Saturday, 19 April 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 19/04/2014

Friday Finds is something that was started over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week. All book covers and their summary come from back of book or Goodreads.

I have had a fun, tiring and interesting week. I worked a few days of it, but have a whole six days off. I was hoping to get 6 days of blogging, planning posts and scheduling done, but it hasn't worked out. I have had two days walking round London so far, one for my best friends birthday and one with my sister and her boyfriend. It has been fun, but tiring.
I got my Butterfly garden delivered and I am super excited. You essentially get ten caterpillars delivered to your house, along with a netted house to put them in when they go into pupa stage. Then in a few weeks, I will have beautiful butterflies that I can release! I can't wait
I also had a brilliant discussion on the blog, which was about how abusive relationships are romanticised in fiction at the minute. I am fed up of woman swooning over men who are essentially controlling and abusive. It was really nice to see that so many other bloggers are sane as well, and find these types of characters just as repulsive as I do. You can read the original post here. 

Whilst walking round London I visited some of my absolutely favourite places in London. I bought some amazingly awesome bookish related things as well, which I will feature below. First of all, I got two amazing Harry Potter shirts that I saw whilst walking through Camden Market, whilst on my way to get liquid nitrogen ice cream (if you ever go London, go get some... it's delicious!). One says Keep Calm and Avada Kedavra, with a glow in the dark lightning bolt. And the other is a loose fitting one that has the Deathly Hallows symbol and 'Together they make one master of death' written on it. I LOVE IT. The last thing I got was a Lannister notebook from Forbidden Planet. I spent far too long trying to choose between Lannister, Stark or Targaryen because I actually love them all for different characters. I got Lannister in the end because it was red and looked the best out of them all.

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

I couldn't resist getting this finished hardback from a local charity shop, it was £2.50!

How to LoveHow to Love by Katie Cotugno

This is a love story. But it’s not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.
This is real. This is life. This is how to love.
Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed her, until one day… he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.
Three years later and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.
After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?

Got this from the same place for only £2.

Spy Society Sleuth or Dare (Also Known As, #2)
Spy Society & Sleuth or Dare by Robin Benway

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.
Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Cracked (Soul Eater, #1)Meet Meda. She eats people.
Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.
They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.
Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.
The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it

Origin (Lux, #4)
Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I got this so that I can read book three and four back to back. Won't post blurb in case it has any spoilers. 

The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble
The Sweet Dead Life (Sweet Dead Life, #1)"I found out two things today: One, I think I'm dying. And two, my brother is a perv."
So begins the diary of Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad year. Her mother spends all day in bed. Dad  vanished when she was nine. Her older brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs—difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. Really sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.
Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her, looking pretty good. Better than ever, in fact. Downright... angelic. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that her brother didn’t survive the accident at all, and she isn’t just sick; she’s being poisoned. Casey has been sent back to help Jenna find out who’s got it out for her, a mystery that leads to more questions about their mother’s depression and their father’s disappearance.

Boomerang by Noelle August

BoomerangThe first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August
Welcome to, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up
Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.
Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.
What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.
As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

I am really excited for this one, it's co-written by Veronica Rossi!!!
Releases: 15th July 2014

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.
In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink, #2)Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.
When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.
In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

Have got the first book, I now just need to read it. 
Releases: 23rd September 2014

And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!

Exile by Kevin Emerson: 2.5/5 Review
The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: 3/5 Review
Five Friday Favourites: Villains

Friday, 18 April 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Villains

Five Friday Favourites is a weekly event hosted by Book Badger, where once a week, a five favourites subject is posted and everyone is welcome to join in. You can find out more about Five Friday Favourites and the future subjects here.

I love a good villain! I think it is very important for a book to have a convincing and scary villain, but so much so that you kind of love them. I love this weeks topic, and I think of sooooo many villains straight away... and yes, most of them are from Harry Potter.

Lord Voldemort 

There can be no other villain at the top of my list! For me, Voldemort will always be the ultimate villain. He was scary to read, but so much so that you love him. He seemed super psychotic, especially since he is a grown man who spends all of his time trying to kill a young boy. Reading the books, my heart would speed up whenever Harry encountered Voldemort. He craved power like nobody else and he didn't care what he had to do to get it. It made you genuinely scared that he might win in the end. He was unpredictable and just the best villain I have ever encountered in fiction.

Bellatrix LeStrange

I have realised that I love a villain that I hate but love in equal measure. Bellatrix is definitely one of those characters. She is so mad and crazy, and I love her for it. But she was so evil and I hated everything she did in the books. She killed off one of my favourite characters, you just can't forgive that. I think her portrayal by Helena Bonham Carter was absolutely superb. 

Severus Snape 

There are few characters that have as great a story as the one that J.K.Rowling provided Snape. He was a character who was so easy to hate, but so easy to question as well. You never quite knew exactly what to make of him, whether he was as bad as you thought. If Dumbledore trusted him, could he really be as bad as we thought. He was such a brilliantly complex character, I loved his storyline and I love him as a character. 

Marisa Coulter and Daiamon by larkabella
Mrs Coulter

I hated this woman! She was just so despicable and it's hard to think of a character that I have hated more. She actually brought out genuine fear in me the first time I read the Northern Lights books. Her plans with daemons just made me so sad, especially since one of the things I crave most in the world is a daemon of my own. Such a brilliant series, such a brilliant villain. The movie was hideous, so I won't use Nicole Kidman for it. That movie doesn't deserve to be associated with the book series. 

President Snow

I think the movie did such a good job with the character of President Snow. They gave him a lot of air time and really showed just how powerful he is. He is a brilliant villain; the right amount of cold and calculating and unpredictability. You can completely understand why Katniss is so afraid of him, he possesses so much power. 

And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!

Exile by Kevin Emerson: 2.5/5 Review
The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: 3/5 Review

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: Review

The Break-Up ArtistTitle: The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegel
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy This Book: Book Depsitory / Amazon

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.
No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy. (Goodreads summary.)

Meh, indeed, Mr Cumberbatch!
This was an interesting book, and one that I find really hard to review. For every part of it that I really enjoyed, there was a part that I really didn't enjoy. By the end of the book, I found it really hard to sum up exactly how I feel about the book overall. I think my feelings are pretty underwhelming, much like the book. 

I found the premise of this really interesting, someone who makes a living from breaking up couples. I was curious to see how it would work in the book, and what my feelings would be on it. I have to admit to not really getting the point of what Becca does, or really understanding her reasoning behind it. I think she needed to leave people alone and let them learn from their own mistakes, instead of trying to teach them her own jaded lesson on love.

I really enjoyed the dialogue in this book, well most of the time at least. It contained quite a lot of hilarious banter between characters, and I couldn't get enough of it. This book actually made me spit out my drink because it took me by surprise and made me laugh so much at one point. I think the quote was the following:

"I don't think it's right to congratulate someone for having an ugly baby. It will only encourage her to have another."

I found that absolutely brilliant, I just could not stop laughing. The book is full of moments like that, those moments where you need to try and contain your laughter because you are in a public place, and don't want to look crazy. 

Becca is actually a hard character to sum up. There were definitely parts of her personality that I sincerely enjoyed. Other times, I kind of wanted to jump inside this book so I could shout at her. I thought her work as the Break-Up Artist was a little pointless. She came across as a little bitter, jaded and miserable at being single because of it, the exact thing she protested she wasn't. But when she comes out with comments like, 'You don't know what it's like being single in this school.', it does make it look like it is about that. She started out as a very witty character, she had a brilliant personality. Unfortunately, she began to grate on me over time and she got to be a little too annoying.

There was one character who came across as more of a caricature than a real character. The personality was just a bit too exaggerated, like he was only there to prove Becca's opinion of men right. I really didn't like that aspect of it, or how that storyline worked itself out. The character became just a silly plot device, with no actual personality.

3/5 Butterflies

With a really interesting, and some brilliant witty dialogue, The Break-Up Artist had some truly great moments.Unfortunately, overall it left a lot to be desired and was a little underwhelming by the end. Becca grated on me after a while, some characters where too caricature like and not realistic. For every part I enjoyed there was another part that I didn't. It's still worth a read, and I think others might enjoy it more. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This is a weekly meme that I am hosting here at Reviews from a Bookworm. All you have to do is share a movie review once a week and link back to here.

This weeks movie review will be for: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man, I thought it was a great reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. I had quite enjoyed the first Spider-Man movie, back when it was Tobey Maguire; but I thought films 2 and 3 weren't all that great. I was really happy with the casting for the new reboot. I thought Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were both perfect for their roles, and I adore Emma Stone anyway so I'm happy to see anything she is in. I enjoyed the first movie, it had a great balance of fun, laughs, action and serious bit. So, I was very excited to see what they did with the sequel.

The first poster that I saw for it, which is the one I used above, is a bit deceptive. It shows the Rhino, and he doesn't even really appear in the movie. He is literally in it for about five minutes; which was a good thing as three baddies would have been way too much to handle. But we do get to see a fair bit of Electro and the great development of Harry Osborne into Green Goblin.

If you want my honest, honest, honest opinion; I was really disappointed in the movie. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't all that great either. I still really recommend you go see it if you loved the first film, it is still worth a watch and I don't think this is a series to give up on yet. I just want to explain my problems with it and then the things that I really loved. 

Electro was a problem for me, a pretty big one actually. He just wasn't that great a villain, and I think villains are very important when it comes to these types of films. You need a brilliant villain to go up against the superhero, it's what makes it interesting. But Electro wasn't that. His character was just a little too pathetic and unbelievable before he gains his powers. People in the cinema actually laughed at him. It would have worked better if they hadn't pushed it so hard, if they could have shown how alone and unnoticed he was, without making him seem so unbelievably pathetic. But they portray him as a really over the top, crazy loner guy who has conversations with Spider-Man when he is by himself. I just felt like as a villain he lacked character. The best villains I can think of, off the top of my head, would be Loki and the Joker. They have such big personalities, and they have great comedic timing and are so bad that you have to love them. That is needed in a baddie, I found Electro lacking as a villain.

Harry Osborn, I kinda love him. I hope he will be sticking around for a lot of these films because he definitely makes up for all the personality that Electro is missing. He was fantastic, I loved how he was introduced and how we got to see him change over time. He was hilariously funny, brooding, emotionally broken, with serious daddy issues and I loved him. I hope we are going to be seeing a lot more of his character. 

We finally get to find out more about Peter's parents and why they left him at his Aunt May's all those years ago. I was very excited to find out more about that, because it had been bugging me for the longest time. That plot point gave us some really great flashback scenes, a lot of action and I really enjoyed them. As someone who hasn't read the comics, it also provided me with some great surprises.

If I was judging this on Peter and Gwen alone, then it would probably be a much higher rating. I think they are both great characters, and I really love Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. I kind of wish they had cast her as Mary Jane though, because we all know what needs to happen to Gwen eventually. I think Stone and Garfield work so well together, they have great comedic moments. Their real life romance works well when it comes to their on screen chemistry. I didn't have a problem with either portrayals or characters in this, I really enjoyed them and want to see so much more of them together.

Visually this was stunning too. It had a lot of action sequences and I loved how good it all looked. The special effects were really brilliant and there were quite a few scenes that stick out in my mind. There's a scene where Peter is crossing the road, which is really well done, as he is on his way to meet Gwen. Another scene happens right near the end of the movie, I can't say more without spoiling something, but it just looks so visually stunning. I hope when you see the movie you will understand which scene, it had amazing special effects too.

3.5/5 Butterflies

Overall, I was disappointed. The first film was definitely more enjoyable. I still adore Stone and Garfield's portrayals of Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy. I would watch a movie that was just about those two characters, no baddies necessary. I just found Electro to be lacking a lot and he wasn't a convincing villain for me. The movie destroyed me a little, but I won't be giving up on the series. 

I have been meaning to take part in both of the following memes for a while now, so it's nice to finally be able to get them done. I will be taking part in Reading is Fun Again's Thoughtful Thursday Feature & Okay, Let's Read's Thursday Thoughts feature. 

Reading is Fun Again's topic was: What is one of the best changes in the literary/book world that you have noticed, since you started reading? What makes that change so great to you?

If I am honest, I have been noticing a lot more changes that are not great to me. A lot of things that I don't like and wish they weren't becoming so commonplace in fiction. So I will flip it around and talk about those instead. 
I think the thing that has been bugging me for most of the week is my anger at books that portray abusive relationships as desirable and romantic. I covered this in my discussion post: Why do readers and books glorify abusive relationships? and don't have much else to add to it.
I just really want to see less books showing these kinds of relationships as okay. I want to see less women proclaiming how they love these characters and want to find their very own Travis Maddox or similar character. I want more romances that are based on mutual love and respect for one another. Abuse is never okay, it doesn't matter if the guy is really hot. And just because he doesn't hit the woman, that doesn't mean what he is doing isn't abuse. 
I want to see less weak female characters, who just seem to allow these kinds of men to control their lives. This guy actually demands she change her clothes, and she does it. He drags her from a car because she is dating someone he doesn't like, and she goes with him. He is a vile excuse for a man, and yet she marries him. And readers find that appealing, why?

I also want to see romance play a smaller role in books. It used to be a plot point, not the point of the plot. You get a lot of books nowadays and remove the romance and you aren't left with much of a story. I want to see more books where the romance is just an afterthought, it's there but it's not the most important thing. I'm fed up of seeing all these female characters get completely consumed by romance, boys and love. Go kick some ass like Katniss and worry about choosing a guy later.

And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!

Exile by Kevin Emerson: 2.5/5 Review

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things I'd Like To Own


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. Each week they host a different top ten topic.

Great topic this week! I have an endless list of bookish things that I would like to own.

Number one on my list, and the one I will actually be getting this weekend, is new bookcases. I have two atm, but they are both full. I have around 20 storage boxes filled with books, so I really need some more. I should be getting two new, large bookcases this weekend and I can't wait, I've have a lot of fun organising my books.

A house that is pretty much just made of bookcases. It would be my mission in life to fill them all up. I would want every room in my house to have bookshelves in it. Except for the bathroom, because steam and books just don't go! I want them floor to ceiling, I want to have to climb ridiculously tall ladders to reach the top. I don't want a library, one room dedicated to reading, I want the whole has to be filled with books.
I want this in my house, slightly bigger room. Wall to wall books. And that little sitting area?  Im thinking larger with loads of pillows and comfy matress...  Maybe in the floor if the window comes to the floor.  !!!!Keyifli saatlerA reading spot like this one by the window. For when I want to read with the sun warming me and looking out at a beautiful view.A hideaway reading spot, for when I want to lounge about and read all day. For when I just want to get lost in my book and don't want anyone to disturb me.
To go back to Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. I live in London so this one is easy. I will be going back in July with my sisters, and as it will be my birthday around that time, I will treat myself to loads of Harry Potter merchandise. You could get lost in the gift shop there.
A Kindle Paperwhite. I have the original Kindle, and I love it, but I think it would be handy to have one with a light on. Just so I can read in the car late at night, or indoors without having the main light on.
I want a lamp, because I am definitely a late night reader. With work, blogging and everything else, it's really hard to find time to read during the day. So most of my reading now gets done between half 10 and 2am. I read in bed and so it drives the boyfriend crazy that I have the light on every night. He would be most appreciative if I bought a lamp, and just had the light on on my side.
  I want a lounge chair, like one my parents had in our house when I was younger. It was amazing, had good bounce, and me and the cat would fight for this chair. It was the perfect reading chair, I was so upset when they got rid of it. Definitely want my own one now.
I want more bookish shirts. I have a few, but there are so many that I want. I have hundreds of HP ones I want, HG ones and so many more.
Thanks to Notebook Sisters, I now want a ton of bookish shoes as well. They look amazing, how could you not want them.
I kind of want to own all things books and book related. I want to just post hundreds of pictures of all the cool bookish things that I want. But I will refrain. I am a sucker for tshirts, shoes, jewellery and anything else book related. I also love book versions of Board Games. HP monopoly, I want you!

There are so many more, but I am too lazy to name them all. Very excited to see everyone's answers this week, and to add new additions to my list.

And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!

Ashfall by Mike Mullin: 2.5/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: Divergent
Exile by Kevin Emerson: 2.5/5 Review