Saturday, 1 November 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 01/11/2014

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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.


This week has been up and down. I started off my week ill, which meant lots of lazing around the house, reading books and not getting anything done. It was bad for the blog and everything else, but at least I managed to complete my Goodreads goal. The rest of the week has been spent working and trying to catch up on the blog, which I am really behind on. I have 12 reviews to write, so I really hope I can find some motivation and get to that as soon as I can. 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Monthly Recap: October


I'm starting to feel like I'm 73 and not 23. I can barely remember this month at all. I've had some stresses at work, but balanced with fun times with the boyfriend and my family. I've been able to make time for reading, but not spent as much time blogging. I've been saving for Christmas and trying to come up with ideas for presents for every one. I've been sick this last week, so that's sucked, but it has meant I could spend time reading. And I finally finished my Goodreads challenge and read 100 books this year. It's not going to be my best reading year, but I am happy with that.

October

I read 14 books.


I've read 14 books, which has been the most I've managed in a month for a long time. If I am completely honest, it's only been a good month quantity wise, not quality! I have had some terrible reads this month, the worst being Grave Mercy, The Maze Runner, Exquisite Captive and Love and Other Unknown Variables. My average rating was 3.1/5, which basically means that it was a mediocre reading month. I only had one 5/5 read, but it was an amazing one and well worth the rest of the rubbish. That book was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, which is due out in January, I recommend you all add it to your TBR or get to it right away if you have an ARC.

Reviewed on blog:

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang 3.5/5
Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth 3/5
Atlantia by Ally Condie 3/5
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall 3/5
In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis 4/5
Timebomb by Scott K. Andrews 3/5
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers 2/5
The Maze Runner by James Dashner 2/5
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith 3/5

I managed to post 9 reviews this month, and plan to have the 10th up later today. Two were mini-reviews but I am still pleased with that number. It was another average review month too, with an average rating of 2.9/5. That's actually really bad, I am in serious need of some exceptional reads!!!! 

Posts





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Challenges

TBR Pile Challenge

My goal: 50+ books

Have read so far: 26 books

I added 6 books this month, which is pretty good for me. I won't be reaching my target but at least I have made a lot of progress this month. I have been putting aside eARCs and making more time for books I own but haven't read yet. 

Falling For YA
Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

My goal: 50 books

Read so far: 58 books

I added 4 more books to this challenge, which I have already completed. 

Series Challenge Button take2
Series Challenge

My goal is to complete between 7-11 series this year.

Series finished: 5 series

1. The Program & The Treatment by Suzanne Young
3. Starters & Enders by Lissa Price
4. Nantucket Blue & Nantucket Red by Leila Howland
5. Pivot Point & Split Second by Kasie West

First In A Series Challenge

My goal is to start 20 series this year. 

So far I have started 36 series.

This month I started 5 more series.



With the blog break and also getting behind on visiting blogs at the start of the month, I don't have too many posts bookmarked.

Cait @ Notebook Sisters discussed YA 2015 trend predictions with other bloggers, including myself.
Anna @ Cool Girls Read Too discussed book hangovers.
Kay @ It's a Book Life shared her book nerd problems.
Jess @ My Reading Dress wonders why YA fiction contains so many love triangles.
Cait @ Notebook Sisters talked about the 10 types of book bloggers! It's really funny and you should definitely check it out to see which one you are.
Olivia @ Olivia Savannah talks about conformity. 
Mel @ The Daily Prophecy discusses upcoming fairytale retellings of 2015. 
Clee @ The Write Game gave some brilliant advice on writing loglines.
Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections wrote the most hilarious, brilliant and honest review of Fifty Shades Darker.
Amanda @ Book Badger discusses that Kathleen Hale article.
Cait @ Notebook Sisters looks at social media and whether we really need to do it all.


Awesome on the Internet

Just because it's beyond impressive:



In my blogoversary post I posted my giveaway to celebrate 1 year of blogging. I am giving one winner the chance to win up to £40 worth of books of their choice from Book Depository. I am also giving one runner up a book of their choice, worth up to £10 from Book Depository.





The Maze Runner by James Dashner: 2/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Equalizer
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book Cover Trends
My Weekly Book Haul: 25/10/2014
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith: 3/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Maze Runner


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Maze Runner


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.

FYI

I know I've been absent the last three days, no new posts or reviews, and I'd like to pretend it's because I was off having some semblance of a social life , but I'd be lying. I was ill! And then once I returned to not feeling like crap, I had to go back to work. So I just didn't have the time, energy or patience to write any posts. But... I'm back. For now!

This weeks movie review will be for:


The Maze Runner

Be aware: Some book spoilers but not movie ones.

Before we get into the movie review, I think I should point out that I read and reviewed The Maze Runner by James Dashner. And I hated it. I hated it with a fiery passion that is still burning now. I just have to think of that book and I internally scream in anger and frustration. Such a brilliant idea for a book that was just not pulled off well. I can't even begin to go into everything that was wrong with that book, but if you want to know then you can find my review here. The basic story though: it sucked!

And in gif form, this is basically me when reading the book.


You might be wondering why I then decided to see the movie if I hated the book so much. And I had a few reasons for that. Others who had hated the movie with as much passion as me had seen the film, they said it was so much better than the book. And secondly, like I said earlier, the idea behind The Maze Runner was good, it just wasn't properly executed. I was hoping they would change a lot and turn the movie into what the book should have been. Well, did they succeed...



Okay.
Okay.
Okay.

THEY DID!


Thank fuck for movie adaptations! They might have the power to utterly disappoint you and crush your fangirl heart, but they also have the power to turn a bad book into a really good movie. This could be because the story just plays out better on screen or it could be that they pretty much change the whole thing. The Maze Runner is one of those times when I can confidently say that the movie is way better than the book. I was surprisingly happy with it and I am so pleased I decided to go see it, despite how I felt about the book.

What I liked:

To whoever wrote the screenplay.
The changes! There were a lot and I was pretty pleased about all of them. Whoever wrote the adapted screenplay, have a round of applause from me. You did good! In all honesty, to me at least, it felt like it was the basic of basics that they kept the same and they changed most other events. We didn't have to deal with everyone telling Thomas to shut up and stop asking questions,. They actually told him things. Hooray! We didn't have to deal with the ridiculous telepathy element being dropped in halfway through the story. Hooray! The Grievers don't look like weird slugs mixed with machine elements that roll everywhere. They even manage to be a tiny bit scary. Hooray! No silly maps of every section of the maze and long scenes of them trying to find letters in it! Hooray! I actually felt like I got to know the characters. Hooray! This is one of those adaptations where I am beyond pleased that they changed so much. 

The casting! 



I was so happy with the casting for this film! The book left me feeling like I didn't get to know any of the characters. There were some I could tell I could like, if I was given the chance to actually get to know them, and if their characters had a bit more to them. But the book characters all felt really flat. Thankfully they are really brought to life on the screen. I loved Thomas, I thought Dylan O'Brien was the perfect choice for him. Blake Cooper made the most awesome Chuck, I just loved him! It was so nice to see them make Minho a braver character than what he was in the book. I had a lot more respect for his character because of it. And, can I just say, thank god they didn't keep Theresa in a coma for half the film or that would have annoyed me. This way we actually get to know the character before all the action starts to happen.

The pace! I thought the book was really slow going and not what I'd been expecting. I'd seen adverts for the trailer and assumed it would be an action-packed book. It wasn't. Thankfully they changed that for the film and picked up the pace. They got rid of all the time that was wasting with Thomas trying to get answers, only to be told to shut up. They made the Grievers a lot more scary and badass, so when they attack, they attack hard. There was some necessary info-dumping at the beginning of the movie, but after that I felt the movie was all action, action action.


It wasn't the book! 
Hahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhaha!


What I didn't like:

The ending! The ending was completely infuriating in the book because it just didn't make a whole lot of sense. The reason for them being in the maze didn't make sense. The answers you spend the whole book waiting for just lead to way more questions. It was confusing and didn't really make any sense. They changed it in the book, but the general idea is the same and it still makes no sense. Hopefully they will explain it more and better in the next film.


7/10 Butterflies

I was ridiculously pleased with The Maze Runner film! A brilliant adaptation, where they managed to turn a crap book into a decent film. My main issues with the film were aspects that were caused by the many plot holes that irked me in the book. They took the main idea of The Maze Runner book and managed to execute it well, something that wasn't managed in the book. They basically managed to do what they book could have been if the concept was given to someone who had a clue what to do with it. I was really pleased with the film and plan to continue the film series, whilst avoiding the book series. I don't need that kind of suffering in my life!


In my blogoversary post I posted my giveaway to celebrate 1 year of blogging. I am giving one winner the chance to win up to £40 worth of books of their choice from Book Depository. I am also giving one runner up a book of their choice, worth up to £10 from Book Depository.





Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: 2/5 Review
Top Ten Tuesday: New Series I Want To Start
The Maze Runner by James Dashner: 2/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Equalizer
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book Cover Trends
My Weekly Book Haul: 25/10/2014
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith: 3/5 Review


Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith: Review

The Geography of You and MeTitle: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository

Owen and Lucy are stuck in a life. As they await help, they start talking...
Though brief, the time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can't shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can't, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy - and pain - of first love.
As each makes their separate journey in search of home, they will discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world


This shrug sums up by book feelings.
This review is so hard for me to write. Mostly because I just finished the book and it was not a pleasant goodbye. I finished this book and I literally threw it across my room. That's right, me, the person who is completely OCD about my books, happily launched this across my room in frustration and anger. It's not bad, it's just really underwhelming.

It had such a sweet beginning and I thought I was going to love this book so much. Lucy and Owen meet when they are trapped in a lift together during a blackout. The night they spent together was just so sweet and the two together were so cute. I instantly loved them together and was totally behind them as a couple. They find themselves being taken in different directions though, Lucy ends up moving to Scotland with her parents and Owen goes on a road trip with his father. It was once they got separated that the plot began to drag.

They barely communicate with one another, just a postcard every now and again. This was when I felt things really begin to slow down and my interest waned. The book goes from being about the characters and their growing relationship to a book about places. It became a lot more of a I did this, I said that, I went here, I thought that kind of book and that got to me. I started to feel the character's personalities slipping away and that upset me. It turned into a big non-event where barely anything actually happens.

Owen was a character that I still really loved no matter how fed up I got with the book. A lot has happened to him, he's trying to deal with the death of his mother and how that's changed his father and the relationship they have. I liked watching the journey that Owen went on and how he overcame his problems. It did make Lucy a tiny bit unlikeable though, her problems weren't really problems, something that's very apparent when you compare them to Owen's.

Me at the end of this book.
If I am being completely honest with myself, it was the ending more than anything that really turned me off the book. Lucy had a good thing going with Liam, this hot, Scottish rugby player but she still has feelings for Owen. I can understand feeling a connection to someone, but they spend so long apart and barely speak to one another. I just felt like their romance was unrealistic and also not going anywhere. They live in different countries, with no plans to ever live closer to one another. That's not a romance that is ever going to work. The ending was just so open and ambiguous and really pointless. I finished the book feeling angry, wondering why I had even bothered to read it in the first place.

3/5 Butterflies

I definitely preferred The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but this was an okay read. It had a strong start but I lost interest as the story went along. I've not been having much luck with romances recently, none of them have been satisfying. This one just disappointed me because the end was really underwhelming. I am one of those people who likes my books to have a proper conclusion. I like satisfying endings but who doesn't. I like Owen and Lucy as characters, I just don't see the two of them together. I just want Owen to find a lovely girlfriend near him who can actually be there for him. 



*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 25/10/2014

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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.

This week has been quite good, but it's ending with me being off work sick and that sucks. Mainly because I don't like being sick, I also can't even binge watch my go to TV show of the moment, which is The Killing btw, because I have to wait for the boyfriend to finish work tonight before I can. I'm also struggling with reading and blogging because sitting up makes me feel dizzy. Oh well, at least I don't have to get dressed or leave my house!


I took my Pottermore sorting test finally, and got Ravenclaw. I wouldn't say I was surprised because that does sound like me. But I always by Gryffindor and Slytherin merchandise, mainly because I like the colours. Now I don't even know! Haha. Anyone else taken it? I even did another test after on a different site and still got Ravenclaw.

I've also spent my week trying to finally catch up on replying to comments. I ended up having almost 300 to reply to and now swear to never wait that long again. I've still got to go visit blogs though, which I'll probably spend an evening doing very soon. I am still obsessed with Instagram, even though I have yet to be tagged in anything. Soon I'm going to cave and just start doing the tags anyway, they look like fun.

InstagramI also reached over 2,000 Bloglovin' follower, which is just incredible.