Thursday, 24 July 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review


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:


How To Train Your Dragon 2


A 20 year old Hiccup!
I've actually seen this film twice now, which is good because it makes it easier to review. It divided my opinion for one reason and one reason only. One particular event had me so angry that I kind of wanted to give it 0 out of 10 and then rant about it. It's a great movie though and deserves a much higher rating.

The movie is set five years after the events of the first film. I was surprised by that, as I didn't thin they would go that far ahead when they plan to make a lot of sequels. But it makes sense for the story that they want to tell and it works really well. The village of Berk are still living with the dragons, each person has their own dragon. They're happy and Stoick is even thinking of letting Hiccup take over the role of Chief. The only problem is that Hiccup doesn't know if he is ready for that kind of responsibility yet. He spends most of his time flying with Toothless, exploring and discovering new places as he tries to find more dragons. It's on one of these trips that he meets Eret, a dragon trapper, who works for a rather insane man named Drago Bludvist. Drago sees himself as the only controller of dragons and he is after war, he will strike Berk just to steal their dragons. Hiccup wants to find Drago and change his mind, but Stoick believes war is inevitable. Hiccup won't listen and flies off with Toothless to try and find Drago.


The first time I saw this movie was after a really bad day at work, and I mean really bad. I was really excited to go see this film because I was sure it was going to be funny, entertaining and would cheer me up. And it was funny at times, it was definitely entertaining  but it did not cheer me up. My friend sat in the cinema and laughed at my horrified expression as this movie destroyed me a little bit. I didn't know exactly what I was expecting from this movie, but I didn't expect it to be anywhere near as sad as it was. The second time I saw it I knew what to expect, but I was still upset. And maybe a little bit angry. It seems they took a few lessons from Game of Thrones when they were making this movie.

I was actually blown away by how good this movie was and how well it was done. As far as sequels go, this movie is on par with Catching Fire. Yes, it's that good. It's one of those animated movies that you can watch and tell it's going to be nominated for a ton of awards. It feels like it takes inspiration from a few different movies and TV shows, but it still feels fresh and original. It has a darker story then a lot of animated movies you see, but that works really well. They balance it with the humour you want from the movie and the brilliant Toothless moments that make you wish you had a dragon.

I was really impressed with the pacing of this movie, it was absolutely perfect. It doesn't have any moments where it feels dragged out or like it goes on too long. There aren't moments where you wonder why a certain scene is even there or where you want it to just hurry up and be over. It balances everything really well, there's always something going on and happening. It has it's happy moments, funny moments, shocking moments and even sad moments.

I'm hoping that future children's animated movies start taking lessons from How To Train Your Dragon 2. I think it really set itself apart from the other animated films we have seen this year and in recent years. It was a lot darker than I had first expected, but it showed how the characters had grown up and how their world was changing. Its a movie that's funny and light enough that children will love it as much as the first, but it has it's dark and sad moments that make it a lot more appealing to an older audience.


9.5/10 Butterflies

If I am totally honest, the first time I watched this film I was so angry and upset that I wanted to give it 0 stars. I then wanted to rant about how I was just looking for a light-hearted, funny and entertaining animated movie to cheer me up. I wasn't expecting it to be a gut-punch to the feels or a movie that took inspiration from Game of Thrones on how to shock audiences (Oberyn anyone?!?). It has a truly solid storyline though, it's pacing is perfect and you won't ever feel bored or like it's slowed down too much. I think it's a lesson on how to do an animated sequel and do it right. I can only describe how good it is by comparing it to Catching Fire - it was that good a sequel. It might have been soul-crushing at times but it was an amazing movie. If you were a fan of the first then I highly recommend it. If you haven't seen the first then clearly there is something wrong with you. So go watch the first and then go see this! I took off 0.5 of a Butterfly because of how sad this movie made me.







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, picking between them or doing both topics each week.


Action & Romance 

How descriptive action sequences and/or romantic situations are usually depends on the author. Some authors spend several pages describing an action or romantic scene while others describe these situations in a few paragraphs or less. What is your preference?


That's actually a really good question and I think my answer would change depending on the particular book or scene. Some scenes really do require pages and pages in order to describe them. Other times it would just feel really dragged out and unnecessary. My problem with some New Adult is that they are mostly just the romantic scenes that are really dragged out and unnecessarily long. But in a book where it's building up to that kind of scene, you don't want it to be over within a few sentences because then it's a bit too anti-climactic. Action sequences are ones that I feel are understandably long at times, especially if it's a massive fight scene or something along those lines. I don't have a particular preference, I just don't want the scene to feel rushed or as if it's been dragged out a lot longer than necessary. That's a hard balance to find but a lot of authors are perfect at it - Sarah J. Maas is a genius at it! My Throne of Glass love isn't going to let up any time soon.



Bookish Shame

Do you read exclusively one of the following or a mix: Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade? What are your opinions on shaming adults who read YA? Do you agree or disagree that adults reading YA deters actual young adults from reading because they may 'feel as if their genre is taken over?' Do you think NA as a whole gets a bad reputation? Do you think it's deservedly so?

 Ashley has given such an amazing topic today and I could probably ramble on for ages but I will try to make this as short as possible. I don't exclusively read anything, I will happily read any of the four mentioned. I have always read a large amount of YA and read it a lot more since I have started blogging. I love a lot of Adult Fiction, and have some favourite authors that only write that. I have also read and loved some New Adult - Colleen Hoover is a genius at it and I adore her books. I probably read Middle Grade books the least out of all four, but I am sure I have read a few. 

Do I think adults reading YA deters actual young adults reading it? No. In my honest opinion, I don't think it puts young adults off of those books at all. I don't feel like they feel it's being taken over, although maybe a teenager wouldn't want to read a certain book if their mum was reading it. Mainly just because when you're a teenager you don't really want to be seen doing anything your parents are doing. But I was always that teenager who read and loved a book and then tried to get my mum to read it because she had to know how amazing it was. A lot of YA books have become massive thanks to their movie adaptations - The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars being great examples - and it hasn't deterred teenagers from reading it. In fact, I work in a library and have seen teenagers come in with a parent and get the book with the intention of both of them reading it. I think it's a great thing that adults and young adults are reading a lot of the same books and I don't think it's something that we should see as a bad thing.

New Adult having a bad reputation, I think that is actually really true. Some people who haven't read it think that it's mainly just about sex, it's full of drama and angst and poorly written. Why do I think this? I have been told it so many times I have lost count when showing people our NA section in the library. It definitely has a bad reputation but I am not completely sure why. I have read books that were all of those things and they were just hideously awful and put me off the genre. But you have to remember that it's one book of millions and you might have just read the one terrible book. I read Slammed by Colleen Hoover and realised that before that I had just not found the right New Adult book or author for me. I think she's amazing and her books are so good, if you're new to the genre then I definitely recommend her. The reputation is definitely not deserved, it's just a case of the genre not being for everyone. The same way that Sci-fi isn't for everybody or erotica isn't. It would be like judging all erotica based off of Fifty Shades of Grey - I'm sure they are not all that poorly written with such terrible characters and awful plot. A lot of the reputation of New Adult comes from people who haven't even read any books of the genre. 





I'm currently celebrating July with a giveaway! I am giving 6 winners the chance to win a book of their choice, worth up to £10, from Book Depository. For all the details you can go to the original post.

I am also taking part in Book Badger's Summer Surge Read-a-thon. I even did an interview for it and have done a giveaway as well. You can win one of my favourite summer reads, to find out what they are then go over to the original interview post. Be sure to sign up for the read-a-thon while you are at it, it's going to be a ton of fun!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: 4.5/5 Review
Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Want On A Deserted Island With Me



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Want On A Deserted Island With Me

 

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


This weeks topic is:

Characters I Want On A Deserted Island With Me

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Celaena 

She's an assassin. She's THE assassin. Do I need any other reason? 

Chaol 

This is just because I am in love with him. 

Fleetfoot

You need a four legged companion when you're trapped on a deserted island!

Under The Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
Perry

This might also be just because I am in love with him. He is a leader though and looks after his own tribe. He would be good in a deserted island situation. 

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Four

Are you sensing a pattern yet? Again, might just be because I am in love with him. But I can also say it's because he's tough, brave and might be able to teach me to be less of a wimp. Probably not, but a girl can dream.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
Katniss 

If she can survive the Hunger Games then I am sure a deserted island will be no trouble at all. She can be the hunter who gathers and kills all the food.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Peeta

Where Katniss goes, Peeta goes!



Harry, Ron & Hermione

I am putting them together because that's clearly where they belong. They have magic, which has to be pretty useful on a deserted island. Plus, if they were trapped on a deserted island with me then they would have to become my best friends.




I'm currently celebrating July with a giveaway! I am giving 6 winners the chance to win a book of their choice, worth up to £10, from Book Depository. For all the details you can go to the original post.



a Rafflecopter giveaway





Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: 4.5/5 Review



Monday, 21 July 2014

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Review

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? (Goodreads summary.)


It's time to begin! *sings*
Okay, this is it, it's time for me to review Throne of Glass because I have finally started reading this series. Yes, I know, I am extremely late to the party but I like to see it as arriving once the party is in full swing. There's two books out now, a book of novellas published and a third book is out in two months, so I am able to jump straight in and immerse myself in Maas's world. I am a completely impatient person so that was important to me, I wanted to be able to binge read a few of them. I can't believe I am actually able to say this but, Throne of Glass finally got me out of my two month long reading slump. Hooray!

So, let us start with the basics. Celaena Sardothien is known as Adarlan's Assassin; she's been trained by the King of the Assassins himself, Arobynn Hamel, since she was eight years old. She's always been the best and it's always been known that she will take over from Hamel, or that's what she always thought. But someone betrayed her a year ago and it landed her in the salt mines of Endovier. She's now nothing more than a slave to the King, a man who is responsible for banishing magic from their land and killing millions of people. Celaena has come to terms with the fact that she will slave away in the mines until the day she dies. But that all changes the day that Prince Dorian Havilliard, the King's son and heir, shows up at the mines with a proposition for Celaena. He wants her to represent him in a tournament that his father is hosting, where she will compete for the title of King's Champion. If Celaena can win then she will serve the King, as his Champion, for four years before she earns the right to her freedom, something she craves more than anything. If she says no then she will stay in the mines until she dies. It's an easy choice to make.

That is everything you learn within the first chapter and my general feelings on the plot, by that point, were:



I turned to Throne of Glass because I was desperately trying to find a book that could get me out of my reading slump. I was a little nervous as I had thought this might be a case of the hype being unjustified or setting my expectations so high that the book was unable to live up to it. Luckily for me, neither proved to be true and I want to thank everybody who recommended this series to me. I am truly, madly, deeply, passionately and every over word they used in that movie (if you know it... yay!) in love with this series.

It had my attention from almost the first page. It took a while to get into, but that was partly because of the fact that I was still suffering from a reading slump that had been going on for two months. Throne of Glass was the book I had been looking for, this book didn't just get me out of my slump, it grabbed me and yanked me out of it. It was just everything that I needed: interesting plot, fantastic characters, a totally ship-worthy romance and a furry friend as a companion. What more could I ask for?

This is me... 
with the character names.
I love me some characters, so I have to discuss them at length. I. Have. To! Firstly, I really feel the need to comment on the fact that I hate fantasy books and their obsession with having characters with names that are unpronounceable. This book had a few names that I struggled with a little bit. I eventually got used to all of the names, but I am pretty sure that I was pronouncing most of them wrong. I found this totally useful cheat sheet on the authors website, but by that point it was too late! I got Chaol's pronunciation wrong but I can't change it now, I just can't!

First we have Celaena. Celaena, Celaena, Celaena, where to even begin. I am rather proud of myself now, trying to spell her name used to be hard but after binge reading all three books, and writing the name a million times in my notes, I am a pro. Celaena is a total bad-ass, so much so that she makes Katniss Everdeen look like an utter wimp. There, I said it! Plus, she's absolutely hilarious and has the most wonderful, and at times totally dark, sense of humour and I love her for it. She amuses herself way more than she amuses others, which is hilarious to see. I knew that I liked Celaena from the moment she was introduced, she was so sure of herself and her own skills. I liked her confidence and how she looked down on practically everyone. She also wins a million points for absolutely loving reading as much as I do. Celaena became one of my all time favourite female protagonists after reading this book. Wait, I take that back! She just became one of my all time favourite protagonists after reading this book. This book gave me some serious Game of Thrones vibes for a lot of reasons, and she reminded me of Daenerys as well. Totally not just because they both have long blonde hair and don't take crap from anybody. If only Celaena had dragons.

 Celaena & Chaol 
Then we have Chaol, who I am just slightly, totally, ridiculously in love with. Yes, I know, he's an entirely fictional character but the heart wants what the heart wants. He is the Captain of the King's guard and given the job of training with Celaena and getting her ready for the tournament. Did I mention that he absolutely hates her? Well, he does. And, as we all know, the best kind of romance to ship with all your being is the kind that starts as hate. We all know it's secretly just sexual tension. So, for pretty much the first time ever, I totally shipped two characters from the very beginning. Chaol is moody, he's brooding and is so serious at times that it's entirely hilarious to everyone but him. If you read this and didn't ship Chaol then we can no longer be friends. I'm being serious, click off the blog right now and go.

Dorian is the other main guy in this book and, so he thinks at least, a contender for Celaena's affections. He's the King's son and his heir to the throne, so any romance with an assassin would be forbidden. Oooooh, forbidden romance - who doesn't love those? I just couldn't ever get behind him as a love interest though. He never stood a chance in my eyes. Chaol just won me over from the very beginning and nothing Dorian did in this book could change that. He's absolutely adorable though, a total sweetheart and is actually a perfect guy for so many reasons. But, whenever he popped up and seemed to get in the way of the good ship Chaolaena, I was all like:



There's one other character that I really want to mention and pour all of my love for them into this post, but I won't. I really want to but I will refrain in case it is deemed a bit too spoilery. It isn't in my opinion, but I will refrain!

I have to get to the romance in this book, which you could kind of call a love triangle situation. You have two potential love interests and a heroine who seems like she should be all I-don't-need-nor-want-a-man but then totally cares what both think of her. It should frustrate me but it doesn't. Maas has been able to pull off something that few authors have, she has created a love triangle that works. I didn't hate either character, I wasn't angry or annoyed at either characters presence. I loved them both in for different reasons, even though I was Team Chaol from page 1. No matter how sweet and adorable Dorian is, I will never change my opinion on this. It best be Celaena and Chaol in the end or I will cry. This is at least a six book series so a lot can happen in that time. But, seriously, Chaolaena has to happen.

I really do just want to gush at you all about how fantastic this book was. I thought the world building and character building was done so effortlessly and perfectly. I felt like I really got to know everything I needed to about the world, but not too much that you aren't left wanting to discover and travel more of it. It also gave you a lot of information about the characters but, again, it doesn't give everything away. It leaves you with questions and a desire to find out more.

If I had to complain about anything then I would probably say that I found the plot to be a little too predictable at times. There's a whodunnit situation in this and the culprit is blindingly obvious that I was actually annoyed that Celaena didn't figure it out sooner. Some things were just a bit too obvious, like who would be the final 2 left in the Championship and things like that. I just wish those plot points hadn't been so glaringly obviously right from the beginning.


4.5/5 Butterflies

I really did adore this book for so many reasons. If it wasn't for my few issues with the general plot then it would have been a 5 star read for me. I think I was slightly tempted to give it 5 stars just for Chaol! I love the characters in this, the world building, the plot and how I know it's a start to an EPIC series that I am going to follow right to the end. Unless Maas kills Chaol... and then me and this series will be over! OVER!!! I highly recommend this to absolutely all of you, but especially to those who are fans of fantasy, kick-ass heroines or totally shipable romances. Read it people! You know you want to. 



Monday, 14 July 2014

Time For A Break & A Giveaway


Hello Blogosphere,


The above gif is probably the most accurate way to portray what I am doing. I am here to say hi, then I'm promptly running away for a week. If you follow the blog at all, which I hope you do, then you know that I have been struggling with an immense reading slump. I tried to conquer it in many ways, which I shared with you in my completely unhelpful post about conquering reading slumps. Nothing helped.

Well, I have made some progress. I started the Throne of Glass series, something I had put off for so long because of fear that it would be another hyped book that I wouldn't end up liking. I was very wrong. I am obsessed. Chaol and Celaena had me hooked from the very beginning. I am only halfway through the second book, but so far this series is about those two for me. I worry once I am finished with my ARC of Heir of Fire I will be so distressed I won't be able to pick up another book. If you haven't read it yet, READ IT!

I am really getting off the subject, sorry. As you can probably tell, I am very easily distracted right now, which is terrible when you are trying to write reviews and blog posts. I am going on a break and probably won't be back until at least Monday, for no other reason than I can't concentrate on blogging right now. I need a break, I think I've needed it for a while now but just haven't taken it. I don't know why, it's just a week off so I don't see why I have put it off, like it's some really big deal. 

I need this break because I am beyond stressed right now and trying to find the time and energy to blog just isn't possible. I really want to blog about London Film and Comic Con and YALC - the UK's first Young Adult Literary Convention - because it was absolutely amazing. I will definitely be doing that but it won't be up till next week. So this is just a quick post to say that I won't be on here for at least the next week, not posting or commenting. I will enjoy this break and spend my time relaxing, calming down and having some me time. Plus, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK! 


I hope to see you all back here in a week!





It's my birthday this week and I wanted to do a giveaway to celebrate! Plus, I reached 1616 Bloglovin' deciding what to do for the giveaway. But, in the end, I decided to go for 6 winners each winning a book of their choice, worth up to £10 on Book Depository. I seem to be liking the number 6 right now, for no apparent reason. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy!


Saturday, 12 July 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 12/07/2014

STSmall

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 just been okay, I didn't get up to too much and I still struggled with my reading slump. I wrote my post on how to conquer reading slumps and the blogosphere outdid itself! I was so pleased with all the different advice I got. Will be trying a few new things next week and can't wait to see if it works.
Still struggling with the slump but I did try Throne of Glass and ended up becoming absolutely obsessed with it! I LOVED IT! I am Chaol all the way though, Dorian needs to get out the way!

All I can concentrate on at the moment (it's currently Friday) is the fact that I am going to London Film and Comic Con tomorrow. I will be attending YALC, our first Young Adult literary convention and I can't wait. There's going to be amazing talks, panels and so many amazing authors doing signings. CAN'T WAIT!





 Kindle Paperwhite

It was essentially this:


I finally bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite! I was reading a blog where the blogger mentioned the fact that they always buy themselves a birthday gift. They always get themselves something that they really want, which gave me an idea! When Amazon sent me a 20% off Kindles code email it was a sign, so I bought it and treated myself for my birthday next week. 


Winger (Winger, #1)
Winger by Andrew Smith

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old boy at a boarding school for rich kids. He's living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he's madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humour, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life's complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what's important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen's experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Have heard so many amazing things about this book, so I treated myself yet again and bought it!



Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4) Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5) Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6)

I am totally to binge read this series. I own the first three and borrowed the last three from work. Now I have them all I can finally make my way through them. Excited!!! 


Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

I feel bad for Richelle Mead, she's written so many books and they all get given such hideous covers. Seriously, what's with all the truly terrible cover models? 



Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...

I've wanted to read this for ages but Netgalley said US preferred and other regions would probably be rejected, so I didn't request it. Finally decided to take the chance and see what happened. Was requested by the next day and I am so happy! Now, let's hope I end up loving it.




Pivot Point by Kasie West: 4/5 Review
Discussion: How To Conquer A Reading Slump
Split Second by Kasie West: 4/5 Review

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: 22 Jump Street 6.5/10 Film Review
Summer Surge Read-A-Thon: Sign Up Post
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Summer Reads