Thursday, 16 July 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Anticipated Pre-Orders for the Rest of the Year

This week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Things Anticipated Pre-Orders fort he rest of the Year. Just in case anyone is new to this, Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

I have quite a few anticipated pre-orders for this year, so here are my top five!

1) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: 1st September 2015

I've already pre-ordered this fourth book in Throne of Glass series and I'm very excited for it to come out so we can see what happens next with Celaena!

2) Winter by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: 10th November 2015

Another book I've already pre-ordered out of excitement. I only recently read the first three books in this series so I'm really looking forward to this final instalment!

3) Armada by Ernest Cline
Release Date: 14th July 2015

I can't wait to see what Ernest Cline has written next as I absolutely adored Ready Player One. Being a massive fan of old video games and geeky things, that book was easily one of the most amazing things I've ever read. I'm actually very fortunate to have an ARC copy of this which I'll be reading soon. I still definitely plan on buying a final copy though! (I know this has already technically been released but it hadn't when I wrote the blog post!)

4) Before the Dawn by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

Release Date: August 2015

This is the final book in The Ending Series which I read the rest of earlier this year. The first book was a free ebook so I thought I'd give it a try and it was great! This series is an interesting twist on dystopian young adult fiction and I really loved it so I can't wait to find out what happens to the characters. So much was left up in the air! You can see my reviews for the first three books in this series on my review page.

5) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: 6th October 2015

Fangirl was another of my favourite books of last year and its combination of fanfiction, university life, social anxiety and family dynamics really made this book stand out from other contemporaries; I absolutely loved it. So naturally I'm excited to read about the fandom that was talked about throughout the whole book! Really looking forward to reading more in this world!

So these are my top anticipated pre-orders. I'm sure many of you had these on your lists! Comment below to let me know what you think or if you did a Top Five Wednesday leave your link below and I'll check it out! (p.s. Sorry my post is late!)

Friday, 10 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
(Translated by Henning Koch)

Genre: Adult Fiction

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Page

Spoiler Free Summary:
At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'état that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so? In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible.

The word-of-mouth bestseller causing a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman's heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step - and less ready to judge on first impressions a man you might one day wish to have as your dearest friend

**Spoiler Free Review**

I actually read this book because the Book Club at my work was reading it and a colleague kindly lent it to me after they were finished. I could not be happier that they did! I absolutely loved this book!

The way the story is told is just so beautiful and well done. Backman successfully interweaves the past and present of Ove's life, constantly revealing more above who Ove his, that are deeply sad yet so real. The characters are what really made this book for me. They are absolutely wonderful and so believable as people. They are all very three-dimensional and it becomes so easy to view them as real people. First of all we have Ove himself; his integrity and believes, his misfortunes and happiness in his life really paint the picture of this incredibly complex human being. The book really demonstrates how quickly many people judge others based on looks or a one time meeting when everyone has so much more to them than what's on the surface.

Ove's wife is such a warm and caring character in this book and I find it incredible that despite her smaller appearances, how much I felt I knew her. Her relationship with Ove was so touching and sweet. It was refreshing to read about such a loving couple who were clearly devoted to one another unequivocally. They're relationship was beautiful and I really enjoyed the anecdotes throughout the book about their life together and how it all began.

The slow growing relationship with his neighbours, both old and new, added an interesting dimension to the story and really portrayed Ove in a different light. The side characters were just as witty and fascinating as Ove himself. I particularly loved Pananeh and her family, who insisted on seeing the good in Ove no matter what. It was funny to see them accidentally force their way into Ove's life and have a lasting impression on him.

This book had me laughing out loud at some of the funny incidents that happened to Ove. One of which was definitely the what happened with the clown. I just loved Pananeh coming into the waiting room to find Ove sulking like one of her children because of what he'd done. Ove's unsuccessful attempts at controlling both his life and his relationship with the cat were humorous and really added to Ove's character. Although he appears to be a grumbling, grumpy old man, so much more is shown to be underneath.

The translation was wonderfully done and definitely does justice to this book. Despite being a translation it was still raw, powerful and heartwarming, I would love to be able to read the original so I could experience the book as it was originally written, but the good thing about this book is that the translation definitely doesn't hinder the book's message in the slightest.

The ending was so beautiful, heartwarming and simultaneously sad. I have to say, I really welled up towards the end and I just felt so attached to Ove and his family and friends. I didn't want it to end. I absolutely loved this book and it definitely deserves more than 5/5 stars! I didn't expect this book to be as witty, funny, heart-warming, yet heart-wrenching, as it was. This is book that just makes you appreciate everything about life and the people in it. I highly recommend this to anyone, young or old, lover of adult fiction or not; its such a wonderful story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Things on Your Bookshelf that Aren't Books

So I missed last week's Top Five Wednesday because I was quite with meeting people and work, but I'm back now! (Although this is another busy week for me because I commute to work and there is a simultaneous tube and train strike this week!). Anyway, this week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Things on your Bookshelf that Aren't Books. Just in case anyone is new to this. Top Five Wednesday is an idea created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

Sadly, because the place I live in is so small, I currently only have one bookshelf up as opposed to my usual five, but I have still managed to squeeze a few things on that aren't books!

5. The Penguin

My fiancé used to go to the university of Derby and before he left he gave me this 'stress penguin'. Now that we live together it has a pride of place on my bookshelf to protect the books.

4. Bands (no not actual musicians)

A DFTBA and a Doctor Who band, and why not? I don't think these need much explanation other than I'm a Nerdfighter who loves Doctor Who!

3. The Snake
My fiancé very kindly bought me this snake made from glass from the Lucky Duck Shop in Whitby. If you've not heard of it (because it's quite famous in the North East) they hand-make (blow) glass animals; they're particularly famous for their lucky ducks, and they are beautiful! I already have a duck so Liam bought me this very pretty snake.

2. Consoles
Because there's limited room in our studio, the top of my bookshelf also acts as a shelf for my gaming consoles. This also means I have all favourites things to do in one place (gaming and reading)!

1. Jewellery

I tend to keep my jewellery on my bookshelf as well because I always walk past it before I leave the house, so I remember to pick up my necklace and ring!

And those are my Top Five Things on my Bookshelf that Aren't Books! They're not particularly interesting and when I had more bookcases I had a few other interesting things on my shelves that I'll probably share in the future. So what are your favourite non-bookish things on your shelves? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you did a Top Five Wednesday post or video below! :)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Characters You Wish You Could Drown

This week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Characters You Wish You Could Drown . Just in case anyone is new to this. Top Five Wednesday is an idea created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

These are the characters I either hated, or got so annoyed with, that I felt like I wanted to drown them throughout the book!

1) Ruby (from The Rain)

Ruby was the most infuriating character I have ever read. She was just downright stupid. This book had so much potential and I was so angry that it didn't live up to it, all because of the main character who I hated. Her decisions and personality became ridiculous and unbelievable as the book went on and some were just stupid. I understand that she is a teenager but that was no reason to make her downright dim. Despite the fact that the world is ending in this dystopian novel, she is always more concerned with her appearance and who she might run into without make-up on than survival, which I think is just unrealistic. The book is about a world where the rain becomes deadly and can kill you so it's rather ironic that I wanted to drown this character now that I think about it.

2) Ramsay Bolton (from A Song of Ice and Fire Series)

I'm sure he's on many people's lists and maybe this primarily stems from Ramsay Bolton of the TV show but I really hate this character. He personifies the word Sadist and it makes me feel ill every time he appears in this book. He is definitely one of the characters I would happily see drown if it meant we didn't have to see him torturing people any more.

3) Dolores Umbridge (from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/Deathly Hallows)

Again this is another one which will be on many people's lists. In the fifth book does she makes everyone's lives a living hell at Hogwarts: sacking teachers, making sure that no-one knows Voldemort is back, and torturing Harry. Thankfully she seems to get her comeuppance at the end of the book. The thing that bothers me about Dolores isn't the fifth book, but in the final book. Even after it seems she's learnt her lesson she then goes on to work for Voldemort at the Ministry! Definitely one of the more cowardly and evil characters in the Harry Potter series.

4) Teresa (The Maze Runner Trilogy)

I know a couple of people who have felt like this but it's just the main characters from this trilogy in general which bother me. It was mostly in the second book where the two main characters are separated and stupidly don't use telepathy and then they are constantly betraying one another and then trying to convince each other that they're on the same side. Teresa ended up being a character that I just didn't care about any more by the final book, she just made situations infuriating to read about.

5) Claire & Megan (from 17 First Kisses)

This is a new one for me. I recently finished this book and I couldn't believe how the two characters acted. The 'friendship' between them was absolutely toxic. The entire book revolved around the fact that they are best friends (in a sort of Mean Girls type of way), and they constantly steal each others boyfriends and then make friends again after the get dumped. It's the ultimate way of saying boys are more important than friendship and it really bothers me that teens might read this and think it must be true. No good friend in real life would take their best friend' boyfriend/potential boyfriend, and again, there's no way they'd be forgiven as easily as in this book. The characters had very little depth and I just wanted to drown them both because they clearly didn't know how to make a rational decision between them!

So these are my Top Five Characters I Wanted to Drown! Let me know what yours are and if you've done a Top Five Wednesday or have a blog then leave a link in the comments!

Monday, 22 June 2015

BOOK REVIEW | When We're Least Expecting It by Dee Fitzwilliam

When We're Least Expecting It by Dee Fitzwilliam

Genre: Adult Fiction/Contemporary Romance

My Rating: ★1/2

Goodreads Page

Spoiler Free Summary:

In 1993, on holiday with her husband in Turkey, Barbara meets the handsome-though-troubled Mehmet. Back home in Oxford, Barbara returns to the stifling routine of her loveless relationship with her sociopathic husband, further foreign travel denied to him due to illness. Mehmet and Barbara exchange letters. One year on, Barbara returns to Istanbul, alone, to discover whether the 'spark' between her and Mehmet is real or imaginary. But her beloved home town has a habit of following her around...
The people and events waiting for her are to have a lasting effect on her life. When We're Least Expecting It weaves together freedom and duty; the exotic and the mundane; an exciting journey through passion, friendship, tragedy, love and loss, in search of lasting contentment.

**Spoiler Free Review**

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was just what I was wanting to read at this time of year; a heartwarming contemporary novel and the absolute perfect summer read. The book centres around a woman named Barbara and her romantic relationships, her relationships with her friends, and her love of travelling. Although this book does focus on romance, I did really enjoy that that wasn't the only thing the book was about. There was so much about friendships and the lasting relationships you can make by helping people.

Dee Fitwilliam succeeds so well in painting a picture with words of the places Barbara travels to. Whether in Turkey, Oxford, or even Ireland, the descriptions were vivid and you could imagine each setting beautifully. Having never been to Turkey, I thought I would feel slightly alienated about the setting but that was definitely not the case. I could picture absolutely every hotel, café, and the beautiful Turkish architecture as it was described in the book. It's made me really want to go there!

All of the characters in the book were so unique, three-dimensional and realistic. Not one of them fell flat. From their detailed pasts to the present inside jokes with one another, these characters really came to life. and were all incredibly likeable. As well as the main character, I became really attached to Mags and Rosalind and their friendship with Barbara was just so lovely. The shift in dynamics between different  characters meant that the book never became boring, especially between Mehmet, Gul, and Sean. I was surprised at how quickly I changed my mind and started rooting for different couples!

I think one of the main things I enjoyed about this book was Barbara herself and the life lessons that are learnt by her throughout the book. I think it really speaks to women and encourages them to make decisions not based on other people if they're not happy.  I loved Barbara's confidence and although she does worry at times, she never lets it overwhelm her or stop her from enjoying herself. Even when she occasionally embarrassed herself, she was both able to make the reader laugh, yet not dwell on her mistakes.

The story was incredibly interesting and I just couldn't put it down. I constantly needed to know what was happening next. There were lots of unexpected plot twists that I really didn't see coming and they added so much intrigue to the story. The book was both heartwarming and heartwrenching and I would highly recommend this book to any lover of contemporary romance fiction as it will definitely appeal to you. Also, with the summer coming up, it's the perfect time to pick up a copy of this book and give it a read during a holiday or on the beach!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Coffee Book Tag!

The lovely Crystal over at Infinite Ink tagged me to do The Coffee Book Tag. To see Crystal's Coffee Book Tag you can click here!

I've seen a few people doing this tag lately and I really like the look of it. If you don't know what this is, the tag was originally created by BangadyBanz so you can check that out here!

So here are my answers!

Black: A Series that is Hard to Get Into but has Hardcore Fans

The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

This series I absolutely fantastic and I've anyone that reads it falls in love with it. The trouble is the first book is around 700 pages long the second is around 1000 pages long so they do seem to put some people off or some people find them hard to get into, but believe me they're definitely worth it!

Peppermint Mocha: A Book which gets More Popular Over the Holiday Season
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
I feel like this book just reappears in every bookshop around Christmas time, which isn't too surprising considering it's a book set around Christmas!

Hot Chocolate: Your Favourite Children's Book

 The Doomspell Trilogy by Cliff McNish and Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye

I couldn't possibly pick just one book for this topic and since  I've talked about Harry Potter and Enid Blyton's books before as my favourites, I thought I'd pick some different ones. The Doomspell Trilogy is easily one of my favourite fantasy series from my childhood; it's dark and complex and just A-Maz-ing. Time Stops for No Mouse was such a great children's book that I bought it again recently so I could re-read the series; I loved the writing style of this book and I found the story really thrilling.

Double Espresso Shot: A Book that Kept me on the Edge of my Seat

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Again, there are quite a lot of books I would've liked to pick for this but this book literally kept me on the edge of my seat. I love psychological thrillers and this book really messed with the readers head, making them doubt everything the narrator was telling them. It was scary, mysterious and downright creepy at times. I loved this book (despite not enjoying the finale of the series).

Starbucks: A Book You See Everywhere
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Us by David Nicholls
These are two books that I see in every bookshop and in loads of people's hauls. I feel like they're on display everywhere but I never quite get around to picking them up for myself.

Hipster Coffee Shop: Give a Book by an Indie Author a Shout Out

The Silent Deal by Levi Stack
I was approached by the author of this book last year who offered me the chance to read it in exchange for an honest review. I didn't expect much to begin with but the story picked up so, so quickly and it was so exciting and interesting that I couldn't put it down. It's set during the nineteenth century in Russia where a village is forbidden to have playing cards and none of the children know why, or what the mystery surrounding the cards is. This series is just so, so good and the characters are brilliant. I don't want to gush too much here but I have spoiler free reviews for the first two books on my review page. You can check out the review  for the first book here!

Decaf: A Book You Expected More From

Requiem by Lauren Oliver and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I think 'expected more from' is not a strong enough phrase for how I felt about these two books. I was bitterly disappointed with both of them. Requiem because it was probably the worst ending to a series that I have ever read; it was bitterly disappointing and you see my full thoughts on that here. Gone Girl I just expected so much more from because of all the hype surrounding it as the film came out, but it fell flat for me as a thriller. I've read a lot of thriller books and I sadly saw all the twists in this book coming a mile off. I can think of several better endings that I'd hoped for and I was just left feeling pretty bored with the book.

The Perfect Blend: A Book that was Bitter but Ultimately Satisfying

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This book. This. Book. I can't really explain how much I enjoyed A Man Called Ove. It was one of the most heart-warming yet sad books I have ever read. I loved it so much. The ending was so bitter sweet but it just worked so well with the story. I highly recommend picking up this début novel and I should have a review up about it on here  to talk more about it soon!

Green Tea: A Book which is Quietly Beautiful

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
To be honest, I don't feel like I need to explain how quietly beautiful this book is. It just is, and if you haven't picked this up yet then you need to. It's one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.

Chai Tea: A Book that Makes You Dream of Far-Off Places

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book feels like reading a dream in itself. Everything is so magical and on the edge of the real. The circus itself is described so beautifully and so mysteriously that it constantly feels like a shroud surrounds it. This entire book is just like a beautiful dream.

Earl Grey: Your Favourite Classic

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Since I talk about Dracula  and Jane Eyre all the time in my posts I thought I'd pick a couple of my other favourite classics instead. I really love Nathaniel Hawthorne's books and short stories in general but I especially loved The Scarlet Letter when I read it at university.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Also, I think Northanger Abbey was one of the first adult classics I ever read when I was about 11 and it's stayed with me ever since; I love it's parody of the gothic novel and Austen's writing is just so lovely and easy to read.

I hope you enjoyed this tag, if you liked it then let me know! If you've done this tag then link it below and I'll watch/read it! I tag anyone who hasn't done this yet (since I know a lot of bloggers and booktubers already have!).

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Books You Read in One Sitting (or close to)

This week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Books Read in One Sitting. Just in case anyone is new to this, Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

Some books just hook you in straight away and you can't put them down. These are my Top Five Books I Read in One Sitting!

1) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The fact that I read this is one sitting can be attributed to the fact that it was my summer holiday last year when I had a lot of free time. But that is definitely not the only reason I flew through this book. Fangirl was one of the most unique and geeky books I have ever read and I absolutely loved it. The family dynamics and struggles with social anxiety were so realistic and I loved the fanfiction that appeared throughout. Although it's a fairly long book (in terms of pages) this is one you can just fly through; it's just so light, funny and brilliant!

2) Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

This book is probably one of my favourite books of this year. It's my first Brandon Sanderson book and it was so quick to read. It was full of action and mystery which keep you turning the page and not wanting to put it down. A book about evil superheroes, a somewhat dystopian society, and the most well-written characters I have ever read; what more could you ask for?

3) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This book took me only three hours to read on a train journey back to my parents a couple of years ago. A very good friend of mine lent me the book telling me that I would love it. She was dead right. The sinister pictures alone drew me in and then the storyline was so interesting and intriguing that I just had to keep reading to find out what the mystery was. It had a lot of twists that I didn't see coming and I still can't believe I've not read the second book yet. I definitely need to get hold of it soon!

4) A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Books 1-13)

I couldn't pick just one book from this series. No way. I read the first three books in one day alone which I think shows how quick they are to read and how amazing they are. Don't be put off this series because it's long or because you think they're just for children. They're easy to fly through, absolutely packed with mysteries about the Baudelaire family, and are the most sinister and dark children's books I have ever read. They are incredible. Lemony Snicket is a genius with writing. He simultaneously writes in a way that appeals to both adults and children and the books just constantly get more incredible. If you've never picked these up then I highly recommend them.

5) Carrie by Stephen King
This is another book which I read in a three hour train journey. This was my first Stephen King book and I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it, but I ended up loving it. Carrie is a horror novel about a teenaged girl, bullied at school and raised (and punished) by a devout Catholic mother, who develops telekinesis. It's not absolutely terrifying (so if you've never delved into the horror genre it's a good place to start). The way it's told is fascinating. It incorporates newspaper clippings and interviews of survivors of the events that happened in the town surrounding Carrie. The entire books builds up the suspense and mystery to find out what actually happened that night and I just couldn't put it down.

So these were my books that I read in one sitting! What do you think? Let me know what yours are or if you have done a Top Five Wednesday then link it below and I'll check it out!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Books with Multiple POVs

This week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Books with Multiple POVs. Just in case anyone is new to this. Top Five Wednesday is an idea created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

I love this topic although I found it quite hard because there are so many books I'd love to put in this list, and I feel guilty for not including some other favourites of mine. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas was so unbelievably close to making this list but I wanted to talk about some different books that others may not have read. The first three books I talked about are extremely popular and well-known so I wanted to add and recommend some different books.

1) Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
I am certain this book will be on most people's lists so I won't go on about it too much, but it is one of my favourite fantasy series of all time. Tolkien goes between characters so easily yet the story is so complex. I love his characters and writing, and if you haven't picked this up yet then I suggest you do! (If you're not happy reading lengthy descriptions though then this might not be for you!)

2) Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I'm sure everyone already knows what this book is about already so, again, this is another book which  is probably on a lot of people's lists but I just couldn't leave it out. Never have I read such an epic fantasy that is so easy to read yet complicated and fascinating all at once. Martin's characters are so three-dimensional and realistic and he gets you invested in absolutely every one of them (even if you hate them) and is constantly making you fear for their safety. This epic fantasy series does multiple points of view so, so well.

3) Dracula by Bram Stoker

This book is probably my favourite classic and one of my favourite things about it is the multiple points of view. The book is a combination of diary entries, Dictaphone transcriptions and letters. It makes the book quick to read and also introduces so many elements of mystery as you explore the views of different characters before seeing them all come together. If you've not picked up this book yet I highly recommend it. Don't feel intimidated or put off by it just because it's a classic.

4) The Hours by Michael Cunningham

I've not really heard many people talk about this book before and I think it's brilliant. If you're a fan of Virginia Woolf then I highly recommend this. The Hours follows three characters, across different time periods, whose lives interconnect and all parallel either Virginia Woolf or her book Mrs Dalloway. It's an adult fiction novel and I recommend people to look at the synopsis at least because it's a very moving book and definitely one of my favourites that I studied at university. It's also a very good film starring Meryl Streep!

5) Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

This book has one of the best written multiple points of view I have ever read. Although it does start off a bit complicated (mostly due to a lot of Japanese names which appear in quick succession), it becomes surprisingly easy to distinguish the 42 characters from one another. I'm sure a lot of people will have heard of this but if not, it's about 42 school students who get sent to an island to compete in Battle Royale, a fight to the death until their is one winner. If there isn't a winner in time then they will all die. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games then you will love this book (it is a bit more gory though, so be warned!). This book had such a brilliant ending and it's quite different to the film that was made of it too.

These were my Top Five Books with Multiple Points of View! As I said, there were so many more I wish I could've included but I could only pick five. Let me know what you think and what your lists are! If you leave your link below I'll go check out your Top Five Wednesday as well! To see my other Top Five Wednesday's you can click here!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary

My Rating: 

Goodreads Page

Spoiler Free Summary:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

**Spoiler Free Review**

Publication Date: 1st September 2015

I was sent a copy of this book from Penguin Random House UK Children’s, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I thought the premise of this book was pretty unique storyline for a YA contemporary and I was very excited about reading it.

The main character, Madeline was interesting and quite funny. I enjoyed the way the character's point of view was portrayed and I adored the handwritten notes, pictures and extracts within the text. I wouldn't suggest reading this book on an e-reader/kindle/kobo as these are fantastic additions would definitely work much better in a physical book than on a screen where you have to zoom in. I still loved them and they added a depth to the story that I don't think would've been there otherwise. They always pull me in and I feel they were used extremely well by the author to add more to the story.

I really loved Madeline's nurse, I felt she was quite stereotypical in a way, but she was still an incredibly likeable and witty character. Olly was one of the more interesting love interests I've read about it a long time. He was very different to the usual stereotypical boy which you find in YA fiction. His character was interesting and I did laugh out loud at some of the things he did, especially with the bunting. I did particularly like that the book explored more of family dynamics and that this book was more about different family situations than about romance. (Just like real life!)

It was shorter than I expected it to be but the length seemed about right for the story of this book, although I do wish some different things had been explored in more detail. I also found the latter part of the book, albeit quite romantic, very strange and quite unrealistic which pulled me out of the story a bit. Sadly, something about this book didn't quite grab me. I did feel the ending and the latter half of the relationship was a little bit rushed and I also guessed part of the ending. I was left feeling a little disappointed at part of the ending which I felt was a bit unresolved in a way. I would've liked to hear more about Madeline's mother and what happened between them both, but maybe that's just me!

I think any lover of contemporary fiction would enjoy this book so I do recommend it; sadly it just didn't appeal to me the way I thought it would which is why it came down from a five star rating. I think it was beautifully written and an excellently executed idea but it just wasn't for me for some of the reasons I said above. I'd highly recommend you pick this up for yourself to see if you enjoy it though!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Favourite Books of the Year So Far!

This week's Top Five Wednesday is Top Five Favourite Books of the Year So. Just in case anyone is new to this. Top Five Wednesday is an idea created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey on youtube. She creates weekly topics so that bloggers and youtubers can talk more about different aspects of their favourite, or least favourite, books. The group, which lists the monthly topics, can be found here! If you want to see any of my previous Top Five Wednesday blog posts you can click here!

I've read some really good books this year already and I love that Lainey made this topic so we can tell people our favourite books of the year so far.

1) Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

I finally decided to pick up my first ever Brandon Sanderson book and I definitely do not regret it. If you love Superheroes/ Comics/ Action/ Futuristic novels then this is definitely for you. I had my expectations high when I went into reading this and I wasn't let down, in fact my expectations were easily surpassed by how well written this book is. The storyline is fantastic, the characters are incredibly three-dimensional and believable, the superheroes/Epics and their powers were incredible to explore and the ending... the ending was amazing. To be honest, I thought I had guessed the twist in this book but I was left utterly stunned when Sanderson revealed the main twist. I didn't see it coming and I was left amazed. I am desperate to get my hands on the second book Firefight and to read more of Sanderson in The Mistborn Trilogy which I bought a while ago. It's easily my favourite book of the year and I would recommend this book to anyone.

2) Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Goodreads Link

This definitely won't be a book for everyone, especially younger readers or those who don't enjoy True Crime, but I found it so fascinating (which may sound morbid) and interesting to find out about. The book is about the infamous Manson Murders which occurred in the 1960s. It is written by one of the lawyers involved in the case and it gives a terrifying view of how Charles Manson manipulated and brainwashed people into committing murder, and how he very nearly got away with it. This book affected me so much and has stayed with me since I read it in January. If you're interested in reading about Charles Manson and the murders that were committed or a person who enjoys True Crime then I recommend this to you. As I said earlier this book is probably better for mature readers as the violence is very graphic Bugliosi's account.

3) Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Goodreads Link

This is the fifth and final book in Armentrout's Covenant Series. I won't give anything away about the plot of this book as it is the final book in a series. The first book in the series is titled Half-Blood and if you've got to that point and haven't read on then I highly recommend that you do. I found the first book well-written but very similar to Vampire Academy and that put me off a bit. However, I decided to keep reading and I am so, so glad I did. The series becomes so unique and brilliant. Armetrout's writing is absolutely fantastic. She writes characters very well and her action scenes are pretty much unparalleled in YA fiction. I loved the ending of the series and I always admire authors who manage to finish a series with a nail-biting, thrilling yet satisfying ending.

4) Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Goodreads Link

This was a re-read for me but it was so much better than the first time I read it. This is a book about a young teenage girl called Jennifer Jones who has a mysterious and dark past that she can't tell anyone about. It alternates between the past and the present day exploring what actually happened to JJ and her friends at that fateful day near the lake. This book is so mysterious, dark and intriguing. I first read it when I was 11 (which was maybe a bit too young) and I missed a lot of the things that young JJ also looked over. Having read it again as an adult I appreciate so much how well this was written and how interesting the story is. If you're looking for YA contemporary that deals with some more serious and dark issues such as crime and prostitution, as well as family and friendship then I would highly recommend this book.

5) It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane

Goodreads Link
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I could not be happier that I did. This is an adult contemporary novel about a woman called Delia Moss who thinks she has her entire future planned until she finds out some devastating news about her boyfriend. Delia was such a likeable, intelligent, strong character that I couldn't help but empathise with her situations and support her decisions. I loved her and Emma and their relationship together. There was just so much of this book that I felt I could relate too. It also has the most gorgeously drawn comic strips throughout the book which I loved. I could gush about how much I enjoyed this book for a page so I'll stop now but I have a full spoiler-free review of this book, if you're interested to here more of my thoughts, which can be found here!

These are my favourite books so far this year, let me know what yours are in the comments below! If you did a Top Five Wednesday this week then link it below and I'll check it out.