Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourite Authors

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish.

This weeks topic is:

All time favourite authors...

How unfair is this weeks topic. And how can I suddenly declare my all time favourite authors when it's likely to change so much as the years go on! This topic actually made me realise that I really don't have that many auto-buy authors. I have authors who I have loved and appreciated, but sometimes based only on one book, I feel like I can't really declare someone an all time favourite author if I haven't read more than one book of theirs. What if its a fluke? Or the only book of theirs that I end up liking?

J. K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas, Colleen Hoover, David Clement-Davies & Suzanne Collins

There was never going to be anyone but JK topping my list. The woman wrote Harry Potter and that basically means that she is the Queen of all things. I bow down to her awesomeness and will forever be desperate for more HP books.
                Sarah J. Maas is an author who I adore and can't wait to meet next month.... I AM DYING! I want to get all of my beautiful books signed by her and I can't wait. I am desperate for this. Her Throne of Glass series amazes me and the wait between books is starting to feel like it's actually killing me. I recently reviewed A Court of Thorns and Roses by her and it didn't disappoint either.
                Colleen is an author I love for many reasons, not just her writing. Her books have never disappointed me and so I preorder a book as soon as she announces it. I don't care what it's about, I am reading it and I will love it. I also love her because she's absolutely hilarious, seriously, you need her social media posts in your life. She's also one of the nicest and most generous authors and that gets her many bonus points.
                     David Clement-Davies is a very underrated author and I will always love him. I've also realised he's the only male author on my list. I first read The Sight and Fire Bringer by him when I was a child but I still reread those books now, they're beyond amazing.
                    Suzanne Collins is an easy choice because she gave me The Hunger Games... and then nothing else. I know she had the other series aimed at younger readers, but I need more of her YA in my life.

Abigail Haas, Jodi Picoult, Sally Green, Malorie Blackman & Jennifer Niven

Haas is a genius, both Dangerous Boys and Dangerous Girls blew me away. She needs to keep releasing books.... I NEED MORE! Jodi Picoult is an auto-buy author for me, I own every book she's ever written. I have to admit that I've not been a big fan of her last few books, but I will still be reading everything she releases. Sally Green, I only read her books last month but I am already obsessed and in awe of that woman and her talent.




A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Spoiler Free Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: Insurgent Movie Review
My Weekly Recap: 18/04/15


I'm celebrating my return to the blogging world and Instagram with a giveaway. You can get entries by entering through the rafflecopter on here and then get extra entries if you repost on Instagram. Your Instagram entries will count on the rafflecopter and then on Instagram too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Weekly Recap: 18/04/15

It's nice to finally be back to blogging after taking so long off, even though I didn't manage to get anything scheduled like I'd originally hoped. This is going to be a rather big catch up on everything I have been up to since my break.

I started my new job as a library supervisor, that's right... I am in charge of other human beings. It's been rather hard going from my old job to this one, just because I'm going in knowing nothing about their systems and everything. It sucks going from being one of the most knowledgeable people somewhere to having to constantly ask how to do everything. But I'm really enjoying it and it helps that all the people there are wonderful, wickedly smart and welcoming.

I went to a wonderful event at Waterstones Piccadilly where I got to meet David Levithan, Sally Green and Jennifer Niven. It  was such a nice event and all three authors were absolutely lovely. I had been beyond excited to meet Niven because I adored All the Bright Places and she had seemed like such a lovely person in all the correspondence we'd had online. She was as nice as I'd imagined, as well as being beyond beautiful. Sally Green was an author whose first book I'd owned for ages but never read, but did before going to the event. I became obsessed and Half Bad and Half Wild are two of my top reads of the year so far. David Levithan was absolutely hilarious, especially when he performed scenes from his musical book and actually sung for us all. Genius! I got to get lots of pretty books signed too.

Then I had a lovely day in London last Sunday to go meet Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. It was an event organised by them, through Jodi's publishers Harper. They are visiting Europe for two weeks and wanted a very informal meet with readers. It was in an adorable coffee shop and I took my best friend along with me. They were all hilarious, incredibly friendly, down to earth and so enthusiastic about their books and the book they are working on together. IT SOUNDS AMAZING! It's called The Lady Jane and you want that book on your TBR. I'll be doing a proper feature on it soon because I am beyond excited for it. There was only my friend, myself, two other readers, the three authors and the publicist. It was very relaxed and such a fun afternoon of just drinking, chatting and discussing books. Not only did I get given a beautiful tote bag filled with books, but the publicist also settled our bill before she left... Neither of which I was expecting but was so grateful for. Such a fun day!


And I am even more excited because when this goes up no the blog I should be at or on my way to the Hot Key Books blogger event! Where I will get to meet lots of other wonderful bloggers, but I will also get to meet some Hot Key authors like James Dawson, hear about what Hot Key has coming this year and get a lovely goodie bag. I have had a very book event filled few weeks and I am loving every minute of it!


I also read The Duff, which I really enjoyed even though it was nothing like what I was expecting. Reading the book made me realise that I still really wanted to see the movie but it was going to be nothing like the book. I was right, but thankfully I still absolutely loved the movie. It's very different but both were amazing and I loved both. Highly recommend both to you all!



Now I have far too many books to show in this haul.... OOOPS! But it's been a few weeks so they have slowly started to pile up. Bear with me!

I'm linking up with Tynga's Stacking the Shelves and the Caffeinated Book Reviewers The Sunday Post.


Half Wild x2 by Sally Green
All the Bright Places x2 by Jennifer Niven
Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by David Levithan
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

These are the books I bought for the event at Piccadilly. I already owned copies of Half Wild and All the Bright Places, but both were ARCs and I wanted finished copies. I bought both a hardback and paperback finished copy of Half Wild because I have the same, both signed, but Sally Green. Plus I wanted to get a copy of All the Bright Places signed for my sister for her birthday. All these pretties are now SIGNED!


Everneath by Brodi Ashton

I got this for the author event and had it signed whilst I was there. Brodi gets extra points for being willing to drink Prosecco with me at 2 in the afternoon.

Sway by Kat Spears
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
Shadows by Paula Weston
The Diviners by Libba Bray

I saved this graphic with the wrong cover... but oh well!!!

The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durant



Seventh Son by Joseph Delaney 

This is the first two books in the series in one book and I won it in a Goodreads giveaway!



The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Challenger Deep x2 by Neal Shusterman
Deadfall x2 by Anna Carey
Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
Tiny Pretty Things by Charaipotra Clayton

So many amazing books and I am very exciting to read them all. Except Deadfall because I haven't read book one yet!


The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

The Dark Light by Julia Bell
The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
The Memory Hit by Carla Spradbery



A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Spoiler Free Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: Insurgent Movie Review


I'm celebrating my return to the blogging world and Instagram with a giveaway. You can get entries by entering through the rafflecopter on here and then get extra entries if you repost on Instagram. Your Instagram entries will count on the rafflecopter and then on Instagram too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: Insurgent


This is a weekly meme that I am hosting here at Reviews from a Bookworm. To take part all you have to do is share a movie review once a week, link back to Reviews from a Bookworm and add your link to the linky tool.


This weeks movie review will be for:


Insurgent


Look, most of the time I don't feel like getting straight to the point when it comes to movie reviews. I like to talk about the movie in general and then give my final verdict. But I need to just get this out of the way... Insurgent was absolutely terrible. I want to be able to lie and tell you that I enjoyed it... but I really didn't. I was expecting to quite enjoy it, considering how much I enjoyed the first film. But I admit to going into the movie with the lowest of expectations, which really should have meant that it couldn't be anywhere near as disappointing as I was expecting it to be. The movie proved me wrong!

I should have known after seeing the advert that this really wasn't going to be the sequel I had hoped for. It just looked so very different to the first movie and absolutely nothing like the book. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the fact that I didn't enjoy the second book as much as Divergent. But I saw the trailer for Insurgent and my only thought was:


And my reaction didn't really change when I went and saw the actual film. I just didn't understand, where did this mysterious fucking box had come from? And what the hell were these cables that could snake down and somehow suspend a rather heavy human being in the air? What was all this futuristic technology that had appeared out of nowhere? Anyone who read the books knows that most of the city was basic. The trailer hadn't won me over but I'd hoped the film was going to surprise me in the same way Divergent did... It didn't. 

It seems like the film studio were in too much of a hurry to get this movie made and out into theatres. Everything about it ends up feeling rushed and the film suffers tremendously because of it. Everything about it feels rather weak when compared to other YA dystopian films recently, and even in comparison to Divergent. This was released almost exactly a year after Divergent, but I felt they should have taken a bit longer and wrote a stronger script first. The best sequel I've seen in a long time was Catching Fire, you can see why the studio took a year and a half to release that one. They actually listened to critics of the first film and worked hard to make a sequel that was better than the first film in every way. Sadly that wasn't the case with the Insurgent sequel. 

How I'd feel if I were a part of this movie.
I absolutely adore Shailene Woodley, I think she is one incredibly talented actress. She's incredible in everything she does, but her talent is just completed wasted here. She's given such a weak script that it's hard for even someone as talented as her to make it seem even half decent. I feel bad that her talent seems to be wasted on a series that's probably only going to get worse as it goes on. I mean, seriously, how can you split the snooze fest of Allegiant into two movies and make it seem even slightly interesting? 

I have to admit something here that I know a lot of people probably won't understand. I have never really gotten what all the fuss is about when it comes to Theo James. I've just never really seen what the appeal is. He kind of won me over in Divergent, but he has never felt like a realistic Four to me and I could never really find him believable in the role. This got worse with the sequel, especially since the chemistry between Four and Tris is lacking so much in this movie. 

This perfectly sums up Peter in this film!!!
There is one thing you definitely need to know though... Peter is amazing! Yes, I mean Peter. Peter, the guy who I spent most of the book series absolutely despising and wishing death upon. Well he is the only thing in this movie that I liked. Heck, I didn't even like him... I loved him. He brought so much comic relief to this film and it was exactly what it needed. It needed far more than they gave it. Miles Teller was just fantastic in this film and he made Peter suddenly become my favourite character in the film. That guy has all of the greatest lines in the entire film. I bow down to Teller! 

This movie was just confusing, and that's coming from someone who has read the book. I understand their reasons for adding the box to the movie, but it just felt so stupid. And what's with them suddenly having scanners that can instantly tell what percentage Divergent you are or what your faction is. How is someone a faction? They get the choice to pick! That was just stupid. Then we have the box itself which still makes no sense to me. Especially the ridiculous wires that come down from the ceiling and magically suspend Tris. I found myself laughing at this movie for all the wrong reasons. 

Me and the boyfriend during
 this whole film!
My biggest issue with the whole film was probably how poorly it flowed. The pace just felt all wrong because they'd gone for action over storytelling. The plot got confusing and lacked a lot because they just concentrated on action scenes. The movie basically went: walking, action scene, walk somewhere else, action scene, more walking, action scene, dragged somewhere, action scene, action scene. It was just packed full of special effects and that doesn't make up for the poor script. You can't just throw in a million action sequences and think that will suddenly make it a good movie. It doesn't.

4/10 Butterflies

This movie was just one big hot mess! Yes, we'd all like to be able to see a sequel to a movie as soon as possible but it shouldn't be rushed. They should have worked more on the script rather than trying to fit in as many action sequences and special effects as they possibly could. As if special effects were really going to make up for the lack of story. The only saving grace in this movie is Peter. Peter brings much needed comic relief to what is, essentially, a special effects ridden piece of drivel




A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Spoiler Free Review


I'm celebrating my return to the blogging world and Instagram with a giveaway. You can get entries by entering through the rafflecopter on here and then get extra entries if you repost on Instagram. Your Instagram entries will count on the rafflecopter and then on Instagram too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas 

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Pre-order this book: Amazon / Book Depository
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever. 
Okay, it's official, Maas can do no wrong, that woman seems incapable of writing anything that isn't completely fantastic. And I'm definitely not complaining, I am in complete awe of her and she's on my auto-buy author list for life. I've spoken a lot about my love for Throne of Glass, her other fantasy series, and the fact that I haven't been this obsessed with a fictional world since Harry Potter. She created a superb fantasy world that I could get lost in, with some of the greatest characters I've seen in a long time. As soon as I heard she was released the first book in a new series, I knew I had to have it and I had to read it. And when an ARC arrived in December last year I squealed with delight and then got really nervous. It's that moment where you get a little worried that maybe it's not going to live up to your expectations. Or maybe she can't write two fantastic series. But now I know... NEVER DOUBT MAAS, EVER!

A Court of Thorns and Roses exceeded all of my expectations, which is saying a lot considering how ridiculously high they were to begin with. I was actually so happy when I finished this book that I actually hugged it, then proceeded to gush about it to my boyfriend, who just looked at me like I might actually be insane. He doesn't get my book love but he nods in all the right places and doesn't judge my hugging a book too harshly. I am not one for excessive book hugging, it's reserved for the greatest books or the ones that are the most soul destroying. This book was one of the greatest and I finished it with my soul intact! I bow down to the awesome of Maas.

This book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and Maas brings so much to the story. I've been wanting a great BatB retelling for so long now, especially since I was one of the few people who was really disappointed by Cruel Beauty. This was everything that I had been looking for, it delivered on everything that Cruel Beauty didn't manage to for me. This has a strong, brave heroine, a complex love interest, a brilliant fantasy world and a unique twist to the BatB story. The story starts with Feyre in the forest, hunting to provide food for her family, when she takes down a large wolf so she can take the deer it's brought down. But the wolf is a faerie, and killing it comes at a price. When a faerie of Prythian shows up at her door he gives Feyre a choice, she can either pay for the faeries life with her own or spend the rest of her life in the faerie Courts of Prythian. Feyre returns to the Spring Court where she realises there is more to the faeries, those she has feared her whole life, and their life then she would have ever imagined.

Me with the ACoTaR characters.
I'm going to start with the characters because all I really want to do is gush about my love for them. Anyone who's read the Throne of Glass series will already know that Maas can write fantastic characters. She's also capable of writing the most shippable of ships, but I honestly thought nothing could come close to Chaol and Celaena for me. I was wrong, I am always wrong. Why is Maas always proving me wrong! First we have Feyre, which is pronounced Fay-Ruh, a heroine that I came to absolutely love. She's strong and determined, she's not afraid to put herself in a dangerous situation when she needs to. But she's also a realistic character, she can't do everything and take on everything by herself. She's not a character that needs rescuing, but she's a character that comes up against situations that she can't get out of alone. Maas always writes characters that I love getting to know, they're always so well developed and never one dimensional, they grow and change over the course of a story.

Tamlin comes next, a character that I was so unsure of at first and I was scared that I wasn't going to even like him, let alone come to love him. He appears at Feyre's house, this hideous beast-like creature, demanding she either pay for breaking the treaty with her life, or she must go with him and live out the rest of her life in the faerie lands. I was nervous then, he seemed like he was going to be one of those characters I'd come across before, the really flawed love interest everyone else seemed to love but I hated. I'm thinking of Cruel Beauty's Ignifex and Grisha's Darkling, both characters I've heard people have such love for, I couldn't stand either of them. I basically spent my time hoping someone would stab them between the eyes. I was really nervous Tamlin would be like that, a character who's not just flawed, but he's cruel, evil and really just an arsehole. But, as I have stated already, I should never doubt Maas. Tamlin was everything I could have asked for in this story and so much more that I didn't even know I wanted. He's such an interesting character because he's dark and dangerous, but you always know almost instantly that there's so much to learn about him. Yet again Maas creates a character that goes straight on my list of fictional crushes.

If Dorian and Lucien ever met.
I also need to take a moment to quickly talk about Lucien, a faerie and also Tamlin's best friend. He's a brilliant secondary character and I loved the humour he brought to the story, he had me laughing out loud at times. He's also made me wish that this world will somehow meet Throne of Glass, just so Dorian and Lucien can meet. Those two could become the best of friends, they could just sit and bond together because they have so much in common. I am all for that fictional friendship, even if it's not an actual possibility.

The romance in this story is actually perfection, I ship it far too much. This is a slow build romance, which is my favourite kind, where the characters take time to actually get to know one another. Something that surprised me, in the best possible way, was how much more grown up this romance was to what I've been used to seeing in YA recently. The romance in this works so well because the characters themselves are grown up and wise beyond their years, so the romance is the same. This is a book that reads like it's actually aimed at young adults, not like it's aimed at young teens. So the romance is a lot hotter than I've seen in a YA book and I loved that about it. Seriously, be prepared to have to fan yourself on numerous occasions.

The story itself kept me gripped and I could not put this book down, it was one that you are going to want to devour in one sitting. The world and creatures that inhabit it were fascinating to me, I was eager for any new revelation about Prythian. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book doesn't end in some terrible cliffhanger. The end of this book is completely satisfying, so much so that it wouldn't have upset me if it had been a standalone. But it also leaves you with enough questions that you're eagerly awaiting another book. This book has characters and a world that I can't wait to get lost in over and over again. The wait for book two in this series is going to seem excruciatingly long.


5/5 Butterflies


This is where I need a rating higher than 5/5 butterflies because this book blew me away. I would recommend this to absoutely anyone, it's an amazing read and one you don't want to miss. If you love fantasy, fairy tale retellings, hot romance or just want a book you won't be able to put down then this is the book for you. If you're a fan of Throne of Glass then I know I won't even need to convince you to pick this book up, you already know what Maas is capable of writing. 



* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I'd Like To Check In With

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish.

This weeks topic is:

Inspiring book quotes
Characters I'd love to check in with.

So this week is supposed to be about book quotes, but I missed last weeks topic and I want to do it so badly!!! It's talking about the book characters you wish you could go and check in with, those whose stories you have read. The ones whose books or series are over, but you're itching to know more about their life after the final page. I have hundreds, but I will try to keep it to just ten.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

1. About 50 Harry Potter characters.

The series might be over but it will never really be over. I need more, I want more and I will probably die still hoping J.K. Rowling will write more, even once she's dead and that would actually be impossible. I need to know what became of all my favourite characters, I need more of their stories. I need it. I need it. I NEED IT!
All the Bright Places
2. Violet Markey

I absolutely adored All the Bright Places, even if it did destroy all of my feels. It was such a beautiful book and I came to love Violet and Finch so much. I wouldn't want to change the end of All the Bright Places, but I would like for their to be a sequel... or a short novella. I just feel like I want to continue her story, like I want to follow that girl as she makes her way through the rest of her life.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)3. Katniss and Peeta

Mockingjay wasn't the satisfying conclusion to the series that I had been hoping for. The epilogue at the end didn't really help much either. I need to be able to properly check in with these two and see how they are doing. Plus I wish I got to see more of their life together, not just the crazy part involved in taking on the Capital.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)4. Finnick Odair

I'm not going into detail when it comes to this one because of SPOILERS! But it's safe to say that I wish I were able to go and check in on this guy. 
My Life Next Door
5. Jase and Samantha 

My Life Next Door is one of my favourite contemporaries, I just fell in love with the whole story. Jase completely won me over and I adored his family. I would love to be able to check in with these two, and the whole Garrett clan.

We Were Liars6. Cadence

If you have read We Were Liars then it should be beyond obvious why I want to and need to go and check in on this character. How is she? How is she coping? What became of her? I need all of the answers and I demand all of the answers.


Northern Lights7. Lyra Belacqua & Pantalaimon

I miss Lyra Belacqua! She's one hell of a character and I think it would be incredible to actually get to check in on her character. And you can't check on Lyra without checking in on Pan! I still want my own daemon, but for now I am happy to live vicariously through Lyra.

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)8. Roar

Roar has to be one of my all time favourite secondary characters. He's a very large part of the reason why I ended up adoring the Under the Never Sky trilogy so much. He's an absolutely hilarious character, which is something I always love to find in my books. I don't think I would get sick of reading about Roar, so I'd happily have a whole new series just about him.

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)9. Sephy and Callie Rose

The Noughts & Crosses series has been one of my favourites since I first read it back when I was about ten or eleven. There's already four books in the series and you follow these characters as they age and deal with so many different things. But I'm still not satisfied and I don't feel like I'm done with their story yet. Blackman has actually hinted that she might write another book in this series and I really hope so because I need it!
Dangerous Girls
10. Anna 

If any of you have read Dangerous Girls then I am sure you are just as curious as I am about Anna. She was a brilliant character and that book kept me up until the early hours of the morning because I couldn't put it down. But the end, although it gives you answers, doesn't really give me the resolution and closure that I need when it comes to Anna as a character. I need to see what she did next, what happened to her after the book ended.




So what about you guys? Which characters would you love to check in with?  Do any of my choices make your list too?




I'm celebrating my return to the blogging world and Instagram with a giveaway. You can get entries by entering through the rafflecopter on here and then get extra entries if you repost on Instagram. Your Instagram entries will count on the rafflecopter and then on Instagram too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway