Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Monthly Recap: August



I can't even sum up this month in words. This about sums it up:


It's funny because it's true. 

August

I read 8 books.
I bought 14 books.

My spending in July was a little crazy when it came to books. I bought 14, but I didn't include the books I was bought by others and the ones I won. That pushes it past 20. Then I only read 8 books. That surprises me because I did feel like I had read a lot more than that. My problem has been that I have worked almost every single day in August, only 5 days off and those weren't spent reading. So, actually, I think I should be proud of the fact that I managed to read 8 books, do 61 hours extra time, keep up with blog posts and comments and even schedule a few posts ahead. 

Reviewed on blog:

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas: 5/5 Review
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: 2/5 Review
Boomerang by Noelle August: 4/5 Review
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas: 4/5 Review
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: 4.5/5 Review
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini: 4.5/5 Review
Magnolia by Kristi Cook: 3.5/5 Review
The Jewel by Amy Ewing: 2.5/5 Review
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: 3/5 Review

I managed to post 9 reviews in August, which I am pretty pleased with. I had a really big mix, some I really loved and then ones I absolutely hated. The Jewel was the biggest disappointment because it started off so strong and then went really down hill with the introduction of insta-love.

Other Posts

Top Ten Tuesday:



Films for Thoughts on Thursday:


Five Friday Favourites:



Book Hauls:

Discussions:



Challenges

TBR Pile Challenge

My goal: 50+ books

Have read so far: 18 books

I added 0 books this month.


Falling For YA
Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

My goal: 50 books

Read so far: 46 books

I added five more to this challenge this month, so I am very close to completing it. I read Magnolia, I'll Give You the Sun, The Jewel and Red Rising.



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

I am hoping that this is the end of the Pivot Point series, I don't think it needs any more books.



First In A Series Challenge

My goal is to start 20 series this year. 

So far I have started 26 series.

This month I started the Worldwalker, Lone City, Red Rising and If I Stay series. I have technically already read If I Stay and Where She Went, but I reread for the movie. 






This is the part where I share the love for other posts I saw over the month and loved.

Amanda @ Book Badger: talked about how patient she is when it comes to waiting for new releases.
Cait @ Notebook Sisters: reviewed Dangerous Boys and summed up my feels perfectly.
Allie @ Little Birdie Books: realised she no longer liked some books.
Stephanie Faris @ Stephanie Faris Author: looked at the body image problems you didn't even know you had.
Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight: had me in stitches when she shared her reviewing process!
Tori @ Bookish Affairs: explained why she doesn't use star ratings.
Jazmen @ This Girl Reads A Lot: wondered if there should be a cut off age with YA.
Amanda @ Book Badger: has a whole new perspective on book blogging.
Nobody @ The Story Goes: reviewed the Divergent movie.
Amy @ Ode to Jo and Katniss: revealed what makes a character a favourite to her.
Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books: shared her thoughts on love triangles.
Cait @ Notebook Sisters: did some more hilarious Honest YA covers.
Allie @ Little Birdie Books: did some brilliant mini-reviews for the Throne of Glass series.
Jazmen @ This Girl Reads A Lot: looked at the 5 stages of grief when book shopping.


Awesome on the Internet






Monday, 1 September 2014

Why Insta-Love Instantly Turns Me Off A Book



Insta-love! Insta-love is definitely becoming one of my most hated tropes in YA fiction. Don't get me wrong, it's not limited to YA fiction, but that's where I encounter it the most. It's getting so bad that I want to fling my book across the room as soon as I realise I am about to witness insta-love. It can actually really ruin a book for me, just because I get frustrated by the whole ridiculousness of the situation and what it says about love to younger readers.

When I realise I am about to witness insta-love:

The main problem I have with insta-love in YA fiction is the fact that it isn't actually love these characters are feeling. It's lust or attraction, or whatever you want to call it. But it's not love. How can you honestly think you have fallen in love with someone you have known for all of two minutes? The characters know nothing about one another and barely have one real conversations, yet they're suddenly declaring their love for one another. Nope!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: Review

I'll Give You the SunTitle: I'll Give You The Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial 
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. (Goodreads summary.)

This book has been so hard for me to review, I read it almost three weeks ago and haven't been able to review it since. It's a book that left me quite confused about how I felt about it. I found it very tough to get into, struggled with it at times and couldn't really connect to the characters. But I did enjoy it overall, I just wasn't in love with it. The book itself confused me, the story, the characters and just everything. It makes writing a review really difficult to me, which is probably why it's so short.

The writing in this was a lot to get used to, so were the characters. I had read Jandy Nelson's debut The Sky is Everywhere back when it first came out, and I loved it. I definitely recognised Nelson's unique writing style and I did enjoy it, but it was harder to deal with in this. I have a feeling the actual book may contain pictures or drawings, but the eARC doesn't have them. I just get that impression, that might actually add a lot more to the story - like the pictures did in The Sky is Everywhere.

I found the book very hard to get into at first, I struggled a lot. We follow Jude and Noah, but at different times in their lives. We follow Noah as he comes to terms with his own sexuality and as he struggles to get into a prestigious art school. His father has always preferred Jude and has never seemed happy with Noah, but Noah feels like he might be his mother's favourite. Art school is his mother's suggestion but now it's all that Noah can think about. He and Jude are twins and have always been close, but lately he has seen a change in her as she surfs and hangs out with different people.

We follow Jude three years later, where her and Noah are no longer close, where she has changed a lot and has shut herself off a lot. She's cut all her hair off, wears guys clothes, talks to the ghost of her dead grandmother and follows her grandmother's bible. Anything she makes at art school seems to break and she's so sure it's her mother punishing her for everything she has done. We follow Jude as she hunts down the reclusive artist Guillermo Garcia and convinces him to help her sculpt her next piece.

My biggest struggle was the character of Jude, she was just very strange. She follows a bible, but it's one that was written by her grandmother. It contains weird advice like: 'Soak a mirror in vinegar to deflect unwanted attention' and 'To change the leaning of the heart, wear a wasp nest on the head.' June does a lot of these things, like carries weird objects in her pockets and placing them on other people. It was all just really odd, I did not get it at all.

This is a book that you may struggle to get into, the writing style does take a while to get used to. But it was around the 50% mark that the story really started to pick up. That was when I began to struggle to put it down and couldn't pull myself away from the story. It involves a really slow starting romance that I was totally behind the whole time. There's the added bonus of a second romance that's a bit more complex and complicated and that broke my heart a little as it progressed, I had to know how that one would turn out. This has twists and turns to the story, it takes a while to get into but once you're in, you're in.


3/5 Butterflies

I feel like the physical copy of this book may come with drawings/photos that connect with Noah's. That will probably add a lot to the story. I honestly struggled a lot with this book, it just didn't completely work for me for a number of reasons. It did take me half the book to get into it, and that's when the story picked up for me and I really began to enjoy it. I found Jude's character hard to understand and connect to at times, mainly because she's so different and unlike any character I have come across before. If I was to describe this book in one word then it would definitely be weird. It has a character who talks to ghosts and carries onions in her pockets and follows a very strange bible. It's an interesting book with romance, heartbreak and so much more. 




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

Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 30/08/2014

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 been pretty good, considering the bad news about work last week. I won a few giveaways, which has amazed me because I have gone from never winning even one to winning 6 in one month. Excited for the prizes to arrive, and the two books the boyfriend has gifted me with. Come on postman, hurry up! I have had adorable times with my cute kitten. I have done a ton of extra time and gotten excited for when I get paid for it all. I have read very little, but feel like I have read a ton. I feel relaxed all of a sudden, in a time when I should feel panicked, stressed and about to have a nervous breakdown. Maybe this is my nervous breakdown, who knows? I am enjoying!


The Book Thief DVD

Not a book, but it's an adaptation of a book. It's amazing! You should all watch it. I reviewed it yesterday and couldn't even handle my feels enough to make my review coherent. Sorry, not sorry. 

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2)
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

The second volume in THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER trilogy, continuing the story in London with inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson's THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE.

I own The Madman's Daughter, but haven't read it yet. Saw the sequel for a ridiculously cheap amount and decided to buy it, don't ask me why. I will get to them... eventually.


This is the year Hattie wants to find real FULL ON love. No more McFitties, but real, long-term love. And she thinks she knows who with. His mum may still call him Goosey Woosey and he might have an unnatural interest in doing well in his GCSEs, but Goose could actually be THE ONE! But how can Hattie make him realize this, when he seems more interested in his gecko? And there's the other matter of her dad, who seems to be more interested in saving the planet than in his new-found daughter. And there's also Gran, who has a new iPad and a dangerous obsession with Twitter. What's a girl to do? Write it all down in a hilarious diary about the ups, downs and total dramas of being Hattie Moore.

I loved My Mad Fat Diary, the TV show based off of Rae Earl's memoir. Thought I'd give her books a try, didn't realise this is a sequel though! Ooops. 

Find MeFind Me by Romily Bernard

A girl is dead…
A killer’s closing in…
And two little words are the only clue…
“Find Me”.
These are the words that Wick Tate finds in Tessa Wayne’s diary. And now Tessa has been found … dead. Does someone out there really expect Wick to uncover the truth about her death?
An expert computer hacker, Wick has the skills for the job, but with the threat of her ex-con dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around and new foster parents to keep happy, getting involved with a murder case is the last thing she wants to do. Until her little sister, Lily, is the next target. 
Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker-girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare. And now she’s going to find this killer, no matter what it takes. Because it just got personal.

Cuckoo SongCuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

The first things to shift were the doll's eyes, the beautiful grey-green glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss's face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak.
'What are you doing here?' It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. 'Who do you think you are? This is my family.'

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. 
Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late...


My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a 'Fresh New Start'. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His parents are wrecked by their grief, Jasmine turns to piercing, pink hair and stops eating. The family falls apart. But Jamie hasn't cried in all that time. 
To him Rose is just a distant memory. Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his birthday Spiderman T-shirt, and in keeping his new friend Sunya a secret from his dad. And in his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago. 
When he sees a TV advert for a talent show, he feels certain that this will change everything and bring them all back together once and for all.

You Don't Know MeYou Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett

Sasha, Jodie, Nell and Rose never expected to be famous. They didn’t want to be. In fact, they wanted to keep their band a secret because it’s what they do when they’re being stupid together – dressing up and singing cheesy songs.
But someone has stolen a video they made. It’s online, and it’s been entered into a talent competition. And what’s more … it’s got 24 votes. In only a few hours it’s got 24 votes.
The girls are about to be faced with a big decision that could make them seriously famous.
Just not necessarily the way they hoped …

Breaking ButterfliesBreaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais

The closest he will ever come to happiness is when he's hurting her. Will she let him? A beautiful and twisted story of first love and innocence lost--written when the author was just eighteen. 
Sphinxie and Cadence. Promised to each other in childhood. Drawn together again as teens. Sphinxie is sweet, compassionate, and plain. Cadence is brilliant, charismatic. Damaged. And diseased. When they were kids, he scarred her with a knife. Now, as his illness progresses, he becomes increasingly demanding. She wants to be loyal--but fears for her life. Only the ultimate sacrifice will give this love an ending.

The Chaos of Stars
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Isadora's family is seriously screwed up.
Of course, when you're the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that comes with the territory.
When she's offered the chance to move to California - thousands of miles away from her immortal relatives - she jumps on it. But as much as Isadora tries to close off her heart and leave her old world behind, she quickly realizes that there's no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family.



The Rain
Thank you Macmillan! I already featured this once as I got an eARC via Netgalley.

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)
Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.
Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton
Currently reading. It's an odd one because it has an amazing start, then a part two that makes you want to DNF, then suddenly picks back up again and has you hooked!






Magnolia by Kristi Cook: 3.5/5 Review
Mid-Year Book Freak Out
Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Read But Don't Own
The Jewel by Amy Ewing: 2.5/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Book Thief Movie Review
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book To Movie Adaptations


Friday, 29 August 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book To Movie Adaptations


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.



Favourite Book To Movie Adaptations

This weeks Five Friday Favourites is actually up to you! The wonderful Amanda is giving us the chance to pick our own topic. Hooray! Clearly I will have a million ideas and not be able to contain them all, will struggle for hours to pick between them, until finally I cave and choose one. Nope. I wish. It is only thanks to the fact I watched The Book Thief two days ago that I even have a topic this week. And that's favourite book to movie adaptations. Wooop! Combining two of my greatest loves: books and films! 


The Book Thief

This is kind of cheating, I watched it as if it were just a film and not an adaptation. I only watched this two days ago and it astounded me. I loved it, every second of it. I didn't have one issue with it, nothing to pick apart. Was it an amazing adaptation? Who knows. I didn't reread before watching so didn't pick apart every little thing they did or didn't do. But they definitely took a beautiful, heartbreaking book and made a beautiful, heartbreaking movie. WATCH IT! (One small issue: The horribly photoshop job on the poster.)



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The first Hunger Games movie wasn't ridiculously awful, but it wasn't ridiculously good either. It was disappointing, especially as a fan of the book. It just wasn't what I was expecting and didn't really do the book justice, in my opinion at least. But Catching Fire, that movie blew me away. I loved it from beginning to end. They definitely took fan criticism of the first movie into account because they made a sequel that was a million times better than the first film. They improved upon it in every way and created, not just a brilliant adaptation and brilliant sequel, but a brilliant film. 


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

THREE OF THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE.
AMAZING IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.
THE END.


Fight Club

I think I might actually prefer the movie to the book. Sorry, not sorry! The movie is amazing, it deserves all the awards in the world. It should have one every Oscar possible, even best Costume Design or something. I mean, someone had to make the decision that Brad Pitt should be shirtless for most of the movie. If that isn't deserving of an Oscar than I don't know what is. 



Romeo + Juliet

Baz Luhrman is a genius, his movies are so visually stunning that they hurt my eyes. I think this is such a brilliant adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. I love the modern twist on it, set in modern times but still using Shakespearean language.


The 'It's Too Obvious Choice':




Honourable Mentions







My Weekly Book Haul: 23/08/2014
Magnolia by Kristi Cook: 3.5/5 Review
Mid-Year Book Freak Out
Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Read But Don't Own
The Jewel by Amy Ewing: 2.5/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Book Thief Movie Review