don't say the honest thing, it never becomes true



 Rating ★ 
 4 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

10 November 2014

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Pages: 115
Genre: Political, History, Classic
Book Description: 
Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/ communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.





My Opinion:

I really really enjoyed this book. I've been wanting to read it for such a long time now and I'm so pleased I've finally got round to it. It was actually quite a short novel so I read it in less than a week!
I think this book was really well written. I loved the story line and seeing how everything began to change and crumble. The characters were really creative and funny and I enjoyed finding out what happened to them as the story continued.

The only problem I had with this book was the amount of characters addressed on the second page. Only a few of them were really important and I found it difficult to keep up with which animal had which name etc. However this could just be me...

I knew the background of this novel before reading it; about how it was like a metaphor for the politics in Russia. I don't find politics very interested and I don't know much about it so I tried to keep this in mind as I was reading but didn't get that aspect until the end.

Linking to this, I really enjoyed the ending. It was so well written and the last quote was really powerful! A wonderful end to a wonderful book.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone. Preferably older people just because you might not understand some of the language and terms but generally it's great for all ages. I felt like I learned a lot by reading this book and everyone should read this classic at least once :)
I'm certainly going to be picking up 1984 and reading that soon!


Favourite Quotes:

All men are enemies. All animals are comrades

~~~~

Four legs good, two legs bad

~~~~


The only good human being is a dead one

~~~~

All men are enemies. All animals are comrades

~~~~

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

~~~~

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which



Rating 
4 out of 5 stars

Next book I'm going to review:
Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green

2 November 2014

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Title: Orphan Train
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Pages: 273
Genre: Contemporary, Historical
Book Description:
The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.
Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.
Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both.




My Opinion: 
Before I start can we all take a moment to appreciate how lovely this cover is?! I love the bars on the left side because it gives the effect of a train door and it just looks amazing! Plus the copy I have is hardback so it actually feels like I'm opening a train door omg it's beautiful >.<
Anyway...

I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I enjoyed the story-line and how each chapter switched between Molly and Vivian. I felt like this book was a real eye-opener and I feel like I've learned a lot. This book made me realise how lucky I am and how cruel the world can be sometimes... But it does have a lovely ending! There's a lot of history weaved in these pages and I enjoyed that since I like history anyway.

However the book was a little heavy and overall, not much happened. I didn't want to put the book down however there was not much to the story. I found this book quite slow... although a lot happened and I did read it quickly. The chapters were long but not a lot happened in them.
I liked how the narrator changed between the characters, but I didn't like how the tense changed between third person and first person. (See what I am... Love-hate relationship here!)

This novel started off really well. The beginning was powerful and upsetting but made me want to read on. But as I got nearer the middle of the book I felt that curiousness disappear and I didn't really want to read on... But I also didn't want to stop reading...

Overall I think this book had its ups and downs. The writing didn't keep me intrigued yet the story was powerful. I think the idea of this book was probably better than it is written down. I wouldn't recommend it but if you're just looking for a new and unique book to read, this is it :)


Favourite Quotes: 

My entire life has felt like chance. Random moments of loss and connection. This is the first one that feels, instead, like fate

~~~~

Sitting in the empty classroom after school one day, Molly stares at that face for a long time, looking for answers to questions she doesn't know how to ask

~~~~

So I am learning to pretend, to smile and nod, to display empathy I do not feel. I am learning to pass, to look like everyone else, even though I feel broken inside

~~~~

I feel abandoned and forgotten, dropped into misery worse than my own

~~~~

They're the ones who haunt us. The ones who have left us behind




 Rating ★ 
3 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
Animal Farm by George Orwell

26 October 2014

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Title: The Bloody Chamber
Author: Angela Carter
Pages: 126
Genre: Gothic, Fantasy, Fairytale, Dark, Short Stories
Book Description: 
The Bloody Chamber (or The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories) is an anthology of short fiction by Angela Carter. All of the stories share a common theme of being closely based upon fairy tales or folk tales. From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.



My Opinion: 
So I was lent this collection of short stories by my English teacher as further reading for my college course and I have mixed feelings about it... There was a selection of 10 short stories, all under the genre of gothic fiction.
To make this easier, I'm going to write a short paragraph about each story (like a mini review)

1) The Bloody Chamber
34 Pages (longest story in the book)
I found this story really intriguing but quite creepy. It was about a woman who had recently married a man, she didn't even really like, to find out he was hiding a gruesome secret. The descriptions provided were really gothic and I enjoyed that factor but it took me a while to get into this story... I had to keep coming back to it but I persevered and found the ending wonderfully unexpected!

2) The Courtship of Mr Lyon
11 Pages
This was probably my favourite story from the collection! It was about a father who got caught in a snow storm and found a house when he was seeking for shelter. His daughter had asked for a pure white rose, one he found in the garden of this mysterious house. The father stole the rose but there were serious consequences that followed. I loved the Beauty and the Beast aspect hidden inside the story and the characters were lovely!

3) The Tiger's Bride
17 Pages
This was about a man who took the form of a tiger. He hated his appearance so acted like a man by wearing mens clothes and a mask which only exposed his eyes. The father of a beautiful girl places a bet against the tiger, but loses and similarly has to face the following consequences. I found this very similar to the story before but it was still a nice read. I thought the ending was quite ambiguous but I still liked it.

4) Puss-In-Boots
17 Pages
I didn't really enjoy this fairy tale. It included a cat called Puss, who became a young man's valet. He did many chores for him and they got on well until Puss's master fell in love. Puss hates this and plots against his master. The events after this were gothic and strange. I found this story quite hard to keep up with and didn't like it as much as some of the previous stories.

5) The Erl-King
8 Pages
This was another one of the few stories from the collection that I enjoyed. It was about a king who lived in a hut in the middle of a forest. He eats plants and sometimes animals. The narrator visits the Erl King to learn about his life and have sex with him. One day the girl realises the King's plans for her and a troubling turn of events occur... What I loved was how Red Riding Hood was weaved into this story. It was nice to come across symbolic quotes from the story like 'what big eyes you have.'

6) The Snow Child
2 Pages (Maybe not even that...)
Another one of my favourite stories! It was short and sweet and involved aspects of 'The Snow Child' from the Grimm Brothers fairy tale (which is one of my favourites!) It's about a Count and Countess who are travelling on hours through the winter when they come across a naked girl. The Count has an attraction to the girl and takes her on his horse but the Countess becomes jealous and tries to trick the girl so she can kill her. I really enjoyed the ending too.

7) The Lady of the House of Love
15 Pages
This story was about Vampires and I liked that aspect of it. However I didn't really understand what was happening, and I had to keep coming back to it because I got bored so I didn't find this addition very interesting... I also liked how Jack and the Beanstalk was incorporated into it including quotes like 'fee fie fo fum!'

8) The Werewolf
2 Pages (The shortest story in the collection)
I really enjoyed this very short story. I was gothic and unexpected and had features of Little Red Riding Hood. I think it had a good moral to the story even if it was quite twisted... The main thing I liked was it's uniqueness

9) The Company of Wolves
9 Pages
This story also involved Red Riding Hood but it wasn't as good as the previous one. It's about how ruthless wolves are and talks about a blond girl visiting her grandmother. She is armed with a knife but is not afraid. She meets a man on her journey and they become trusting friends. He challenges the girl to see who can get to her grandmother's house first, however when the girl arrives (after the man) she is caught in a rather awkward situation... I liked the idea of the story, but it wasn't as well written as some of the others.

10) Wolf-Alice
8 Pages
This was about a female child who is raised by wolves. One day humans find her sleeping with her mother and take her to be treated like a human with the nuns. They cannot break her from her animalistic habits however she begins to notice how different she is compared to other people. I liked the idea of the wolf-human but I found the story line quite odd and confusing.


Overall

I felt like if I didn't have to read the book and if I wasn't going to be questioned on it, I would have put it down relatively early on... It's also a quick read, I read this in a matter of days, which was probably another reason why I continued reading... I think this is a good book to just pick up at random times are the stories are all short and easy to read, so you could just read one every once in a while. However if I was to recommend the book, I'd advise 16+ because there was some strong language and many sex scenes. There were some really lovely chapter but I personally found that there was more bad chapters than good.


Favourite Quotes: 

A lily. Possessed of strange, ominous calm of a sentient vegetable, like one of those cobra-headed, funereal lilies whose white sheaths are curled out of a flesh as thick and tensely yielding to the touch as vellum

~~~~

There is not much in the autumn wood to make you smile but it is not yet, not quite yet the saddest time of the year.

~~~~

A young girl would go into the wood as trustingly as Red Riding Hood to her granny's house but this light admits no ambiguities and, here, she will be trapped in her own illusion because everything in the wood is exactly as it seems

~~~~

The beautiful queen of vampires sits all alone in her dark, high house under the eyes of the portraits of her demented and atrocious ancestors

~~~~

She is so beautiful and unnatural; her beauty is an abnormality, a deformity
Her beauty is a symptom of her disorder, of her soullessness.

~~~~

Be he alive or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread

~~~~

She herself is a haunted house

~~~~

Fear and flee the wold; for, worst of all, the wolf may be more than he seems



 Rating 
 2 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

21 October 2014

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Title: Frankenstein
Author: Mary Shelley
Pages: 265 
Genre: Classic, Gothic, Horror, Fantasy
Book Description: 
At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.








 My Opinion: 
This is another novel I was advised to read for English but I also wanted to read this myself and boy am I glad I did! When I was reading this I really wasn't expecting what I got from this novel - in a good way!

People who think the monster is called
Frankenstein get on my nerves!
The main thing that surprised me was the storyline. Before reading this, all I knew was that a scientist created a monster which he lost control of and went round killing everyone. But after reading this I am really surprised at how much more there was to this book than I thought; it's so underestimated! The copy I read was split into 3 volumes, one of which was under the point of view of the monster himself! (The monster isn't called Frankenstein. (Victor) Frankenstein is the name of the man that creates the monster... ) I had no idea this was even in the book so it was really interesting to hear his background and side of the story - as I said, totally unexpected!

Linking to this, I really enjoyed the sub-stories within the main story. For example, the monster's background and his story as well as the sailor's story and his letters at the beginning and end of the novel. And then there's Victor's story which is mainly what the novel is about. This was a lovely touch that I didn't know existed until I read the book...

Another thing I liked about the book was that the English is easier to read than other classics. Because this book wasn't published as late as other classics, the language is relatively modern (there's still a few words I had to look up the definition of) meaning it's a good book for those people that want to get into classics but want an easier novel to start with.

I was recommend this book to literally anyone. If you like gothic/horror genres, read it. If you want to try somethign new, read it. If you're interested in starting classic novels, read it. This is such a well known novel that should be read because it is so underestimated!
There are many film versions of the novel... I've seen the oldest film version and that was a very accurate interpretation but there's a few more modern films too...

If you decide to read this, or have read it, please let me know what you thought! I'd love to hear your opinion :)


 Favourite Quotes: 
Thus ended a day memorable to me: it decided my future destiny.

~~~~

'Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart'

~~~~

Darkness had no effect upon my fancy and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm.

~~~~

When you read their writings, life appears to consist in a warm sun and a garden of roses, in the smiles and frowns of a fair enemy, and the fire that consumes your own heart

~~~~

I do not fear to die

~~~~

Nothing is more painful to a human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty, which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear

~~~~

Our house was the house of mourning

~~~~

A dream has power to poison sleep

~~~~

Am I thought to be the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me?





 Rating ★ 
4 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

16 October 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins Tag!




Firstly I want to thank Olivia over at Olivia's Catastrophe for tagging me! 
I think this tag is very fitting considering Halloween is almost here so good timing haha :) All you have to do is answer the questions... So, let's get started:


1.) Greed: What is the most expensive book in your library, and what is the most inexpensive?


The most expensive book I own is my Grimm's book of Fairytales! It's a beautiful hardback and cost £25! :O However it was a gift so I didn't have to pay for it...
(I have a blog post about this book, which you can view here)
The cheapest book I own is a really old copy of Oliver Twist which I got from an antique store for £1.75!  I wish books were still that cheap :'(


2.) Wrath: Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

That's easy: Ellen Hopkins, I have read a few of her books (The review for Identical is also on my blog) and I love her themes and writing style, but it can take me a while to get into her books. And sometimes verse writing gets on my nerves... but her books are definitely worth the read if you're into that sort of genre!

3.) Gluttony: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over again, with no remorse whatsoever?


The Book Thief. I have read this book twice now and it is still amazing! I swear every single time I read it the book just gets better and better and I notice more things I didn't notice the first time around! The quotes in that book are also amazing, so relatable<3 (I seem to have done a book review on half of the books I'm mentioning here... If you're interested you can check it out haha)

4.) Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness? 


I started reading Gulliver's Travels a while back but I got bored and put it down. I will probably come back to reading it in the future because it's a classic novel that I really want to read but it just didn't have any speech in it and wasn't the sort of genre I like reading anyway so I gave up...

5.) Pride: What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?


I've read quite a lot of classic novels like Pride and Prejudice and Dracula etc so I like to talk about those as the language can be quite difficult:)

6.) Lust: What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?


Anyone that makes me laugh is straight away attractive. I love male characters that are good looking, intelligent and adventurous but also a little bit protective of the female character...

7.) Envy: What books would you most like to receive as a gift?


There's a collection of similar books to the Grimm's fairytales book I own which are absolutely gorgeous and probably very expensive... The main one I want is Edgar Allan Poe's complete poems and stories but there are loads of them that I want! I want to build up a collection and they're just beautiful omg look at this:
Here is an example of the Alice and Wonderland version!
















They all have shiny pages and covers and they're hardbacks and I want them all but no money... hint hint!



Here are the lovely people I will be tagging:

Mallory @ Mallory Books
Belle and Cassie @ Fangirling Misses

10 October 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 552
Genre: Fantasy, History
Book Description:
It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids - as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.




My Opinion:
EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.
I read this book a couple of years ago for the first time and I loved it. When I heard there was a film coming out, I wanted to re-read it so I have the novel fresh in my mind before seeing the film. And guess what? I loved it even more the second time.

I find that when you read a book more than once, you always notice things you never saw before, like quotes or questions or just a really great description you didn't fully appreciate reading it the first time around. I felt like that with this book.

I think what I loved most about this book was the style of writing. I loved how the narrator uses colours to describe dying, just at the very beginning of the novel! From then on I think the format and style were so creative; the short and unique definitions at the beginning of the chapters, the descriptions, everything. The narrator was an wonderfully unusual choice and it just gave the novel that extra uniqueness. I really enjoyed how Death was telling Liesel's story and it was so interesting finding out his opinion of the situation. In life, I don't tend to think of death as a person, so this idea opened many doors for me and made me think deeply about the feelings this character portrays.

The characters were really well written and I felt like I could connect with each and every one of them. This book is quite long,but it's worth it because we as an audience get to see how Liesel grows and gets used to life in Germany with her new family. We get to meet her friends, and see how she stands up for what she believes in. Liesel was such a wonderful character, I hope in the movie she is played just as well as she was written in the book.

I was hooked with this book from the very first chapter. The heartache is shown straight away in the second chapter and from then onwards there's romance and knowledge and more sadness... But it doesn't matter because this book is amazing!

I would recommend this book to anyone. It includes history, romance, heartache, mystery and the characters are just phenomenal. There is so much more I want to say but 1) spoilers and 2) this review would never end otherwise ;) To sum it up, I'd happily read this book a third time!


I think Markus Zusak is a genius. I haven't read any of his other novels but they're on my TBR list... If anyone has read any specific books and would like to recommend them to me please let me know in the comments and I'll reply asap! The main book I want to read is I am the Messenger - thoughts?


 Favourite Quotes: 


She slept a lot and didn't dream, and on most occasions she was sorry to wake up

~~~~

The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy who loves you

~~~~

Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not hat they say. Just in what they are.

~~~~

I have hated the words and I have loved them and, I hope I have made them right

~~~~
Even death has a heart

~~~~

Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it

~~~~

If your eyed could speak, what would they say?

~~~~

I am haunted by humans




 Rating ★
 5 out of 5 stars


A recent film has just come out based on this novel. I haven't actually seen it yet but it looks amazing! Plus I loved Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech so I have a feeling he's going to be fabulous in this one too!
Here's the trailer if you're interested:



Next book I'm going to review:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

6 October 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


I've been nominated by the lovely Tika over at fANGIRLconfessions! Thanks for the tag!
Let's begin!

Like all other tags and blogger award, there are a few rules:

1) Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their site
2) Post the award's logo on your blog
3) Answer the 10 questions you've been asked
4) Nominate 10 bloggers
5) Set 10 new questions for your nominees


Tika's Questions:

1) What is your least favourite book at the moment?

This is such a hard question because recently I haven't read any books that I've disliked... I'd have to go with

2) What is ONE book you're read this year that you worth a re-read?

I would definitely re-read The Book Thief! I've already read this novel twice (once last year and once this year) and I have to say it's one of my favourite books everrrrrr

3) If I asked you to recommend me any book of your choosing, what would it be? * I'm kinda looking for recs to find more books to read lmao *

I'd recommend anything by John Green (if you haven't already read all his novels) and I love The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath! (It's one of those classic books you have to read at least once in your life)

4) If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be? Why?

I don't know if this is a generic answer or just silly but I'd love to be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice! I think it would be so interesting to get a taster of what life was like back then and Mr Darcy is gorgeous!<3<3

5) What's your favorite meal?

Sushi or Chinese food<3

6) Hardback, Paperback, or E-copy?

I prefer physical copies of books so either a hardback or paperback are fine with me! I don't tend to buy hardbacks often as they're so expensive now so I guess I prefer paperback copies...

7) Name 2 books you've given a negative review to this year. In ONE sentence tell me why. * hehehehe, some of you guys know how evil I get with these questions lmao *

Since I've only been blogging for 2 months I haven't written any negative reviews yet but I'm sure there will be one eventually...

8) If I gave you a lighter a told you to set 3 books that you share a love/hate relationship with on fire. Which 3 would it be? * I'm such an ass for this question! *

Omg this is such a difficult question because fire and books are just a huge no! Gahhh um.... I'd probably set alight

9) You're the main character in a New Adult novel. You move into a dorm/off-campus apartment and have a swoon worthy boy residing across the hall. You guys hit it off immediately and begin "lusting" for one another. What fictional character is he? * muuaaahhaha *

I think he has to be Miles from Looking for Alaska by John Green! Just because he's really smart and lovely and I love how his character was written... He also remembers famous people's last words which is awesome!

10) If you could write your own memoir, what would the title be?

Punk and Disorderly


My Nominees:


Sorry if you've already done the tag and I've tagged you again... Also I don't have ten people but if you'd like to do the challenge then please do! I'd love to read it so make sure you leave a link below :)


My Questions:
1) What is a genre you rarely read by wish you did?
2) Do you prefer to read lots of books at once or just one at a time?
3) Hardback, Paperback or Ebooks?
4) If you could be one character in a novel for a day, who would you be?
5) What do you like eating when you read?
6) When you read, do you do it in silence or listen to music and if so what songs are on your playlist?
7) What was your first blog post/book review?
8) Where is your favourite place to read?
9) What's your opinion on love triangles?
10) Do you have any autographed books? If so which ones?