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!









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