Friday, 25 April 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Not-So-Favourite Leading Lads


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 actually found this weeks topic pretty hard, and I have been thinking of answers for quite a few weeks. I wanted to think of characters who were the narrator or the lead character, but that was hard. If I dislike the narrator then I find it hard to enjoy the book, and if I don't enjoy the book then I will pretty much block it out. So instead I went for love interests and other important characters, but even then I could barely call anyone important to mind. I have had a few lead characters that grated on me a little at times, Harry in full-on hormonal teenage boy mode, but other than that there weren't many. 


                       Edward Cullen
I have read all of the Twilight books, and have quite a love hate relationship with the series. I've enjoyed the books and seen all the movies, even though neither is really all that great in terms of fiction or cinema. But, as far as characters go, Bella and Edward are two of the worst I have ever come across. I think Edward Cullen might be one of my least favourite guy characters ever, for so many different reasons. If he existed in real life, even if you ignore the vampire part, you would not find him attractive or romantic, you would find him creepy. Imagine if a guy you didn't really know admitted that he had been sneaking into your room at night to watch you sleep. CREEPY! You would not be proclaiming your undying love for the guy, you would be phoning the police. Add on the fact that he's controlling, possessive and tells you who you can and can't be friends with, and he is actually the picture perfect example of who NOT to date. Not to mention he is a 100-year-old old guy who is trying to be with a 17 year old girl. CREEPY! I might as well admit this now too, I don't really understand why everyone finds Robert Pattinson attractive either.


Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)Travis Maddox


Argh, I can't even fully describe or put into words how much I hate this character. Trying to come up with my answers for this topic is what started my post about how I feel abusive relationships are romanticised in fiction. I have seen so many women swooning over this character on Goodreads and it infuriates me. If you are one of those women who swoon over him and think he is desirable, then please, I beg you, seek help. He is in no way swoon worthy. He is a gross human being who has anger issues and a really controlling personality. He is really manipulative and I see no reason why any woman would find him attractive as a character. I can't actually bring myself to list all the things that are wrong with him again, it will just get me worked up again. If you need a list of reasons, you can find them here.


The Selection (The Selection, #1)
Prince Maxon
Did you just call her dear?
He is just soooooo dull! He just isn't that great of a leading man or love interest. He's just so sweet at times and yet he spends all his time off kissing other women. He also refers to all women as dear, and that really grated on me over time. How old is he supposed to be, 100? In this series, I don't actually care for once who the girl chooses, we all know it will be dull, boring Maxon in the end.
Cruel Beauty

Ignifex

Women just seem to love these characters that are essentially just arses. And also hundreds of years older than the girls they want to get with. Why does no one find it creepy that he is hundreds of years older than the girl sleeps with? If he physically looked his age then people would be disgusted, but because he looks young, no one cares. This bugs me, just because he looks young doesn't make him young. He's an old man, she's a young girl... it's creepy. Plus, he's just such an asshole!


Splintered (Splintered, #1)
Morpheus

Die, Morpheus, die!!!
Again, he is more creepy than attractive. I'm sure he was way older in years than Alyssa as well. He is also supposed to be a dead-ringer for Brandon Lee in The Crow. Now, Brandon Lee in The Crow is super attractive, but did Morpheus really have to look like him. He died making that film, I found that reference in bad taste. I like NICE guys, why are so many books full of d**ks! When he appeared I kind of wanted to get out my bug spray and end the guy.




So, what have we learnt today, blogosphere? Basically, I hate arseholes and controlling people; and if I see a controlling arsewhole, well I will just about lose my freaking mind!







And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!






Storm by Brigid Kemmerer: DNF Review
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: 4/5 Review 
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Bling Ring


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Bling Ring


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 Bling Ring



I saw this in Asda and it was super cheap so I thought I would give it a go. I must confess that a large part of the reason I picked it up was the fact Emma Watson is in it. What can I say, I love her. But I also found the whole true story behind it really fascinating. I hadn't ever heard of the Bling Ring until I read about the movie when it was close to being released. I just found it so strange all of the things they were able to get away with for so long.

Like most movies that are based on true events, this makes some changes and isn't going to be 100% accurate to the true story, but it is pretty close. It tell the story of a group of young adults who spend their free time breaking into celebrity houses. Whilst inside they rifle through those celebrities clothes and jewellery and taking any thing that takes their fancy. This may sound a little crazy, especially the fact they don't get caught for so long, but the real life Bling Ring were responsible for stealing over $3 million in money and possessions from these people's homes. 

You know from the get go that these are not going to be likeable characters, and they aren't. They are all really detestable and I spent the whole film just waiting for the moment they got caught. I wanted to see them finally have their actions catch up to them because, for the longest time, they act like they are untouchable. I don't think anyone watching this movie will feel even a slither of sympathy for any of these characters. They just act like a bunch of spoiled children, who spend all their free time stealing, doing drugs and getting drunk. It saddens me that this is based on real people, these people actually exist and that is depressing. 

I think the movie is quite well done, the acting was solid as well. Emma Watson's accent did get to me a little, it seemed a little too over the top and a little too put on. Now, I'm not sure if that was what she was purposefully trying to do, and it could be because that is a lot like the character herself. And when you think of the fact that she had a great accent in Perks, that wasn't over the top at all, and I start to suspect it was supposed to sound that way. 

My main problem with the film was that for a movie that has such a sensational story, it was really dull. I just found myself watching it but not getting into it. I watched because I had started and wanted to finish, not because I was enjoying it all that much. There were too many scenes that were just tension building music and no dialogue. You can see what the director is trying to do, but it just didn't work for me. I felt a bit of a disconnect from it all.

I was also surprised at just how easily the characters got into these houses, even more so when I realised it was actually that easy for the real life Bling Ring. I just always assumed that celebrities, especially with the amount of money and possessions in their houses, would have better security. The only good thing about the Bling Ring is that it probably made a lot of celebs realise the importance of locking your doors, windows and maybe getting an alarm system. 


3/5 Butterflies

This has a really interesting story, especially since it is based on real life events. The acting was pretty solid all the way through and worked to really sell the characters to me. The characters were once that were all too easy to despise and all too easy to root for them to get caught. As interesting as the main story line was, the film itself was a little boring. I just didn't really connect with it, I was just watching it in order to get to the end. 


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


I love Okay, Let's Read's topic this week, which is: Classics

Do I read them? Do I like them? Do I feel pressure as a blogger to be knowledgeable about them?

Confession: I haven't read many classics, and I don't plan to start reading more any time soon. As a blogger I don't feel pressure to have to read them or know all about them. I feel like it is like every other genre or book out there, people like what they like, they read what they like and I am fine with that. Some people adore crime fiction, others prefer science fiction. So I don't feel bad that I don't read many classics, I have at least read a few and enjoyed them. In all honesty, I am much more likely to read a children's classic than an adult fiction one. I have a few that I do want to read, like Pride and Prejudice, but most of them don't really sound like books that I would read if they weren't described as 'classics'. A few classics I have read and enjoyed would be Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby and a ton of Shakespeare.

And Reading is Fun Again's topic is about: Series 

This is about when you start reading a series late, when it already has a ton of books out, short stories and novella's, prequels and everything else. How do you read the series? Full length books first and then everything else after. In order of chronological order or publication date?

In all honesty I usually read a series in the order an author released it. So if it went first book, second book, prequel, third book, a 1.5 novella and then final book, I would read it in that order. I feel like if that's the order it was written in then that will be the order I will read it in. I'm not sure why, it's just how I have to do things. Although, I do really hate this trend of series now having to have a prequel and about twenty different pointless novellas. I preferred when you just got all the books of a series. Novellas are starting to really bug me, prequels too. 





And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!





The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: 3/5 Review
Five Friday Favourites: Villains
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer: DNF Review
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: 4/5 Review 


Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland (Nantucket #1): Review

Nantucket Blue (Nantucket, #1)Title: Nantucket Blue (Nantucket #1)
Author: Leila Howland
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Buy This Book: Book Depository / Amazon  

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.
Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. 
When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.
But it’s the things Cricket hadn't counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue. (Goodreads summary.)

Nantucket Blue turned out to be a perfect summer read, something you could devour in one day lounging in the sun. Leila Howland transported me to Nantucket, her descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I was there along with Cricket. I didn't have many expectations because I didn't know too much about the book, but it surprised me and really impressed me. I now have a new book to add to my list of perfect Summer reads; reading it made me feel like summer was already here.

The blurb hints at a devastating tragedy that Cricket's best friend Jules and her family will go through. I won't ruin it, even though you know what's coming very early on, but it did hit me pretty hard. It was one of those storylines that hit too close to home and ended up devastating me a little. But that did work to get me connected to the story almost instantly.

Cricket's friendship with Jules changes after the tragedy, partly without Cricket even realising. To a certain extent, I found that aspect of it very realistic to how someone can react in that situation. I have seen it myself and it does happen, especially the 'my pain is clearly more painful than anyone else's pain, how dare you be upset?!?'. But, Jules needed a slap after a while. She has a grace period, where it is acceptable to act like that after what you have been though. But after a while you need to realise that you need to suck it up, get on with it and stop treating everyone around you like crap.

Cricket was a character that I liked, but didn't fall in love with. I think it was just that some of the decisions that she made drove me a little crazy. But I think that was what made her a very realistic teenager, she makes mistakes and split second decisions. She also got me wondering what is with all these books lately and characters named Cricket. Is that actually a name in the US or something? I have seen quite a lot of books with characters who have that name. That's not a name, it's a bug or a really, really boring sport. It's like naming your kid Centipede or Basketball, you just don't do it.

This, to me, was a perfect beach read because you can read it in one sitting. It transports you to Nantucket and you can feel the sun on your face, smell the ocean air and almost taste the food yourself. It was a really easy read, and a little predictable too. I guessed pretty early on where the romance was going to go and with who, but I liked the romance in this.

4/5 Stars

This was a really easy read, perfect for reading in one sitting. It was a little predictable at times, but not in a bad way. The romance was really sweet and cute, and it was realistic of first love. It has made me very excited to read the sequel to this one. This is a perfect summer read. 



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Make Me Want To Slap Them

 

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


FYI
I am ridiculously behind on replying to comments and visiting people back atm. Please forgive me, I got two new bookshelves and have been spending hours and hours, over the last few days, organising and reorganising them. I will get to them all on my week off, which starts on Thursday. WOOP, WOOP!!!



I was happy that we got to pick how we wanted to do this weeks topic. I decided to go with characters that Id really like to slap, and there are a ton. I am sure you all know the feeling well, of wanting to reach inside a book and slap the hell out of a character. It could be because they are pissing you off, are whining or are just completely infuriating. Surprisingly, the characters that I most want to slap are the ones I either really, really love or really, really hate. 


Bella Swan

Now I have read all four Twilight books, and I've enjoyed them to some extent but, my god, Bella Swan is one of THE WORST characters ever. She makes me want to bitch slap her all around the place. As far as annoying characters go, for me, Bella Swan will always be number one. She begins dating someone who is unsuited for her in every way, controlling and, quite frankly, really creepy. This guy is the perfect example of who NOT to date, so Bella deserves a slap for thinking he is perfect boyfriend material. Plus, she's ridiculously clumsy and spends all her time needing to be saved by Edward. Also, when she gets dumped she literally just curls up in a ball on a floor and stays there for hours. *vomits*



Lord Voldemort
Lord Voldemort is the perfect villain, and one that everyone can love to hate. I can't actually decide whether Voldemort requires a slap or if he just needs a hug, something he clearly didn't get enough of as a kid. He's a grown man who spends all of his time trying to kill a young boy. He's a malignant narcissist who is in need of years of therapy. I'd also recommend he see a plastic surgeon about that nose, he looks far too creepy without one. Then I could break it with the sheer force of my slap to his face. 
See... he craves the hugs. 


Katniss Everdeen
I know, shocking, but she makes the list. For the most part, Katniss Everdeen is the perfect heroine. She's strong, independent and manages to survive the Hunger Games, not one but twice. But she makes herself worthy of a slap for two reasons. Reason one is that she can be completely indecisive at times. Gale or Peeta, Peeta or Gale - just pick one, it's not as hard a decision as she makes out. Her constant flitting from one to the other gets really tiresome to read. Reason two is that she can be downright miserable at times. Why I understand that she had to kill people, watch friends die and go through the Hunger Games twice, she is still unbearably miserable - you survived, you're alive, so for f-sake live and maybe try smiling every once in a while. She's probably one of the most realistic heroines, she's affected by what she's seen and been through... but I want to slap a smile on her face all the same. 
emma stone animated GIF



America Singer
She makes the list because she is a huge annoyance as far as characters go. First, her name is America Singer and she's American and a singer... seriously? I want to slap her just for that. She's also infuriating because her situation isn't that bad and she whines far too much about it. Her brother wants to be a football player but, since he is in a caste system for the arts, he will not be able to pursue a career in it. America acts like this is the most tragic thing that could ever happen to anyone ever. If Katniss Everdeen could meet this girl, I am pretty sure she would slap her for me. 
America Singer... really?
Edward Cullen
Twilight is one of those phenomenons that has left thousands of girls declaring which Team they are on, but I can't root for Jacob or Edward. I can merely suppress the urge to force myself into this book so that I can bitch slap them both. Edward is rather scary/creepy as far as male romantic leads go. Yes, he was turned into a vampire at seventeen, but he has still been alive for a hundred years and is, technically, an old man. So it's a little disturbing that he is a hundred year old man who is actively pursuing a relationship with a seventeen year old. He's also obsessive, controlling and possessive, and also thinks sneaking into someones room to watch them sleeping is perfectly normal. Nope, it's creepy; you require seven million slaps! 

Ronald Weasley
I LOVE RON! So it may seem weird that he makes my list, but that boy is in serious need of a slap. He was just incredibly slow when it came to Hermione, and it drove me crazy. It takes him seven years to realise his feelings for her - seven years! Then he waits until they are in a battle, where they could potentially die, to express them. Plus, his jealousy towards Harry and many of his actions in Deathly Hallows make him very worthy of a slap.

Tris Prior
I feel a little bad writing this after seeing the film, film Tris rocked! But book Tris, not so much. In book one she chooses to leave behind her family and picks Dauntless at her Choosing Ceremony. Dauntless is the faction of the brave, who think jumping off moving trains, beating each other up and jumping off of tall buildings is the best kind of fun. The fact this is what Tris chooses for herself was a good sign that we had a strong female lead. And we did get that, for book one. But in the others, Tris becomes weak, miserable and whiny. She is quick to make rash, bad, stupid decisions that make you want to yank her out of the book so that you can knock some sense into her. I was actually pleased with how Allegiant ended, it finally put a stop to her near constant whining! So, Tris Prior, your constant whining makes you ridiculously worthy of a big ol' slap. 



Jacob Black
If I could, I would probably have a list that was just full of characters from Twilight, quite a lot of them deserve to be on it. Jacob is on here for two important reasons, his pining for Bella and his imprinting on her infant daughter. Bella chose Edward, a crazy, possessive vampire, a clear sign that she is crazy and yet Jacob still wants to be with her. This goes on for four books, until finally he manages to move on. Hooray! But, wait a minute, he moves on to her infant baby, which is just weird. This is then accepted ridiculously quickly by Bella & Edward, another reason why they both deserve slaps. The characters of Twilight really need to learn to be with people who are closer to them in age. So, Jacob Black, your desire to one day be romantically involved with Bella's baby makes you completely worthy of the list. 
A small baby...

Harry Potter
I think the Harry Potter series is one that every person should read, but it is full of many annoying characters that you want to hit at times. Harry makes this list because when he hits his teenage years he becomes very self-centred and a bit too 'I'm the Chosen One and my life is so hard.' I'm sure having the pressure of saving the wizarding and Muggle world from Lord Voldemort must be pretty tough, but it's no excuse to be horrible to all the people around you. He shouts at his friends, who've stuck by him through everything, and generally makes out like he's doing all the hard work. I really wish Hermione or Ron had given him a good slap in book 5, he clearly deserved it. 








And my giveaway to celebrate reaching 850 Bloglovin' followers!





The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: 3/5 Review
Five Friday Favourites: Villains
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer: DNF Review


Monday, 21 April 2014

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental #1): DNF Review

Storm (Elemental, #1)Title: Storm (Elemental #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Much-in-Little
Buy This Book: Book Depository / Amazon


Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake.
Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. When she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot, everything is about to change. Chris is different from the guys at school... really different. He can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. The brothers are powerful and dangerous. And now that Becca knows the truth, so is she.
When the mysterious new kid, Hunter, turns up, Becca thinks she can trust him. But when he goes head-to-head with Chris, Becca's left wondering who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all. (Goodreads summary.)

It's been quite a while since I had to DNF a book, and I am actually really surprised that Storm turned out to be one of those books. It has a really interesting premise, a great average rating on Goodreads and is the start of a series that I have heard a lot of praise for. It just didn't work for me, right now at the very least. This does seem like one of those books that I might be able to revisit at another time and really enjoy. But, in my defence, I did make my way through over 70% of the book, I just honestly couldn't go further than that.

My main problem with the book was that it left me feeling quite lost from the very beginning. It jumps straight into the story and I found myself trying to keep up with it. It didn't lead you in slowly, it made you dive straight in and I was left feeling very lost and confused. You're immediately introduced to so many different characters, I wasn't able to keep them all straight in my head. Chris had twin brothers and Becca couldn't tell them apart, she wasn't the only one because neither could I.

I love action in a book but, in the first book in a series especially, it's important to introduce the character and their back story before jumping right to the action. Imagine if Harry Potter got his acceptance letter and went off to Hogwarts straight away, no back story of how he came to be at Privet Drive, no insight into his life with the Dursley's. Or if Katniss started the book at the reaping and went straight off to the Games, no insight into how bad things in her District were or her relationship with Gale. They aren't action packed scenes, but they are really important to the story and getting you into the story. That felt lost with Storm, I was thrown straight in and I wanted that slower, less action packed introduction.

I am surprised to see this book is only 320 pages long because, after getting about 70% of the way in, I felt like I had been reading for 400 pages or so. The book did feel very long, not a lot was really happening. This reminded me of the Twilight books actually, I felt like it would have the same slow pace until right near the very end when all of the action would happen. It would then leave it open to the sequels. But I just couldn't last long enough to make it to the end and see for myself.

I like things to be explained more, especially in a series where people have elemental powers. There were explanations but they came very late into the story. It felt like everyone in the book was in on it, and I was just the outside who was completely confused. I needed more information on the characters and where Becca fitted into it all. I was also frustrated to see that this had another pointless, irritating love triangle. I can't commit myself to yet another series where the girl can't decide between two guys. It will just drive me over the edge.

DNF at 70%

I won't rate the book because I didn't read the whole thing. It left me a little lost because it jumped straight into the action, it didn't get you into the story slowly. I felt like it wasn't letting me get to know Becca very well, so I ended up feeling no connection to her. The pacing was too slow for me, I got really bored and was having to struggle through it. There is also a pointless love triangle, I can't have yet another series to read where the main character can't choose between two guys. This might be one I can go back to and really enjoy at another time, but for now it needs to be a DNF.