Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

I did a tag video, in which characters from my favourite books were a part of my zombie apocalypse team. Watch the video below!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Book of the Week: Emma by Jane Austen

Inside the book:
I haven't read this yet, even though I have another edition of Emma on my bookshelves. But it is a Jane Austen book! I look forward to reading about a character who no one seems to like, that causes many problems, and is rather blind to her effects on others. I love books written in this style and time period, and look forward to sitting down to read this beautiful book.

Outside the book:
This is a beautiful edition of Emma, one that is very hard to find. I found it at a book stall for five dollars. I love everything about this book, its hardback, its simple, classic, and has a limited colour palette. At first glance you might not notice the elaborate, wallpaper like pattern. Which is a slightly lighter blue and catches the light beautifully.

Buy Emma
Goodreads Page

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Bookstore Tour + Book Haul | Kinokuniya

Lets go on an adventure! To what is probably my new favourite bookstore, Kinokuniya. To find out why, and also what books I bought there, watch the video below.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

*This is the second book in a series. If you haven't read If I Stay. Then don't read this review as there are spoilers.

Buy This Book
If I Stay #2
Pages: 274

Published: Apr 2011
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads Synopsis...  

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.
And three years he's spent wondering why.
When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?


If you've read my review of If I Stay, then you know I compared it to a stained glass window. This book is like stepping away from that window, from the light that shines through its newly put together pieces. Turning around and facing a new direction. You can still feel the warmth of the sun, and you know the colours and pictures are just behind you. But you no longer see them.

I loved the honest and unique way in which Adams story unraveled. He is in a very bad place, and we get to feel how much previous events have effected him. 

Just like If I Stay, the writing is simple yet truthful. The characters, feel real and their struggles become the readers struggles. I am becoming a big fan of Formans writing style, with its excellent pacing. And lyrics at the start of each chapter that connected things wonderfully, and that I would be thrilled to see become real songs.

The one thing I was missing in this book was Mia's family. They were not only my favourite thing in the previous book. But the flashbacks allowed for a balance between sorrow and happiness. That made the happy times sweeter, and made the sad present even more heartbreaking. Even so I still enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it to those who have read If I Stay.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Buy This Book
If I Stay #1
Pages: 201
Published: Apr 2009
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads Synopsis... 
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.


I feel like this book is a stained glass window. At first you look at the picture made up of little pieces of coloured glass, and the picture they make up is beautiful. You are just starting to look at all the different parts when BAM!!! Gayle Forman takes a baseball bat to the window, sending shards of glass flying your way. Then she starts putting the pieces back together. You just stand there with blood dripping from your wounds, because you have no other choice. You must see that window again.

Mia's family was my favourite thing about this book. They made me love them. Yes, they made me. I had no choice. The laughter, the sarcasm, the cute adorable little brother. All shown through flashbacks, made me fall in love with Denny, Kat, Teddy, Kim, and Adam (because Kim and Adam are part of the family too!)

The other thing that made me fall in love with them, was the writing. It was so honest, and detailed in the perfect moments. Yes there were flaws, and things could have been smoothed out a little bit more. But this story, this family, and the love that burst from them. As softly as cello chords, and as loudly as a rock concert was so real, and so heartbreaking. That those flaws meant little to me.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Book of the Week: The Child Thief by Brom

Inside the book:
This peter pan inspired story, is more dark and haunting then you would imagine. There were several times I had to take a breather, because of how brutally honest and gritty this book was. It is however a truly beautiful story, and this is very much aided because of the illustrations throughout the book.

Outside the book:
Arms outstretched, eyes closed, hovering in the air, is Peter. He is the main character of the book, and with his red jacket and weapon worthy shoes, he perfectly warns the reader of the eerie and exceptional story inside.

Buy The Child Thief
Goodreads page

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Book of the Week: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Inside the book:
I haven't read it yet, so I don't know. But I'm sure when I do, there will be an incredible world filled with adventure, and fantasy.

Outside the book:
I love the limited colour palette, and the wrap around cover. That is centered on the spine, so that the front and back are symmetrical to each other. Except that the front cover is day time, and the back is night time. There is so much detail in this, and it is without a doubt, on of my favourite covers.

Buy The Hobbit
Goodreads page

Saturday, 12 April 2014


I made a tag/challenge. Its all about finding the words. And there are BONUS POINTS!
You can watch the video below, and if you make videos I tag you!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

*This is the third and final book in a series. If you haven't read Divergent and Insurgent. Then don't read this review as there are spoilers. 

Buy This Book   
Final book in the Divergent series.  
Pages: 526
Published: Oct 2013
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis... 
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

One of my favourite things about Divergent and Insurgent, is that there was so much action. Things kept happening and it was so fast paced, and fun to read. So I should have known that for the last book in this series. The author would take away all my favourite things, and give me somewhat whiny Tobias perspectives in return.

Dont get me wrong, I actually liked the book. I very much enjoyed Roth's writing style. It also explained everything, giving answers to all my questions. The relationship between Tris and Four also got more complicated, and it was interesting to see their struggle. Both with their relationship and as individuals. There was a real effort to make things and reactions realistic and honest, and I did appreciate that.

However there were many things that made me dislike this book. Firstly I found Four to be really different then he was in previous books. This may be because we got chapters from his perspective, but it still felt strange. Also I felt like the relationship between Tris and Four was sometimes a bit cheesy, and uncomfortable. Some of the things they did and thought, really surprised me.

Up until around the 400 page mark, everything felt very drawn out. The plot was predictable, and there was very little action. I had to push myself to read on, which is the opposite of how I felt reading Divergent. It was also sometimes hard to distinguish which perspective I was reading, because they weren't distinctive or different enough.

Another complaint I have is that I felt we saw very little of the side characters. They seemed really interesting but only made quick appearances in what was basically the 'Tris and Four Show'. And let me tell you, I changed the channel often.

One thing I am happy about is the end. It was where things finally picked up, and got interesting. I felt somewhat content finishing the book, and was happy with most of the events leading up to the very end. Even the one that some people are incredible mad about, and many have been spoiled about.

All in all, I'm disappointed with the book as a whole. But I did like it, and was happy with how the series ended. 


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Books of the Week: Daughter of Smoke and Bone + Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Inside the Books:
The writing style of this book, is probably my favourite of ALL THE BOOKS! (sorry for shouting) It is so detailed and flows so well and the book is set in Prague. Prague! Its so unique, and the characters are so interesting and cool. I just love this series, and cant wait to read the final book.

Outside the Book:
There are two versions of this series out, and I'm so glad I got the ones I did. They are simple and the typography is great. Also the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone has an iridescence, so that the feathers change colour slightly in the light.

Buy Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Buy Days of Blood and Starlight
Buy Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Goodreads page

These are the two covers of the final book in this series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters. The one on the left is the one that is coming to me, in all its glory. I cant wait to read it! Gimme!!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Buy This Book
Pages: 229
Published:Sep 2006
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Goodreads Synopsis...

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

I took two days to read this book. It just so happens that there's a 5 month gap between those days.

This is a John Green book, which I've come to find means certain things. Which by all means can be found in this book:
-There is something very authenticly teenager about his writing. The thoughts characters have, the discoveries that might be simple, but change everything. Remind me so much of when I was a teenager. (Not that it was that long ago)
-Along with that authenticity comes intelligence, espcially in this book about a prodigy who aims to be a genius. The author doesn't dumb down the characters, infact he showcases their wit and intellegence, and best of all their sarcasm!  -The beauty is in the details. You can easily tell that a lot of work went into this book. The arabic, the anagrams, the footnotes and all the maths. As well as this, all the little quirks and small things. That are put together to make a beautifully detailed story. That has complicated and unique characters.

My main problem with this book, is I didn't get much out of it. I didn't love the characters, the plot felt aimless, and the themes didn't speak to me. I enjoyed reading it, but didn't miss it or feel the need to read it over my 5 month gap. I just sort of felt detached from what was a really well written story.

This is my third John Green book, and it is my least favorite so far. Thats not to say that I didnt like it. I just didnt care that much. Still, Im looking forward to reading Paper Towns.


April TBR


Days of Blood and Starlight 
The Child Thief 
The Ask and the Answer

These are the books I hope to read in April. If you want to hear more about them, and why I want to read them. Then watch the video below. Have a great April everyone!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

March Wrap Up

Carswell's Guide to being Lucky (in target copies of Cress)


To hear what I think about these books, and see what rating I gave them. Make sure to check out the video below.
Hope you all had great reading months in March. And if you didn't, Happy reading in April!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Book Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Buy This Book
Pages: 423
Published: Feb 2012
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Goodreads Synopsis... 
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he struggling to maintain the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young girl running through the trees. 

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel come to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they begin to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent territory things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform them all.

This book is magic. That's what I was thinking while reading it. I took a curious bite out of the poison apple, and I was in this land no longer. I was in Alaska, in the home of Jack and Mabel. I felt their quiet desperation, the wordless pain that laced every look.

The way that this couple was shown to me is by far my favourite thing about this book. Though the book often felt like a dream, their lives ruled by sadness was very clear. It was depicted in such a simple way. In the absence of things, of laughter, of noise, of children. The nothingness took up all the space and pressed against me. 

Then comes Faina, the snow child. Who fills this absence with a certain kind of magic. Whether it is a literal magic or just the magic of her presence, we are never quite sure. This is how she is portrayed throughout the book. As a mystery, something we can never quite grasp. Which adds immensely to the magical feeling of the snow child.

All of this is set in the diverse and often contrasting land of Alaska. Where it goes from shivering nights to sweat filled days. And where quiet mornings are interrupted by neighbours bursting with energy.

I woke somewhat abruptly from reading it. Wondering if I would ever know completely the mysteries of Faina. If her magic would ever be explained. Smiling at the sweet memory of Jack and Mabel. Wishing that I would fall asleep, so I could return back again.

The Snow Child made me an instant fan of Eowyn Ivey, and I look forward to what she has to offer next.