Friday, 3 July 2015

The FIND ME Book Tag: Photographing the Precious!


    The
         FIND ME
                      Book Tag

A book tag where I get to take pretty pictures of books... Yes, please! I saw Cait do this and knew I would have to get to it soon. Then Amanda did it too, which reminded me that I totally said I'd do it, then never did. So off I went to mess up my beautiful and perfectly organised bookshelf, in order to hunt down a book for each of these! I am rather happy with how these turned out.


A BOOK WITH A SUNSET
The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord 

This was such a wonderful read, and it'll make a perfect summer read if you want something to read whilst lounging on the beach. You can go and get swept up in this adorably cute book!


A BOOK WITH WATER
Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund, Under the Influence by L.B. Simmons & Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Apparently I really like covers that include water in them. I like them so much that I found it really hard to just go with one picture for this one. So I had to go with three. But, can you blame me when the covers are all so pretty!


A BOOK WITH A FLOWER
Elixir by Hilary Duff

I own hundreds of books and yet I seemed to really struggle to hunt down any books with a flower on the front cover. At least this finally proves that there was a reason I still haven't gotten rid of this book, despite the fact I have zero intention of reading it. At least now I have found some little use for it, I will feel better when I finally do get rid of it without reading it. 


A BOOK WITH A HEART
Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

This book has such a pretty cover to photograph, it just always looks so colourful. I read this book thanks to Brittany, she kept gushing about it and I kind of wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I am happy to report that I actually loved it, it was a New Adult book that really worked for me.


A BOOK WITH GONE IN THE TITLE
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I really wanted to find a book for this one that wasn't Since You've Been Gone, which Cait used, or Gone Girl, which Amanda used. Apparently there are far less books with gone in the title than I first thought, so I had to go with this one. I don't regret it though.... the cover is sooooo colourful!


A BOOK WITH A WEAPON
The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I could have gone with any book in the series, Celaena is showing off her crazy weapon-wielding skills in all of them. So this way I got to use them all and show off the beautiful green cover that is Heir of Fire.


A BOOK WITH A MOON
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

This was one where I imagined I would have quite a few covers to choose from, but this was the only one I could actually hunt down on my shelves. 


A BOOK WITH A GIRL IN A WHITE DRESS
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

YAY! Another excuse to show off a Throne of Glass book. This time I got to use the back cover of the UK paperback version of Throne of Glass, and it's sooo pretty. This was the only one I could find with someone in a white dress, which surprised me as well. I probably would have found another if I had had the energy to look some more.


A BOOK WITH A COUPLE KISSING
Loop by Karen Akins

I really need to hurry up and read this book. I was gifted it at Christmas and have been meaning to get to it ever since. If you have read it then tell me what you thought, let me know if it's worth getting to sooner rather than later.


A BOOK WITH HEADPHONES
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This is a brilliant book, I absolutely loved it! It's also the only book that me, and everyone else it would seem, could find that had headphones on the cover!



BONUS ROUND!

Amanda added some of her own and I couldn't resist taking more photos.


A BOOK WITH WINGS
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Wonderfully, beautiful, fiery wings!


A BOOK WITH A BOOK
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

This is such an adorably, cute, sweet book! Lara Jean and Peter K... Oh, how I love them!


A BOOK WITH A DOOR
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This was the book Amanda chose and the first one that came to my mind as well. I think this is the prettiest cover of this book out of all of them. It's so stunning and I love the hand print on the wall. 


A BOOK WITH AN EYE
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

I absolutely LOVE these covers, they are so stunning. Each one has an eye on it and they get prettier as they go along. Ignite Me is my favourite cover of the whole series.



I Tag...

Rachel @ Confessions of  Book Geek
Brittany @ This is the Story of My Reading Life
Sparkles and Scribbles

And whoever else would like to do it!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger: Book & Movie Review

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.
I am the first to admit that I have a problem with buying books and then just leaving them unread on my shelves for years. The DUFF was one of those books, and I am so mad at myself for waiting so long to read this book. I'd keep looking at it on my shelf and thinking that I should really hurry up and get to it, but four years went past and it just never happened. That is until the film trailer dropped. The movie looked like it was going to be so much fun and I knew I just had to read the book before I went to see it. I am so glad that I did because I ended up absolutely loving this one, even if it turned out to be completely different to what I was expecting.

The trailer for this books movie adaptation had me expecting this book to be quite a light, funny but somewhat predictable and clichéd read. But you quickly realise that the book is going to be a lot different from the 'geek girl works with popular jock guy to become less of a DUFF and score the guy!' type storyline that the movie is obviously going for. I am so glad that turned out to be the case because this book brought so much more to the table. It's been one of the stand out reads for me this year and I really wish more YA books were like this.

The copy of The Duff I have has a very tiny blurb on the back that really gave nothing away, which is probably why I was expecting a book similar to the film. I was not expecting the whole enemies-with-benefits storyline that I go. But I LOVED it. This was a much more realistic YA book than I have been used to seeing recently and I really enjoyed it. It's also a tiny bit more... I wouldn't exactly say steamier but you get the general idea.

Bianca was a character that I almost immediately fell in love with. She was such a funny, highly sarcastic girl, who knew who she was and what she needed and went for it. She had her problems and issues to work through, but overall she was a fantastic character that just spoke to me. She is a really down-to-earth girl and she just feels like a breath of fresh air next to some of the completely hopeless female heroines I've had to deal with as of late. Bianca is dealing with problems in her every day life, her mother is touring as a motivational speaker and hasn't been home in months, and her father is a recovering alcoholic. She kind of hates Wesley Rush for many reasons, and his calling her a DUFF - designated ugly fat friend - doesn't exactly help his case. But she realises he can be the perfect distraction to her problems.

Wesley is a character that took a little while to grow on me, but when he did I just loved him too. That's saying a lot, seeing as I thought he was a super mega douche at the beginning, what kind of a guy just calls a girl a douche. But that guy won me over and now I am rather in love with the boy. And yes, Bianca and Wesley might just be one of my new and top OTPs. I ship them, I ship them hard. And I actually really wasn't expecting the enemies-with-benefits storyline, not just because I didn't see a blurb, but because Bianca thinks Wesley is a womanising piece of shit at the beginning.

I am so grateful this turned out to be nothing like what I had assumed. There was no cliched queen bee character trying to take Bianca down. She wasn't trying to become something she isn't and she went after what she wanted. It surprised me for many reasons, but I was just so glad to read such a refreshingly real YA book, that gave a much more realistic portrayal of real teens and real teen relationships.

This book made me certain that I would go out and get my hands on everything I could by the author. She wrote such a wonderful, realistic and, at times, messed up YA read and I loved every minute of it. The romance in it wasn't your typical romance and it doesn't play out exactly how you think it would. I really appreciated the way the author handled the sex in this book and the differences between how it's viewed when a teenage guy is having sex and when a teenage girl is. This book deals with slut shaming, and how teenage girls have to deal with being judged if they embrace their sexuality. Bianca can be viewed as a whore, but Wesley is not made to feel ashamed or judged at all.  Keplinger handles this subject so well.


5/5 Butterflies


This book completely surprised me and it's one of my top reads of the year so far. I loved the romance in this book and how that was handled. I also applaud Keplinger for how she confronts the issues of slut shaming and self esteem, and how words can have a lasting impact on people. This book feels like a breath of fresh air and a stand out amongst most YA romance books. I know this is a book that I will be coming back to reread again because it was just such a brilliant story. I recommend this a million times over and to literally every person alive right now. Can you read? If the answer is yes then I see no reason why you shouldn't go read and love this book. And even if the answer to that question is no, you best go out and get yourself an audiobook so you can listen to the awesome! 



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:



As you can see from the review above, I absolutely loved The DUFF book. So I was excited but completely nervous to watch the movie. After reading the book and then watching the trailer for the movie, it was pretty clear that this movie wasn't going to be winning any points for sticking to its source material. It was quite clear that this was going to be vastly different from the book. And for once that didn't bother me. I knew it going in and I knew not to expect a loyal adaptation. And you most definitely do not get one, this is 100% nothing like the book. But I really enjoyed it regardless. 

How I felt about the people who wrote
this movie adaptation.
You need to know, especially if you're a fan of the book, that the book and the movie are too vastly different things. Characters are added and changed, some to the point where they are hardly recognisable as the characters I first met in The DUFF book. Now The DUFF was a fantastic book that I absolutely loved - it gave a very frank, real and honest portrayal of being a teenager and having relationships at that age. It looked at how teenagers handle having an active sex life and the difference between how a man is treated and how a woman is. It was a truly fantastic book, but I'm not quite sure it would have worked nearly as well as a movie.

As far as a film adaptation goes, this movie was really disappointing. It changed so much of what I loved about the book and basically turned this into another teen movie. But I really enjoyed it. I'm sorry, I did. I'd prefer the book over the movie any day, but just being viewed as a film and not an adaptation, I really enjoyed it. So this might be your stereotypical teen movie, that can be highly predictable and clichéd, but I think it worked and I enjoyed it. 

Tv Movie animated GIFI can give you one very important reason that this movie worked for me and why I still loved it, despite the fact it is nothing like the book. What truly won me over and made me thoroughly enjoy this movie was the superb casting of it's leading lady: MAE WHITMAN! That woman completely steals the show. She is absolutely hilarious in this film and she was probably the only reason I didn't end up completely devastated with how they didn't stick to the book at all. 

Movies Mae Whitman animated GIFI really do hate how much they changed Bianca's character though. They made her so hopelessly dorky and a little bit useless in this movie and the person who is desperate not to be the DUFF, and just wants to get the guy. Book Bianca was so much deeper than that and had so much more to offer. She was much more sure of herself and who she was, even if being called a DUFF did have a big impact on her. But I am glad that she was still a funny character, even more so in the movie because Mae Whitman is absolutely hilarious. This was a really cute and funny film and had me laughing so much in the cinema - even the boyfriend admitted it wasn't the worst film I have ever dragged him to see.

To enjoy the movie, I do have to separate it completely from the book. If I think of it in terms of an adaptation of one of my favourite books of 2015 then I really just want to curl up into a ball and cry about how horrifically wrong they got it. But in terms of just another teen movie, it was hilariously funny and I loved it! Maybe it's a guilty pleasure watch for me, I don't know. But I know I will be buying it on DVD and having a rewatch when I can.

Don't be expecting an enemies-with-benefits storyline here. Don't be expecting a sexually confident Bianca either. This is the girl trying to get a makeover to impress a guy kind of storyline, which is so overdone. But it works here because it doesn't play out the way you would expect it to. I wish it could have gone the grittier route, like the book but I knew what I was getting in when I went to see this. I'd seen the trailer, I knew not to expect something profound.

I hated that they felt the need to include the stereotypical queen bee character, your total Regina George. She doesn't even exist in the book and I don't get why she was necessary. It really didn't help the movie and made it so predictable in so many way. It meant we got the big speech from the main character at the end, trying to show the evil queen bee the error of her ways. Why was she needed? It was like they just grabbed a carbon copy Regina George and shoved her in so we had an antagonist to add to the story.


Thoughts & Rating as an ADAPTATION

1/10 

As an adaptation of the movie... IT SUCKS! It wins no points and it's lucky to even get one star for that. It kept none of the great gritty, real and unique feel that the book had. It adds in unnecessary characters and changes others. It makes Bianca, a character I adored in the book, so much less than she should have been. It just wasn't what you would want from the adaptation at all. It has almost nothing in common with the original source material and kept nothing of what I loved.


Thoughts & Ratings as YET ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE

Movies Mae Whitman animated GIFIf I can pretend that this isn't an adaptation of one of my favourite books of 2015 -which is quite easy considering it is NOTHING like the book- then I can actually enjoy the movie. I can enjoy it as a teen movie. It's fun and funny and made me laugh out loud, with a cute romance thrown in. But it doesn't go deep and explore any of the real issues, like the book did. It's just very light and breezy and skin deep. But it did make me laugh a lot and was enjoyable enough to watch. And yes, okay, this might have everything to do with Mae Whitman. She was just sooooooo funny in this film and my favourite part about it. I don't think I liked much else about it other than her, but she won many more butterflies for this movie then it would have got if someone else had been cast in that role. If your looking for funny, easy film then I would definitely still recommend this.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Reads of 2015 so far!

 

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

This weeks topic is:

My Top Reads of 2015 so far!


Yay! I always love the top ten reads of the half year/year posts. Not only because I get to share all the amazing and wonderful books I have read so far this year. I also love it because I usually find a ton of amazing books to add to my own TBR pile.

I've read 66 books so far in 2015 so picking just ten turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. It also made me realise how many reviews I need to write, as I haven't wrote reviews for any of these yet, except for one book this year and the two I read and reviewed last year,

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

WOW!!! No other word describes this beautiful book better. It is absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend it. I really wish this book was getting way more attention because it absolutely deserves it. It tells the story of Love and Death, and the game they have been playing for centuries. They each choose their players, set the rules and see who comes out on top. Death has always won! Henry and Flora are the players that are picked. Flora has dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earheart and sings in jazz clubs during the day, and Henry is guaranteed a bright future by his wealthy adopted parents. It's set during the time of the Great Depression and has everything I could have asked for - fascinating and diverse characters, fantastic writing, a beautiful romance, LGBTQ themes and heartbreaking moments that had me sobbing. I highly, highly recommend. Especially to anyone who was a fan of The Book Thief or similar books.

P.S. I will be posting a gushing review of it very soon, and also including a giveaway and possible author interview.

Half Bad & Half Wild by Sally Green

I really need to hurry up and review these books. I actually can't describe to you how much I loved these. When Half Bad came out, I'd seen mixed reviews and it had made me so nervous to get to this series. I shouldn't have worried, I read it and it became one of my top reads of the year. It has magic and witches, not to mention this also has diverse characters and LGBTQ themes too. I adored every moment of reading these books and I am so desperate to get my hands on the third book. I met Sally Green and totally had to stop myself fangirling and hounding her with questions about the third book. I know there were many people who just couldn't get into this series, but I adore it and it's become a top favourite series of mine.


The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

I was actually surprised by how much I absolutely loved The DUFF. I don't know why, I just wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did. It turned out to be such a gritty and real young adult romance, one that had so much more to offer than just the romance storyline. I really connected to the main character, Bianca, she had such a dry, sarcastic and witty humour and I really loved that about her. I also really got behind the romance in this book as well. I am now eager to get to my ARC of the companion novel. I'm posting my review of the book and the movie this Thursday.


Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

I was really not expecting Rebel Belle to be a five star read for me. I thought it would just be an okay read, but nothing particular special. I was so very wrong! It was a fast-paced, action-packed read that I found almost impossible to put down. You can breeze through this book in a few hours because the action doesn't stop the whole time your reading it. It's such a fun paranormal YA book, a genre that I don't read very often, and it's made me willing to try more from the genre. It also has the added bonus of having a really cute romance aspect added in. My only negative is the fact that I have now continued the series and the sequel was rather disappointing in comparison.


Golden Son by Pierce Brown

I read and reviewed Red Rising last year and it got all of the stars. That book impressed me so much!!! I was soooo nervous to get to Golden Son because I was so sure that it wouldn't be able to live up to my expectations. Sequels, especially middle books in trilogies, can often be quite disappointing. But Pierce Brown gave me and even more action packed and jaw-droppingly shocking read than the first book. This book shocked and surprised me, and also exceeded all of my expectations - and those expectations were very high! You can read my full review for Golden Son here.

Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

I saw the cover for this book and silently judged it. I liked the sound of the synopsis, but I just wasn't expecting very much from the book. I was proved wrong and I actually thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's made me want to buy a physical copy just to keep on my shelf for when I want a reread, because I know I will one day. This is one of those stories where a guy from the girls past suddenly comes back into her life, disrupting everything. It was just one of those books where it clicks with you and is the perfect read you need right at that moment. I was rooting for the two characters to get together the whole time, and getting frustrated with them the longer they didn't! I really loved it, it'll be a great summer read too. 

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

I was a big fan of To All the Boys I've Loved Before when I read it last year. There is only one word to describe that book and that is adorable! It was just so sweet and cute and awwwww worthy. Plus, if you read that book then there is no way that you didn't fall head over heels for Peter K! Lara Jean and Peter K make the cutest couple ever. I was really excited to get to the sequel and see their relationship progress. Even though I didn't think this was as good as book one, and little aspects of it annoyed me - like the introduction of a pointless love triangle - I still really enjoyed it and thought it was a great sequel to one of my favourite books of 2014.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder

This book had been on my TBR for quite some time and I finally managed to get the time to actually read it. I wasn't disappointed, I completely agree with all the glowing reviews I have seen for it. I am not one of those people who is bothered by the whole teacher/student forbidden romance stories, not when it's between characters who are basically both consenting adults and to me that's 16+ - which is the age of consent here in the UK, I'd seen wonderful reviews for this and was really curious and ended up really enjoying it, even though it's not my usual kind of read.

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

It's really hard to be as torn over a book and what to rate it as I am with I'll Meet You There. There was so much that I loved about this book, so much that wanted me to proclaim it a 5/5 read. But then there were things that I found it so hard to get past and get over as I read it. It's a romance between two people who are both dealing with their own set of problems - Skylar might have to give up going to college, and Josh lost his leg fighting in Afghanistan and is still trying to come to terms with everything he went through out there. It was a book I really struggled to put down and I did want to love it because their romance was really well done.... BUT I am really looking forward to writing my review for this so I can discuss the one problem I had with it. Josh comes across as a total homophobe at times and says some truly offensive things that I find it hard to forget or forgive. How can I truly enjoy the book when I kind of want to drop kick the guy in the face? I am still confused!! I'd be less confused if it felt like he learned from it or grew over the course of the book, but I am still unsure if he did. Some may love this, others may not being able to get passed the wanting to drop kick the guy in the face. I'm still undecided.

Best 2015 Reads I Read In 2014



THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF EVER!!!! I adore everything Maas writes and this was no different. It was INCREDIBLE! I read it last year but didn't post my review until very recently.... you can read all the gushing here.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

A beautiful, heartbreaking read that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Feel free to read my review, where I gush far too much, here


YAY! I've blogged so much this week that I actually have posts for this!!!

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Top 10 Posts
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: Jurassic World Review



Saturday, 27 June 2015

My Weekly Wrap Up: 27/06/2015

I'm really proud of myself this week! I have posted for the last five days in a row, which is really surprising for me. I have been suffering from the worst blogging slump - before this week I'd posted only 17 posts in 4 months. But something just clicked this week and I was finally able to do some blogging. I really hope I can keep this up and get back on track.

My weeks have mostly been filled with working and not much else. But I did get to attend an amazing event at Bloomsbury's offices in London last week. It was an evening with Sarah Crossan and Jenny McLachlan, who were there talking about their latest books. It was such a fun event and those two had us all in stitches. I went with my best friend, Kevin, and we had a great time catching up.

I've been realising that I am acquiring books at an alarming rate and really need to cut down. We shall see if that actually happens though!

FAR TOO MANY!!!


Mud VeinMud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realises this is a game. 

A dangerous one.
Only the truth can set her free. 

MarrowMarrow by Tarry Fisher
Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighbourhood called the Bone, in a curse house, with a cursed mother, who hasn't spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It's not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbour, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighbourhood girl, seven-year-old Nevaeh Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she's determined to find evil and punish it - targeting rapists and child molesters one by one. But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risk losing everything, including her own soul. 

Under the InfluenceUnder the Influence by L.B. Simmons
Dalton,

I love you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naive, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn't see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamoured, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I'm letting you go.