Monday, 30 June 2014

Monthly Recap: June


June saw me slip into an even worse reading slump then May. How am I going to get out of it? HOW? Seriously, how, because I am struggling so much and have no energy or motivation to read right now. I will read an amazing 5/5 read and think I'll finally be out of my slump, but then still struggle to pick up my next book. It's not fun.
I haven't had a busy month, I have tried to get better at scheduling but any progress I finally made will be a bit useless while I'm away. I will miss out on 5 days of blogging, which is how many days ahead I am at. So by the time I get back I will be right back to having no scheduled posts. How do people schedule posts? I am pretty sure they are all magic.


June

I read 9 books.

I am not exactly thrilled at this because I wanted to beat last month. Last month I also read 9. Well, at least I'm consistent.

Reviewed on blog:

Now and Forever by Susane Colasanti 0.5/5 
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer 4/5
The Winner's Curse by Maria Rutkoski 5/5
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu 5/5
My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal 2/5
Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas 4.5/5
#scandal by Sarah Ockler 2/5
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 4/5
On the Fence by Kasie West 5/5

My average rating this month has also ended up being the same as last month, weird. My average rating is 3.5/5. This month also includes amazing reads from Abigail Haas and Kasie West, like last month. So it is very similar in a lot of ways. I really enjoyed The Winner's Curse, can't wait to continue that series. I highly recommend Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas, and adore Kasie West's books - she writes the most amazing characters.

Other Posts

Monthly Recap: May
The Things That Disney Taught Me
June Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway #1
6 Down, 6 To Go Giveaway
June Kindle Fire HDX #2


Top Ten Tuesday:

Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag
Top Reads Of 2014 So Far
Summer TBR List
Cover Trends I Like and Dislike


Films for Thoughts on Thursday:

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bad Neighbours
Maleficent
The Fault in Our Stars


Five Friday Favourites:

Favourite Underrated Books
Favourite Parents In Fiction
Favourite Heroes
Favourite Covers - Colour Edition


Book Hauls:

07/06/2014
14/06/2014
21/06/2014
28/06/2014


Discussions:

Why Commenting Makes Me Feel Like A Performing Monkey
The 30 Books That Have Affected Me The Most




Challenges

TBR Pile Challenge

My goal: 50+ books

Have read so far: 16 books

The only books I added to this in May was Ruby Red and Pivot Point



Falling For YA
Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

My goal: 50 books

Read so far: 39 books

I added four more to this challenge this month.





Series Challenge Button take2
Series Challenge

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

Series finished: 4 series

1. The Program & The Treatment by Suzanne Young
3. Starters & Enders by Lissa Price
4. Nantucket Blue & Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

I haven't completed any more this month, unfortunately. 



First In A Series Challenge

My goal is to start 20 series this year. 

So far I have started 17 series.

This month I added The Winner's Curse and Ruby Red. I am getting very close so I am confident I can meet this goal. 





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

Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer did a completely serious post about conquering your TBR pile and looked at the different types of 5 star ratings.

Anne @ Lovely Literature talked about sex in books


Amanda @ Book Badger discussed the Slate article, talked about the negatives of Netgalley and shared the books that changed her world.

Mel @ The Daily Prophecy discussed how we should ban all books, in response to that Slate Article.

K @ Melbourne On My Mind had a hilarious response post to the Slate article

Miranda @ Tempest Books showed us some NA books that aren't all sex


Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist reviewed Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly, including the most amazing manicure.

Allie @ Little Birdie Books looked at guilty pleasure reads and blogger rules that must be obeyed.

Erin @ Raised Reading summed books up in one quote and looked at the Jane Eyre Complex.

Asti @ Oh, The Books! opened up about her past with depression.

Olivia @ Olivia's Catastrophe pondered what keyboards would say if they could talk.

Cait @ Notebook Sister's interrogated Mime about whether she is or isn't a bad blogger, did Honest YA TFIOS edtion & shared the 30 books that have changed her world.



Awesome on the Internet 


This will be where I share other awesome things I have found on the internet. This month I will show two of the greatest adverts... EVER!






Well! That's June out of the way.





One chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX, to enter go here.

You can also enter my June giveaway, where 3 winners have the chance to win any 2 of the books I have reviewed in 2014 so far. For full details go here.



Sunday, 29 June 2014

On The Fence by Kasie West

On the FenceTitle: On The Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy This Book:  Amazon / Book Depository

She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…
Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbour Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high. (Goodreads summary)

I read The Distance Between Us a few months ago and I absolutely loved it. West wrote some fantastic characters that were funny, sarcastic, swoon worthy and everything in between. I became an instant fan of her writing style and knew I wanted to read every book she writes from then on. So, when I was auto-approved for On the Fence, I almost collapsed from an excitement overload that very nearly caused me to have a heart attack. Yup, I was that kind of excited to read this book.

So, did this book leave me disappointed? Did it not live up to the hype my mind had given it? Was it not even close to being on par with the fabulous The Distance Between Us? Nope, it was just as absolutely fantastic, wonderful, amazing and every other fabulous word you can think of. I wanted to hug this book when I was finished, it made me that happy.

Charlie was such a fun character, I thought she was just brilliant and so easy to relate to. I was a total tomboy as a kid, so I found a lot of similarities between myself and Charlie. I laughed at how uncomfortable she was with dressing is skirts or dresses and not wanting to wear make-up; it took me till my early teens to show even a little interest in either. Her love of sports wasn't something I understood, I was always a tomboy but I have never had a love of sports. But Kasie writes her characters so well, she never made all the sports talk seem boring, instead it always seemed really fascinating.

Her brothers and her relationship with them was so much fun. This made me rather jealous of the fact that she got to grow up with four awesome, hilarious brothers. I felt like I missed out on something, having two sisters myself. These characters all had their individual personalities but also moved as a unit so much that I saw them as one entity at times.

Me & this book!
The romance in this was a lot more slow-building and in the background than the romance in The Distance Between Us. It was a book where I was curious if the romance would ever happen. The tension and chemistry between the characters actually began to feel like it was killing me. I felt myself shouting at my book for them to hurry up and kiss already. Especially when I reached the 75% mark and there was still no sign of it, I was losing my mind! I am not even joking, there was some serious shaking of the kindle going on!

Braden was a character that showed, yet again, just how perfectly Kasie West can craft a love interest. Xander and Braden both make my book boyfriend list. They're both sweet and funny, two things I find much more appealing than the arsehole types you see a lot these days. This book made me feel cheated, why didn't I get a hot, sweet boy next door? Life is so unfair sometimes.

West writes the kinds of books that can put the biggest smile on your face whilst you read them. This book just made me so happy, I wanted to hug it the whole time I was reading it. It had it's more serious moments, but overall it was just such a sweet, romantic read. It's not a book you can put down and then come back to, it grabs you and makes you want to read it in one sitting. This is quick, easy read and you will breeze through it, with a smile on your face as wide as mine.

One thing I really did love about this book was the fact it mixed in with the world of The Distance Between Us. It's set in the same area and the characters even walk into the doll shop where Caymen works. That was such a fun part to it, I wasn't expecting it because I hadn't realised the book was going to do that.

If I was to pick out one thing I didn't enjoy too much about the book, it would be the fact that the ending wasn't completely satisfying to me. The romance doesn't really reach it's moment until we are into the 90% mark and we don't get to see much of the two together, it was a little disappointing. That would be my one complaint, I wish that we had seen more of the two as an actual couple.



5/5 Butterflies

I honestly loved every minute of this book and don't really have any serious problems with it. I wanted there to be more of the book where they were actually together, but I still enjoyed the whole story. I loved the slow building romance, and though the characters were very quick to say I love you it made sense as they had known each other 12 years. This book was such fun to read and made me so happy, I had a smile on my face almost the whole time I was reading it. If I didn't know it before, I know it now, Kasie West is now one of my must-buy authors! West already has another book scheduled for release in 2015 and it's already on my auto-buy list! 







*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, 28 June 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 28/06/2014

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.


Warning: I'll be absent from the blog from Monday-Thursday because I am in Dublin! (Without internet *cries*). I'll have posts scheduled but will take me a while to respond to comments.

This week has been a bit of a blur. I am leaving at 3am on Monday to catch a flight to Dublin, Ireland for one of the boyfriend's brother's wedding. I have mainly been in a panic all week about not forgetting anything and making sure I pack everything. I hate travelling because I am a complete worrier and it doesn't go well. 


I went to see The Lion King show in London yesterday and LOVED it! This is my second time seeing it, as my dad took me for my 13th birthday, a whole 10 years ago now. It's such an amazing show, Lion King was always my favourite Disney film as a kid and the stage show is just immense! If you ever visit London then I recommend going to see it. 






WonderWonder by R. J. Palacio

You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.
My Name is August.
I won't describe what i look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

Have heard amazing things about this book. After seeing so many other bloggers recommend it, I've decided to give it a go.



The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.
Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.
Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

Cait at Notebook Sisters did a whole post about how much she loves this author. So the book in The Works for £2 and decided to finally try her books. 



Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1)Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

Need to see what all the fuss is about, so I have added yet another first book in a series to my endless TBR pile. 


The Selection (The Selection, #1) The Elite (The Selection, #2) The One (The Selection, #3)

In a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: to compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's ear. But for America Singer it means turning her back on her secret love, and leaving home for a prize she doesn't want.
Then America meets Maxon and all her plans start to crumble. Can he life she's always dreamed of compare to a future she never imagined?

Finally got my hands on The One. I have read the first two and they are total guilty pleasures. I enjoy them and yet hate every character, makes no sense. We all know America will wind up with boring, sappy Prince Maxon but I'm going to read it anyway.




Let's Get LostLet's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Five strangers. Countless adventures.One epic way to get lost. 
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 
There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

Love the look of this one, very excited to get to it!

One, Two, ThreeOne Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love. 
Last year,seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.
But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.
At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. 
When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.
Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?






One chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX, to enter go here.

You can also enter my June giveaway, where 3 winners have the chance to win any 2 of the books I have reviewed in 2014 so far. For full details go here.





Kindle Fire HDX June Giveaway
#scandal by Sarah Ockler: 2/5 Review
Discussion: 30 Books That Have Affected Me The Most
Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends I Like and Dislike
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: 4/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Fault In Our Stars 6/10 Movie Review
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Covers (Colour Edition)



Friday, 27 June 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book Covers (Colour Edition)


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.


This weeks topic is favourite covers, but it's COLOUR EDITION! That means you pick one colour and find your favourite covers of that colour. I, of course, have picked purple because it's my favourite colour, but I kind of wanted to do a rainbow!

The covers I've picked are for:

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

And, I have picked them because they are gorgeous! I don't really know what else to say about them, they're stunning. I think the covers speak for themselves.






One chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX, to enter go here.

You can also enter my June giveaway, where 3 winners have the chance to win any 2 of the books I have reviewed in 2014 so far. For full details go here.





My Weekly Book Haul: 21/06/2014
Kindle Fire HDX June Giveaway
#scandal by Sarah Ockler: 2/5 Review
Discussion: 30 Books That Have Affected Me The Most
Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends I Like and Dislike
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: 4/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Fault In Our Stars 6/10 Movie Review


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: The Fault in Our Stars Review


This is a weekly meme that I am hosting here at Reviews from a Bookworm. I own over 500 books, I'mn a book blogger so it's kind of obvious that I love books. But the one thing I own more of than books is DVDs, I love movies, TV shows, musicals. So I think it's time to include a weekly movie review on the blog. 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:


The Fault in Our Stars


Crazy fangirls... Don't spear me!
Okay, fangirls, please don't hunt me down and kill/hurt/maim me! I wanted to love this movie, I really did. The trailer looked wonderful and the extended one even got me to have tears in my eyes, so I was really hopeful that this would be a really great adaptation. To be fair, I think it was a good adaptation but I don't think it was that great a movie. It wasn't bad, it wasn't horrifically awful or terribly acted or any of those things, it was just lacking the same kind of emotion that I felt from the book - on the reread that is, first time I read it I didn't even tear up or enjoy it all that much.

As I said, I thought that this was actually a really great adaptation of the book. They changed parts and left certain parts of the story out because it translated better onto screen that way. But, sadly, the second half of the film just didn't work that well for me. We began the movie with Hazel telling us how you have a choice in how you tell sad stories. She says that this won't sugar-coat her and Gus's story, it's not going to be like those horrid romcom movies. Now that stays true for the first half of the movie but then it turns into the exact kind of movie we were promised that it wasn't. From the use of music to the crying together on a bench... I felt like I was watching a really bad Nicholas Sparks adaptation (Not The Notebook, we like The Notebook... more like Dear John or something!).

When anyone clapped/whooped/shouted out.
Something I have to comment on is that after seeing this movie I was almost ashamed to have a vagina. Seriously, the girls in this movie were just absolutely embarrassing and made me mortified that I was one of them. They cheered, clapped, laughed, sobbed or whooped at EVERY. SCENE! It was just ridiculous. I could not stop laughing because it was just absurd to me. The hotel scene, if you have read the book then you will know what I mean, elicited so much clapping and whooping that I wanted to crawl inside myself to escape the whole thing. I paid money to see this movie, so kindly shut the fuck up so I can actually hear it. Thanks!

Now, to make this easier for myself and to avoid to many long paragraphs, I want to try and just list the things I either liked or disliked about this movie. So, here it goes.


Barney Stinson How I Met Your Mother animated GIF
What I Liked

Isaac. Isaac. ISAAC! I mean, come on, clearly the best acted, most hilarious character in the whole movie. He was amazing and I would change nothing about his character. I think Nat Wolff did a fantastic job in the role and I found him really believable as the character of Isaac. He definitely captured all those hilarious Isaac moments from the book.

The destroying trophies scene: H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S! The whole thing worked so well and I was actually laughing for all the right reasons during that part of the film. Everything about that scene made me smile. Isaac's complete meltdown moments, Augustus's complete lack of caring about his room getting trashed and Hazel's face of just *what the fuck is going on right now!*

The humour: To a certain degree, they kept a lot of humour and funny moments from the book that I really enjoyed. A movie like this needs that kind of comic relief to stop it from getting to cheesy. The movie did well at this during the first half.

The first half of the film: Just the whole first half in general was really well done and I really enjoyed it. It did a brilliant job of introducing the characters. Hazel had a similar personality to the character in the book, and I do like Shailene Woodley, but she was lacking something. Augustus had a great introduction because they got his rather creepy, stalker staring perfected and I could not stop laughing at it. If I was Hazel I would have suggested he could be an axe murderer too. They introduced her parents and I actually really loved the casting for that, both did a fantastic job. 

Laura Dern as Hazel's mother: She did a fantastic job and I was sad she didn't have more moments in this. She did such a fantastic job and I thought she was just perfect for the role. 


What I Disliked

No Caroline: I can sort of understand why the decided to leave that aspect of the story out but it still annoyed me. I found that a really fascinating part of the story, that Gus would just stay with someone because they were sick even if they were a total bitch. Caroline and what happened with her was a huge part of Hazel's reluctance to be with Augustus and I always felt it was important to the story. Apparently not.

The audience: They all SUCKED! I don't need you shouting out every five seconds. I don't need you clapping at ridiculous moments. I don't need you cheering when two utterly fictional characters make out. Shut the absolute hell up! There are some people who came to WATCH a movie, not commentate it. If you go see the movie then I beg you to not be one of THOSE PEOPLE! By which I mean absolutely rude and completely uncaring about anyone else's cinema experience. You're permitted to sob as loud as you want, that is to be expected! Laughing and crying are two things I find acceptable in movies. But all the shouting out just grates on me so much. That kind of thing doesn't bother me as much at the start and end of films when you're at a midnight showing or if it's the last in a movie series. But, seriously people, calm the hell down and don't embarrass yourselves. 

No real tears: I wanted to sob, I really did. I even bought a pack of tissues especially because I was so sure that this movie would make me cry. I did have a few tears at one point but there was never a moment where I was really overcome with emotion. The movie went too cheesy for my liking, I just couldn't handle it. I am usually such a crier at sad films, but I just had a few tears and that was it. That actually really disappointed me, I sobbed at the trailer so I wanted the movie to make me sob like mental. 

Lack of book jokes: Where were all of Gus's hilarious jokes about Isaac and the losing of his sight. I feel the movie producers got too scared to joke about it. But, that was a brilliant part of the book and showed the kind of friendship that Gus and Isaac had. With true friends you can joke about anything and that was the case with those characters in the book. They had obviously learnt from the saying that if you don't laugh about it then you'll cry about it. They used a few jokes but I feel they left out most of them.

Ansel Elgort's crying: He is not a believable crier. Every time he cried I started laughing. He just always looked like he was trying so hard to cry, like really straining to get those tears out. The petrol station scene had me laughing so hard that I was actually scared the girls behind me would attack, after they had their sobbing under control, obviously.

The Anne Frank House scene: On my reread, I really loved this scene in the book and it was the first point in the book that I cried a little bit. I just loved Hazel's determination to get up all those stairs and get to the top. I loved that she realised that her cancer, in comparison to other types of suffering, was something she could deal with and work through and she was determined to do it. That was nowhere to be found in the movie. Instead I barely felt anything at that scene, other than that it was a kiss scene.

No weeping father: I was really, really happy with the casting of Hazel's parents. I was actually pretty sad that they changed the father so much. In the book he is always such a sobbing wreck and I really wanted to see that on screen. They might have been clever to cut it out because it would look a bit odd if he was crying all the time, but it makes sense. He's living everyday knowing that someday soon he's going to lose his daughter. Of course you'd be crying all the time.


6/10 Butterflies

It's not terrible but this is in no way an amazing movie. I have seen romances that weren't anywhere near as cheesy and were a lot more believable. It warns you that it won't sugar-coat the story or turn it into a romcom type story and then it does just that. The acting was quite well done and I enjoyed the characters, but it didn't get many tears from me. I laughed more at this movie than I cried, and not at the moments where you should be laughing. (I blame the Ansel tears!)

Next Week:

Blended
The one that teaches girls they have to wear make-up and dress a certain way for boys to like them!




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.


Your Book of Choice

What is your book of choice? Romance? Horror? Thriller? Mystery? Coming-of-age? Feel free to be as specific or broad as possible.

Since I have started blogging I haven't really read much adult fiction, something I used to read quite a bit of. I love young adult and that is now what I read, pretty much 99% of the time. I would say that my favourite genre is dystopian and I much prefer dystopian series to a standalone. I read and absolutely loved the Under the Never Sky series when I read it this year, such a brilliant series. I have also read some really brilliant contemporaries recently; like The Truth About Alice and The Distance Between Us, and I am reading more and more of those at the minute. 


Rating System

Do you use a star rating system when you read/review book? What are your opinions on star ratings systems? Are there any other forms of rating books that you use? How do you think rating systems could be improved? Along the same line, do you see any problems with the way Goodreads' rating systems work?

I do, I use a 5 Butterflies rating for books and 10 Butterflies rating for movie reviews. I think it works to show what you really thought of the book when you have to rate it. My rating system makes me critically look at the book I've read and my own thoughts on it. I don't have a rating system explanation on my blog for some reason, but aren't they pretty obvious.

1/5 - I hated it! I wish I was smart enough to event a time machine to go back in time and warn myself never to read it.
2/5 - Did not like it. It wasn't horrifically awful but I won't be recommending it. Not a good book.
3/5 - This book was okay but had a lot of issues. It was enjoyable enough but nothing special.
4/5 - I really enjoyed this book but I had a few issues with it that stopped it getting 5/5
5/5 - Love it, love it, LOVE IT! Will recommend it until I am blue in the face. 

I really like star ratings and I prefer reading reviews that have a rating system. That way I know for sure what they thought of the book. My problem with reviews that don't have one is that sometimes they don't make it completely clear how they felt about the book. They'll state things they liked or disliked, one moment you think they enjoy it and the next you think maybe they really hated it. A rating system shows you exactly what they thought about it and I find them really useful when reading a review.

Goodreads rating system is rubbish! It needs half star ratings!!! Sometimes a book just isn't good enough to reach a 5 star rating, but it's not a 4 either. Or a book is undeserving of a 1 but you don't want to let it off by giving it no rating, there needs to be a 0.5 for books like Allegiant. 

So, for me, ratings systems are the way to go! I prefer the straightforward ones that just give it a score out of 5 or 10. The ones that split it into different categories are the ones I actually find less helpful, but I'm not 100% sure why. 





One chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX, to enter go here.

You can also enter my June giveaway, where 3 winners have the chance to win any 2 of the books I have reviewed in 2014 so far. For full details go here.





Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Heroes
My Weekly Book Haul: 21/06/2014
Kindle Fire HDX June Giveaway
#scandal by Sarah Ockler: 2/5 Review
Discussion: 30 Books That Have Affected Me The Most
Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends I Like and Dislike
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: 4/5 Review




Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Review

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. (Goodreads summary)

I know you all might be shocked by this but, the first I read TFIOS I thought it was okay (no pun intended) but it didn't blow me away in the way I had thought it would. I read it a few years ago now, before seeing all the blog hype but I still knew that this was seen as a special read. I was expecting to be really moved and to sob my little heart out, but I didn't even tear up once while reading. I decided to reread it before seeing the film and I am so pleased that I did because I got all of the feels the second time round. I think I can even see why I didn't fall so in love with it the first time round.

TFIOS probably suffered because of the hype, I had high expectations that I was about to read a book that I would instantly connect to and cry over. I didn't though and I know why that was the first time around. Hazel and Augustus are brilliant characters, truly they are but they never felt real to me. I think most people can agree that they aren't exactly your typical teenagers, in fact I don't think one of them exists anywhere let alone two of them. So the idea of these two people both living in one town, going to the same support group did seem a little unreal. They weren't realistic characters in a lot of ways and that instantly disconnected me from the story the first time around. The second time, I went with it because I knew exactly what I was getting. I knew the characters I would find and I wanted to find them there. Augustus and Hazel are brilliant characters and I don't care if they don't sound or act like authentic teenagers, they are exceptional characters and I wouldn't change either of them.

A boy movie?
Okay, I lied. I lie a lot, deal with it! I would change Hazel Grace because she has two fatal flaws. 1. She refers to V for Vendetta as a boys film that she shouldn't be expected to watch or enjoy & 2. She doesn't like 300 either. What? Nope, I can't deal with that. She loses a ton of cool points for those two completely unforgivable things. V for Vendetta is beyond awesome and it's not a guys movie or a girls movie, it's just a movie and a pretty awesome one at that. So Augustus Waters won a bazillion points for the fact that he's not only gorgeous and intelligent but he also has fantastic taste in films.

I enjoyed the humour in this book, and there's a lot of it! The characters in this are exceptionally witty and I adore that about them. From all of Augustus's jokes about Isaac going blind, to all of the sarcasm that you find throughout. Characters that genuinely make you laugh can be hard to find, so it's great to find a book that doesn't have just one, but three characters who make you giggle.

I have already said that my reread produced tears, but there was no uncontrollable sobbing. I really want this book to make me feel everything that it seems to make others feel, but it doesn't. I think it's because the characters never feel real so there predicament and the outcome for them both doesn't affect me that much. I don't care about them the way I do with characters who feel real to me, who I come to know and love and who almost seem like real people. Augustus and Hazel always felt like fictional characters to me, so there was always a detachment there.

There were specific moments that made me cry. One was around the 120 page mark and it was because of how happy Hazel and Augustus were about their upcoming trip to Amsterdam. I can't remember what moment it was exactly, but I knew what was coming for them and it just made me sad. The other moment I remember really getting to me was when Hazel's mother realised Hazel had heard her that day at the hospital. That one really got to me and had tears in my eyes, a few might have even slipped out. The other moment that definitely had me in tears was when they went to the Anne Frank house. That was because of all of Hazel's thoughts about her and just how determined she was to climb all those stairs. She realised that, yes she has terminal cancer and she's going to die young, but that others had suffered so much more. If they could get through it then so could she. That moment really had me crying.

There's not really much I can say about the book that you probably haven't heard or read before. It tells a great story and, to me, it feels like an adorable romance at it's heart. But then it deals with death and dying young, the idea of wanting to leave something behind, to not be forgotten. Others see this as a sad read, but it has always seemed more uplifting to me. Maybe that's why I don't cry as much at it as others do. I think it depends what you decide to take away from it.

I started writing this review when I finished the book over a week ago but, as I often do, got totally sidetracked and am only just finishing it. I am struggling to recall all the emotions that I had for it after that read. But I know that after I finished I actually hugged the book, which is really strange because I am not a book hugger very often. But it was such a sad yet completely uplifting ending and it worked perfectly for me. I knew what was coming though, so that always helps, I don't think any first time readers will end it feeling super happy.

4/5 Butterflies

This is never going to be a 5/5, out of this world read for me. I enjoy the story and the characters but I don't get the intense emotions everyone else does. Would I recommend this? Definitely, because it's superbly written, has witty and hilarious characters and as many sad moments as it does happy ones. Even if it doesn't reduce you to a sobbing, uncontrollable mess, it's still going to make you feel something. So read, enjoy and maybe find a mind-blowing read that you'll never be able to forget.