End of 2014 Read-a-Thon: Day 8

Saturday, 27 December 2014

December 27th
Building blocks

I'm back again for another day of hosting! Today's challenge is to build a structure out of your books. I'm interested to see what kind of things you come up with! Myself, I went for a snowflake. Being as it's the holidays, I thought it was fitting. I mean, the structure itself is awful and getting a good photo of it was difficult, but it's the effort and idea behind it that count!

As for reading yesterday, I deviated from my TBR even more by reading A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros by Matthew Christian Reinhart. It was short and fun, and I was busy and not really in the mood to read much of a 'proper' book in the afternoon. It added 10 pages to my total for the read-a-thon, so it's all good. In the evening, I did get a couple of chapters into This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales, and I'm going to carry on reading it today and see how far I get with it.

Don't forget to link your posts in the comments if you took part in today's challenge!

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon: Day 7

Friday, 26 December 2014

December 26th

I apologise for the lack of post yesterday, but I was so caught up in everything going on I didn't get the chance to blog, and honestly, it was a nice little break to just celebrate Christmas with my family. 

Although I didn't take part in yesterday's little challenge, I did manage to read 245 pages, which was all of Every You, Every Me by David Levithan, and on Christmas Eve I finished Psycho by Robert Bloch, which adds 185 pages to my total.

I'm also not participating in today's challenge as I have a lot of plans for the day (Boxing Day sales!), but I'll be back tomorrow for my second day of hosting. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

End of 204 Read-a-Thon: Day 5

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

December 24th
Movie marathon

So, yesterday I finished reading Linger and decided to pick up Psycho next. It's quite short so I'm hoping I'll be able to get through it relatively quickly over Christmas. I also may end up making some changes to my TBR for the read-a-thon, depending on any books I get as presents, but we'll see how that goes.

As for today's challenge, it's all about the books we'd like to see made into films. I actually found this tricky, but I did manage to narrow it down to five.

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon: Day 4

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

December 23rd
Psychic or not

Day 4 and today I am your host! The challenge for today is to try and guess what's going to happen next in the book you are currently reading. Please be mindful of spoilers whilst doing this - some people don't want to see them!

I'm currently reading Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, I've only got about 80 pages left and I don't really know what's going to happen because so far the plot has been... non-existent. Anyway, here are my predictions: 

  • Grace is going to shift
  • Cole will find a way to shift without being cold

Make sure to leave a link to your post in the comments if you're taking part! I'll read through everyone's entries and see which I find most interesting.

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon: Day 3

Monday, 22 December 2014

December 22nd
Spell it out

I've finished The Young Elites! That's book one complete and 275 pages read (I read 80 pages of it before the read-a-thon started). Next, I picked up Linger by Maggie Stiefvater because I've been meaning to read that since last Christmas. I managed to read about 100 pages of it last night, so I'm off to a good start.

As for today's challenge, I didn't think I would take part in it, but I've given it my best go. I chose the word SNOW because it's short and easy. Well, not so much easy, as it did take me a while to hunt down books starting with the correct letters. Despite that, I managed it and here are the books I chose:

Savage Wolverine - Frank Cho
Needful Things - Stephen King
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon: Day 2

Sunday, 21 December 2014

December 21st
Colour the rainbow

So far, reading is going okay. I've read about 140 pages of The Young Elites and I plan on getting some more done as well today - hopefully I can finish it. As for today's challenge, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to complete it because I had some trouble finding covers in the right colours. In the end, I called in some help (thanks, mum) to decide on the final order of things. I tried to make it entirely out of books that I've read, but unfortunately, I haven't read The Song of Achilles. Yet. Here is my book rainbow:

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon: Day 1

Saturday, 20 December 2014

December 20th
Your TBR for the read-a-thon

Today is the first day of the read-a-thon! I do have some homework to finish over the holidays, but I'm hoping I can find the balance between reading and work, else one will have to suffer. And while I don't want that to be reading, it would most likely have to be. But without further ado, here are the books I want to try and get through:
  1. The Young Elites - Marie Lu
  2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black
  3. Linger - Maggie Stiefvater
  4. The Forever Song - Julie Kagawa
  5. Psycho - Robert Bloch
  6. Asylum - Madeleine Roux

Recommendations: Historical Fiction

Friday, 19 December 2014

Changling by Philppa Gregory
Quite a simple read that combines fantasy and mystery with life in 15th Century Italy. While this isn't the best book out there, it is worth persevering with for the second and third books in the as yet incomplete quartet.

Fleshmarket by Nicola Morgan
This has a much darker tone than most historical fiction I've come across. It deals heavily fairly heavily with death and squalor - and Burke and Hare, who don't really need much of an explanation. Still, a very interesting read that made me think.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
For such a big book that focuses on such an important and heavy topic, I actually found it to be a very quick and easy read. It wasn't the tear-jerker I expected (blame that on my heart of ice) but it still got me thinking and feeling and being grateful for the world I live in now. 

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon Information

Friday, 12 December 2014

I know, I know: I did a post about this not too long ago. But that's not the point. Now, there is more information to share with you so you can all start preparing for the It's the End of 2014 Read-a-Thon.

So, for twelve days starting on December 20th, myself, Sarah, Jayne, and Once will be hosting the read-a-thon on our blogs and on the official Twitter for it. As you can see from the calendar below (which - along with the banner - was made by Jayne) we will each be hosting three days. That means, if you're interested in taking part in the challenges, you need to make sure to visit whichever of us is hosting for that day, because I'm sure we'll all take part in the challenges ourselves. Or at least, I plan on trying to complete my own days' challenges.


There are just three challenges that will last for the entire twelve days, the rest will be specific to certain days, but we'll get onto that in a second. The big challenges are as follows:

1. Read a total of 2,000 pages
2. Re-read a 2014 favourite
3. Set your own challenge (e.g. read a book that starts with the same letter as your name)

The daily challenges will be judged and there will be winners. So be sure to let the day's host know you're participating by linking to your post in the comments! I personally will not include any hosts when I judge entries, as I feel like that's not fair (but I'll still definitely check them out, of course). The days each host has been assigned to correlates with the daily challenge, so keep your eyes open. My days will be 23rd, 27th, and 29th. 

December 20th - Your TBR for the read-a-thon
December 21st - Colour the Rainbow: find books on your shelves with covers/spines that make up a rainbow
December 22nd - Spell it Out: spell any winter/Christmas word with the books you have read this year
December 23rd - Psychic or Not: try to predict what will happen next in the book you are currently reading
December 24th - Movie Marathon: top five books that you think would make awesome films
December 25th - Winter Wonderland: create a winter scene with either natural materials or things inside that are associated with the season and display the book that you are currently reading
December 26th - Tell Me A Story: use book titles and author names to create a mini story
December 27th - Building Blocks: build a structure out of your books
December 28th - Scavenger Hunt: find items from the covers of your TBR for the read-a-thon or from the covers of the books that you have read so far
December 29th - Shake it up: re-enact or recreate your favourite book cover
December 30th - 2015 Most Anticipated: top ten most anticipated books of 2015
December 31st - 2014 Gems: top ten favourite books of 2014

Of course, the challenges are optional, so don't feel like you have to participate every single day if you don't want to or feel like you can't. It's all just a bit of fun at the end of the day.

More information can be found on Goodreads in the group or on Twitter, both of which will continue to be updated as things go. Good luck to everyone who plans on participating!

November Wrap Up

Friday, 5 December 2014

Last month, I read a total of sixteen books and graphic novels - although it was mostly graphic novels. There was a lot of The Walking Dead involved in last month's reading, mostly because I used to my birthday money to buy loads of the graphic novels. I also went to the library and borrowed quite a lot, managed to read a few books I've had on my shelf/TBR for a while, and I finished a 900+ page book. Pretty good, if I do say so myself.

What I read

What did you read in November? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments.

Book Review: Red She-Hulk: Route 616 by Jeff Parker

Friday, 28 November 2014

Red She-Hulk: Route 616
Jeff Parker, Wellington Alves, and Carlo Pagulayan
Genre(s): Graphic Novels, Comics, Superheroes
Published: October 8th 2013
Pages: 120
Rating: 2 stars

Red She-Hulk is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most wanted, and Machine Man has joined her on a deadly chase across the Marvel Universe! But Jennifer Walters, the original She-Hulk, is hot on their trail! Red She-Hulk goes deep underground to find the secrets of the ancient order of the Shield - but there's a new ruler of the world below, and he may never let her leave! As Jen Walters strikes a deal with the military, Red She-Hulk discovers that others have also taken the path before her. Others named Dr. Doom, the Red Skull, Ultron and Loki! Is Red destined to become a villain as well, or can she prevail in her race against time?

I wasn't a fan of Red She-Hulk in volume one, Hell Hath No Fury, and Route 616 hasn't really changed much. 

I decided to give it a chance though, in the hopes that it would open my eyes and enlighten me to the way of Marvel's many Hulks, but alas - I still don't think they're for me.

The artwork was once again crisp, clear, and engaging, but I still found myself lacking the knowledge - and general interest - to fully appreciate the whole story. It wastes no time in getting into things, and from the start I was confused. Whether that's just a Marvel trademark, I don't know (because I've found quite a few of their comics to be tricky to understand, even when I've enjoyed them). For a volume in the Marvel Now! collection I found this very disappointing.

Probably only read this if you've read a lot about the Hulks before hand, or are a long-term Marvel fan. For a relative beginner, this was a bit much.

Book Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

Friday, 21 November 2014

Doll Bones
Holly Black
Genre(s): Fantasy, Horror, Middle Grade
Published: February 27th 2014
Pages: 256
Rating: 4 stars

My name is Eleanor Kerchner.

You can call me the Queen.

I died in 1895.

Now it's time to play.

Holly Black delivers a story that manages to not only spark interest but to creep the reader out in Doll Bones.

The idea about the doll being made out of actual bone is enough to set the reader's hair on end, without scaring them stupid. Old dolls are creepy enough as it is, so I felt like this was a good choice of topic, considering that this is a middle grade book and the main characters aren't yet teenagers. I felt that the Queen, Eleanor, fit with Zach, Alice, and Poppy's personalities well (seeing as they all still played with dolls and made up adventures) and that she was a believable 'monster' for them to deal with, as she was already at Poppy's house. It also didn't feel like too big of an ordeal for them to face, which I enjoyed and felt made the whole thing that much more realistic.

I enjoyed the writing style; it kept me interested in the story and moved at a pretty fast pace throughout. Nothing felt overly complex or totally dumbed down, the extremes that can easily happen in middle grade books. Younger readers would be able to read it without feeling too confused, or like they were being treated like a baby. I did not, however, like the use of the word 'crap'. Nine times out of ten, I don't have a problem with profanity, whether it be gratuitous or not. The one time I do have a problem with it is when it is used in a book that's labelled as middle grade, which, according to Goodreads, is targeted to children between the ages of eight and twelve. Personally, I feel that children at that age shouldn't know about or be encouraged to use words such as that, regardless of how 'mild' they are. As a 17 year old reading this, though, I didn't mind. But anyway, I digress.

The illustrations by Eliza Wheeler were a nice touch as well. They were fun and cartoony and helped bring parts of the story to life. I liked how they weren't on every page or in every chapter, because it meant that when you did come across one it was more of a treat.

Probably what I enjoyed the most about Doll Bones was the fact that it followed a group of friends. It's not very often that a group of friends does something together in books aimed at a younger audience, so this was nice to read about. I also enjoyed how each of the characters differed to one another, it added diversity and realism to the story, making it easier to relate to the characters.

The story was refreshing, in a cute yet creepy way. Holly Black definitely knows what she's doing.

Book Talk: Do Pages Matter?

Friday, 14 November 2014

I don't know about you, but I am an obsessive page checker when I read. How many pages are in this book? How long is this chapter? How many more pages until I finish? Those are all questions I find myself asking almost constantly when I read. My question to you is: do you do the same?

I have been told numerous times whilst reading that it's odd to constantly check page numbers, that it makes reading less enjoyable, and that I'm one of few who does it. I still continue to do it, and it seems it has become a habit that I can't break, because I just need to know how many pages I have left. It's become a bit obsessive, if I'm being totally honest, and I've found that I can't relax and properly enjoy a book unless I check. Some would argue that this defeats the point of reading for enjoyment, but it's something that's very important to me. Why, I don't know. It just is.

But what I want to know is: am I alone in this? Do other readers care about the number of pages in their books? If yes, do they become obsessive about it and constantly check, like I do? In short: do pages matter?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon

Friday, 7 November 2014

Sarah over at YA Bookaholic has created the It's the End of 2014 Read-a-Thon and I'm helping host it.

There are no set genres or types of books that need to be read during the time, the aim is just to finish up all the books you wanted to read this year, and even get started on any you receive over the holidays. Each day there will be a challenge that you can take part in, but there will be more information on these closer to the date.

The read-a-thon will start on December 20th and will end on December 31st - that means nearly two whole weeks of reading!

You can take part on Goodreads, your blog, your booktube channel, Twitter, or just about anywhere you feel like really. The official Twitter for the read-a-thon is Read_Endof2014.

Recommendations: Stephen King

Friday, 31 October 2014

The Shining
A classic place to start if you're new to King's work. Spine-chilling and disturbingly realistic, this will put you off wanting to stay in a hotel for a while and guarantees at least one nightmare.

Much tamer than some of his other novels - although particularly gory in some scenes - Misery is one piece of literature that will no doubt leave you thinking that something like that could actually happen, especially in today's celebrity crazed society.

Full Dark, No Stars
Perhaps one of King's darker pieces, this collection of short stories will have you simultaneously on the edge of your seat and wanting to put the book down. Jam packed will plenty of topics many try to steer clear of - rape, murder, revenge, and justice being but a few. Not for the faint hearted.

Ten Book Challenge

Friday, 24 October 2014

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Do not take more than a few minutes, and do not think about it too hard. They do not have to be the "right books", or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Paste these instructions and tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list!

Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Not much of a surprise that this is first in my list. This book has been a constant throughout basically all of my life and I'm sure it will continue to be.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Again, not much of a surprise, given how much I talk about this series. The story has just completely stuck with me and I am eagerly awaiting the next book and TV series. Plus, it's the first adult high fantasy series I've read, and that has to count for something.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I don't think I could ever forget this trilogy and the effect it's had on my reading ever since. It was the very first dystopian I read, and while I don't totally love the genre, this book is a real gem.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I've had an interest in mythology for a while now, but it was this series that really got me interested in it and I just love how fast paced the story is.

Shift by Em Bailey
One of my absolute favourite books. I can't quite pin-point what it is about it that makes it so special to me, but it seemed to just tick all the boxes, and I can still remember the story now. So it definitely stuck with me.

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
I first read this a good few years ago and adored it, only I lost my copy as I changed bedrooms and my nan decided to have a tidy up. I never forget about it, though, and got my hands on a new copy last year and re-read it. And I still love it just as much.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
This has hands down got to be the best vampire book I've ever read, as well as just being one of the best books I've ever read. I devoured this and I am still not over it.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
It's probably not very good that this has stayed with me, because it did cause me a bit of distress when I was reading it. But the stories were so powerful that I don't think I'll ever truly forget it.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Again, this book made me uncomfortable as I read it, but I didn't expect anything less from it. The message and power behind it really hit me because I'd never really read about more taboo subjects before.

The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath
Not only did this peak my interest in books relating to psychology and mental illness (and help me understand things a little better), it has also made me realise that adult books can be okay, and that I should probably start reading some more of them.

I have no idea who has or hasn't done this tag, so I tag anyone who wants to do it! Thank you to Paperback Princess for tagging me to do this.

Book Review: The Nixie's Song by Holly Black

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Nixie's Song
Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Published: January 14th 2014
Pages: 162
Rating: 2.5 stars

Nick Vargas thinks his sucky life is being turned upside down when his father remarries. So when an expedition to a nearby lake turns up a nixie with a giant problem - it's up to Nick and Laurie (his new step-sister) to come up with a plan. Will they be able to stop the rampaging beast before all of Mangrove Hollow goes up in smoke?

The first book in the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series was an okay continuation of the world, introducing new fairies and characters and a whole new setting.

It was interesting to read about the creatures - I especially liked the nixie - but I didn't really feel for the characters. I found Laurie to be even more annoying than Nick just because she was portrayed as being a bit of a goody two shoes, when in fact she was rather manipulative. Jules wasn't very developed and overall, everyone just felt a bit flat.

However, I would have been able to overlook that because I did enjoy the fantasy, fairy side of things just as much as (if not more than) the original series, but the inclusion of the author and illustrator really irked me. It ended up making me feel like the first five books were a bit of a joke and I didn't really see the point in it. It came across as a bit big headed and I would have preferred it if it had never been included.

That being said, I did really enjoy the art. DiTerlizzi's style really compliments Black's work, and the pair make a good team.

I just hope the next two books in this series are better than this.

Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Friday, 10 October 2014

Hollow City
Ransom Riggs
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Published: January 14th 2014
Pages: 396
Rating: 3.5 stars

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

While I did like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I didn't really like it. It was good but I had issues with it. Hollow City wastes no time in jumping into things, starting exactly where the first book left off in a way that promised an action packed ride.

I liked how the pictures in this were more to do with the setting and surroundings than the peculiar children. I felt that they went with the story better and were more natural, and after reading Miss Peregrine's I knew how much attention to pay them in order to get the most from the story. Things also seemed to have taken a darker tone in the first few chapters and I really liked that, I think it reflected the situation and mood the characters were in without going overboard.

The characters were also a lot more enjoyable this time around. They had more distinct personalities that were unique to them, and their peculiarities felt more natural and developed - Jacob's especially.

I did, however, have a problem with the 'romance' between Emma and Jacob. I found it unnatural and weird, more so than in the first book where I thought nothing would come of it. The fact that she is - technically - a lot older than him, and was quite heavily involved with his grandpa just... doesn't sit well with me. I also found quite a few grammatical errors as I was reading, but that may be because the edition I read was still fairly new.

Overall, not a great book. A good sequel, just not amazing.

Book Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Friday, 3 October 2014

Deep Blue
Jennifer Donnelly
Genre(s): Fantasy, Mermaids, Young Adult
Published: May 1st 2014
Pages: 368
Rating: 3 stars

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be about reuniting with handsome Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she finds herself haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and dealing with the deaths of her parents as assassins storm the betrothal ceremony, plunging the city into chaos.

Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to avenge her parents' death and prevent a war between the mer nations. In the process they discover a plot that threatens their - and our - world's very existence.

Going into Deep Blue, I had never read another mermaid book before, so I was quite excited. I enjoy the mythology surrounding mermaids and sirens, and from the prologue I could tell that this would be full of it - because chants, italicised foreign language, and names with accents all over the place can't mean anything else.

However, I found that when the story started it was... boring. And confusing, and childish. It took a lot for me to get through the all the obvious explanations and weird names for things (I usually don't have any problems with this element of fantasy - I've read Game of Thrones, for christ's sake). All I can say is, at least there's a glossary.

Despite the confusion and annoyance I felt whilst reading, I do have to admit that a lot of thought and time has been put into creating such a complex world, for children and teens, no less. And the fact that this is the first in a series is admirable, too. There aren't many fantasy series for younger readers with this amount of depth, so kudos to Donnelly for giving it a shot.

After the initial introductions to things, the story did start to pick up. I enjoyed the action after Sera's Dokimi, and I can see how it started to set things up for later in the story, and maybe even the next book. The slow start and fairy tale-esque descriptions at the beginning masked what I found to be quite a good book. It was full of mermaid myth, a rich and detailed world, goo dialogue, and interesting characters. I understand why things got off on the wrong foot - things have to be established somehow - but I don't think I can forgive it for pulling the rest of the story down with it.

I will be continuing on with the Waterfire Saga, but I can't see it becoming one of my favourite series.

Book Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Friday, 26 September 2014

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Kody Keplinger
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Published: April 5th 2012
Pages: 343
Rating: 4 stars

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. 

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.

From even the early chapters of this book I could identify with Bianca, being a bit of a DUFF that doesn't enjoy parties myself. As a character, she was real, relatable, and well developed and I enjoyed reading about her. I think if she'd been any different I wouldn't have liked this so much.

I'll admit: the whole idea of the 'DUFF' did anger me when it was first introduced. But when I stepped back and thought about it, I realised that's good. It's an all too real concept that people follow in real like and people - especially impressionable teenage girls - should not accept it lying down. I immediately liked and respected Bianca for standing up for herself when she was first labelled as the DUFF of her friendship group. And while her behaviour and reactions to said label afterwards did make me feel sad, they also made me feel. Far too many people - myself included - feel bad about themselves thanks to comments from others, and I commend Keplinger for including and capturing that in her writing. It's very powerful.

While I'm not really a fan of romance or contemporary, I did like the relationships in this books. Both the friendly and the more romantic. I found them to be realistic, if a little frustrating at times. The characters all came across as well-rounded to me - Bianca and Casey especially. As well as that, the writing gripped me and kept me interested and I had no idea where the story was going to go, so this was a pleasantly surprising read. There were parts that made me laugh, bits that made me roll my eyes, and even a scene that I thought I was going to cry at. (Unheard of, I know; I never cry at books.)

Overall though, this was a really good contemporary. It hasn't converted me to loving the genre, but it has given me hope that there are other little gems like this out there.

Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Friday, 19 September 2014

Lauren Oliver
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Published: March 6th 2014
Pages: 416
Rating: 3 stars

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She'd never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game; he's sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he's not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them-and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Panic made me do exactly that as I was reading it. The fast paced, action packed story had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding as I worried for the characters as they took part in the game. 

The idea behind the story was interesting, and I could see something similar happening in real life, however I feel that the execution could have been better. 

While I did worry for the characters during the stupid tasks, I found that I didn't really care for them outside of that situation. I didn't really connect with any of them, either, which I think had to do with the writing. 

Lauren Oliver wastes no time in jumping straight into the meat of the story, choosing to treat the reader as if they have a basic knowledge of things and then explain along the way. This approach would have worked had her writing not been so simple. An it was it just didn't feel right to me. 

I also would have preferred for more focus to have been put on Panic itself. That was the reason for me picking this book up, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn't the entire focus of the story. Or at least that's how it came across to me. I could have done without all the half developed sob story backgrounds and attempts at character development. 

That being said, I don't regret reading this. The idea behind it was good and it was a quick read. 

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Friday, 12 September 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Published: June 4th 2013
Pages: 352
Rating: 3 stars

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is, at first glance, a story with a unique twist to it. That being that it has an an almost dual narrative, made up of text and photographs.

I have read both graphic novels and books with illustrations, but never a book that has taken inspiration from photographs and grown from there. I was wary, unsure of how things would unfold. Would the photos bear the weight of the story and tell it like a graphic novel? Or would it be a somewhat childish attempt to support the story through visual means?

The answer to that: neither.

While they were a nice touch, I found that the photographs didn't add much to the writing or the story as a whole. I didn't find them particularly creepy either - instead I was left frowning over how obviously staged some of them looked.

I honestly don't know what I was expecting from this book, but I was definitely surprised when I started reading. Not necessarily in a bad way, because I did enjoy it, but it did feel a bit... lacking.

That being said, I will be continuing on with the books that follow, as this definitely has potential and I'd like to see how the story grows.

Book Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Friday, 5 September 2014

Teri Terry
Genre(s): Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published: May 3rd 2012
Pages: 448
Rating: 5 stars

Kyla’s memory has been erased,

her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

I'd been putting off reading Slated for almost a year before I decided to pick it up. Why? I don't know, because I really enjoyed it.

I knew straight away from the prologue that this was going to be a book that kept me wondering, and maybe even a little confused at times. I instantly started questioning things and wanting to find out more. Why was Kyla running? Who spoke to her?

My questioning continued throughout the story, where I found new thoughts and ideas were not explained as they were brought up, but instead touched upon again later in the story. On one hand I like this, as it added to the mystery for me as a reader, and I found it believable as Kyla, as a Slated and the narrator, wouldn't know or understand everything straight away and therefore be able to explain things. On the other hand, however, it annoyed me, as I like things to be laid out clearly at the start of the story. It took a while for things like the Levo to be explained and this did frustrate me, but again, it's believable, as Kyla would already know all about them an wouldn't do that annoying 'this is my Levo. It does this, this, and this' explanation that is sadly all too common in first person fiction.

I was intrigued by the world building, as well. More so in a good way than a 'huh?' way. I really enjoyed how it read as if it was set in the present, even though it was set a couple of decades in the future. It wasn't glaringly obvious that it was a futuristic/sci-fi/dystopian story from the setting, which pleased me as I'm iffy with those genres, and the characters seemed 'normal' enough to be part of our present day world.

The characters also kept me guessing. I liked how they all had different personalities and characteristics, no one felt like they were just a copy of someone else, and I kept trying to figure out their motives and reasoning for things. I really enjoyed the development as well; everyone started off as quite one dimensional but I found that that soon changed, whether that was because of Kyla's own development and narration, I don't know. 

While I did find the writing to be quite simplistic, as well as choppy and jarring at times, I did - for the most part - like it. I felt that it represented Kyla's thoughts well, as she would be very confused by things and no doubt think in a choppy and jarring way.

Despite me minor complaints, I did really, really enjoy Slated. It's probably the best dystopian I've read. I can't wait to complete the trilogy.

Liebster Award

Friday, 29 August 2014

I'm a bit late in doing this, seeing as YA Bookaholic tagged me ages ago and Victorian Soul Book Critiques tagged me again. So thank you both, I'm finally getting round to doing this!


  1. List 11 facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you.
  3. Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers and leave them a comment saying they've been nominated.
  4. Ask 11 new questions for your chosen nominees.
  5. You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you

  1. I am an only child. I have never wanted siblings and I'm really glad I don't have any because I enjoy my own company (and would no doubt be a terrible sister).
  2. The Walking Dead has shown me that in a zombie apocalypse I'd be one of the first to die. 
  3. I have four cats: Luna, Draco, Mysha, and Cobwebs (although Luna has decided to move in with my grandparents and Cobwebs has decided he loves the garden too much to ever come back inside)
  4. I don't really want to go to university when I'm old enough, but if I did, I think I'd like to study psychology. I kind of have my eye on mental health nursing, clinical or counselling psychology, and educational psychology.
  5. I come from a family of avid readers. I don't even want to try and count how many books we own as a whole.
  6. I really like superheroes and fantastical creatures. 
  7. I'm very lazy when it comes to my blog. I have at least five posts in my drafts at any one time so that I can just post something every week and rarely have to worry about writing posts at the last minute.
  8. My favourite shoes are boots and I do not own enough pairs, regardless of what my mum might say.
  9. I want to try and read all of Stephen King's books and stories.
  10. I really like the Funko Pop! figures and I'd like to own a lot more than I currently do.
  11. I own nearly 40 bookmarks, so I guess I named my blog correctly.

Questions from YA Bookaholic

If you could choose one book world to live in, which one would it be?
Westeros, because even though it'd be really gross and I'd probably die, I'd like to experience it. And I'd like to meet the Starks.

What's next on your to read list?
I'm currently doing a TBR jar so I don't know until I pick one from it.

If you were stranded on a desert island and you could wish for one character to appear to give you company, who would it be?
Annabeth Chase. She's smart so she'd probably figure out how to get off the island.

What is your favourite supernatural/fantasy creature, vampire, werewolf, dragons etc?

What is your most favourite item that you have?
That's tough. Probably either my first ever teddy because of sentimental reasons, or my Cambridge satchel because it's so practical and I can carry a bunch of my favourite things in it.

What is the last book to movie you have watched? Was it good?
If I remember correctly, it was The Book Thief. It was a lot better than the book (which I read after seeing it) because I found the book to be about a whole lot of nothing. 

Have you ever met any authors?
Yes! I met Rainbow Rowell at YALC in June and she signed my copies of Fangirl.

Best book you've read so far in 2014?
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas.

What is the book you can't wait to read the most?
House of Hades by Rick Riordan.

What is your favourite quote?
Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.

What is the first book that comes to your mind?
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Questions from Victorian Soul Book Critiques

What is your favorite time of day to read?
In the afternoon/evening. Anywhere from about twelve until six.

What makes your favorite book your favorite: the characters, the plot, or something else?
Definitely the characters being unique and well developed, as well as a fast moving plot that doesn't have any holes and can keep me guessing on the edge of my seat. Good writing that isn't too forced or overly complicated and descriptive always helps, too.

What is your favorite dessert?
Vanilla cheesecake. 

Do you have a favorite villain? (Literary or otherwise)
Some of my favourite villains include The Governor from The Walking Dead, Loki, Viserys Targaryen (although if you ask me, he is not the bad guy), Annie Wilkes, and President Snow. I generally tend to prefer the villain/anti-hero/antagonist, though.

What three books would you bring to a deserted island with you, if you had everything you needed (food, water, shelter, bookshelves, etc.)?
Harry Potter by JK Rowling, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Which book do you consider underrated and under-read (people don't read it as much)?
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper. This was the book that really made me fall in love with historical fiction. The whole idea and concept of it is fantastic.

If you could travel to another universe (bookish or otherwise), would you stay here or go?
If I could come back here, then sure, I'd totally go.

If you could travel back in time once, where would you go, and what would you do?
I'd go back to Ancient Greece and do something to do with the gods. Like, try and find Olympus or something.

Is there a book you think is over-hyped (a lot of people like it, but you don't)?
Oh god yes. All of John Green's books (especially TFiOS), and The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.

If you could meet any author (living or dead), who would you meet, and why?
Stephen King because I want to know where he gets all of his horrible ideas for plots from.

Do you judge a book by its cover?
Yes. All the time.


My questions
  1. If you could rewrite any book which would you pick? Why?
  2. Do you have more read or unread books on your shelves?
  3. What's the most unusual book you've read?
  4. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  5. Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?
  6. Do you prefer e-books or physical books? Why?
  7. Which of your books has the most beautiful cover?
  8. If you were a superhero what would your power be? What would you do with it?
  9. What is your favourite genre? Why?
  10. If you had to pick one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
  11. Which book by your favourite author is your favourite?
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