Sunday, 30 March 2014

Book of the Week: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Inside the book:
Based on a Russian fairytale about a girl, half human half snow. That visits an elderly couple without children each winter. This book is set in Alaska, and follows the tragic but beautiful tale of a girl named Faina, and the childless couple, Jack and Mabel. Whose lives she changes forever.

Outside the book:
I love blue books, and the simple colour scheme and design of this book are absolutely perfect. They give a glimpse of this beautiful story, and drew me immediately to the cover. The snowflakes at the start of each chapter, on the spine, and inside the cover are so beautiful. Adding just the right amount of winter magic.

Buy The Snow Child
Goodreads page

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Buy This Book
Pages: 179
Published: Jan 1993

Genres: Children's, Classics, Dystopian

Goodreads Synopsis... 
Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

This book is like closing your eyes, and experiencing a memory you've never seen before. You know whats happening and you can feel the emotions that are brought out. But you just cant name them, explain them. Its on the tip of your tongue...

So instead of trying, Im just going to give you three reasons you should pick up The Giver.

1. It is not a fast paced dystopian, it is a journey into another world. One that seems perfect and oddly reasonable at first. But that surprises you with how different it is, and how little things can change everything.

2. One of my favourite themes is that to experience pleasure, we must endure pain. It is a lesson often repeated, but the simple way this book shows it, makes it mean more. Makes it striking in its tragic balance. 

3. The way the story is written is so simple, yet so hauntingly beautiful. There is an ambiguity that is present throughout the whole story, especially at the end. And I think this adds to the book. Its like being in a dream. Feeling the intense emotions from what is happening, and then waking only remembering how it felt. 

This was a beautiful book, and I look forward to reading it again in the future. And seeing what it has to say to me then.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Buy This Book
Seraphina #1
Pages: 512
Published: Jan 2012
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Mystery

Goodreads Synopsis... 
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.


I was really sick when I picked up this book. And it wasnt just a little cold, it was me in bed, in pain thinking about dying (because I'm a melodramatic like that). I think its a huge testiment to this book, that while I was reading it, I forgot I was sick. I let go of everything except for Seraphina, and all the dragons! Oh I love me some dragons!

So lets start by talking about the dragons in this book. They were so different from the way dragons are usually depicted, in that they could turn themselves into a human form. This let you see so much more about what its like to be a dragon, and also added so much dimension to these characters.

All the characters really were pretty amazing. Seraphina, is an incredibly likeable protagonist. She is talented, smart and really interesting. I loved seeing the story through her eyes, and also through her head.

The other thing that made this story so captivating was the world. The way that Hartman describes this world is so detailed but not overbearing. Her prose is amazing to read, and her entire story is so well paced. I wanted to keep reading, but I never felt like I was rushed. Also the political and royal  aspects to this world were very interesting, and added so much to the story.

The only aspect of the book that wasnt completely appealing to me was the romance. It was a very small part of the story, the dragons taking most of the spotlight (as they should). I just wasn't feeling the romance, it felt a bit unnecessary and the chemistry was lacking.

All in all though, I loved this book, and cant wait for the next installment which comes out in March 2015. Let the waiting begin!


Monday, 24 March 2014

Unread Books Tag

This is the first time I've ever counted how many books I own, and it was a little bit daunting. Ok! It was a lot daunting. I just have so many unread books. Time to start reading.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Book of the Week: More Than This by Patrick Ness

All I really know about this book, is that its written by Patrick Ness, someone dies, theres a door on the cover, and also this book is gorgeous. That was more than enough of a reason to buy it.

I really love the black and white, and then the little yellow door. Seriously you guys, this book just makes me happy. I dont even need to read it. Although I definitely will...because you know...Patrick Ness.

Buy More Than This
Goodreads page

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Buy This Book
Shatter me #1
Pages: 338
Published: Jan 2011

Genres: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis... 
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior


You know in the tv show Friends. When Joey writes a letter to an adoption agency for Monica and Chandler. And he tries to sound smart, so he uses a thesaurus on every single word. Turning
"They're warm, nice people with big hearts." into "They're humid, pre-possessing homosapiens with full-sized aortic pumps?"

Yeah... That's kind of what Tahereh Mafi did here. Except instead of using synonyms she used metaphors. I think you can probably see the point Im trying to make. That sometimes, simpler is better. And in the case of this book, simpler would have been much better.

Thats not to say that some of her metaphors aren't amazing to read. "I spent my life folded between the pages of books.” There are more but I cant remember them right now.

However there are also many many ridiculous metaphors.
-"I’m a tangle of butterflies."
-"My eyelashes trip into my eyebrows; my jaw drops into my lap."
-"He says it with a small smile the size of Jupiter."
-“I always won­der about raindrops. I won­der about how they’re always falling down, trip­ping over their own feet, break­ing their legs and for­get­ting their para­chutes as they tum­ble right out of the sky toward an uncer­tain end.” 

If you can get past this style of writing, then you get to the actual story and the characters. The characters are stereotypical, and dull. But hey at least their really hot. The plot is predictable, as its basically a love triangle parading as a post-apocalyptic dystopian.

The only thing I liked about the book, was that it was relatively easy to read, and fast paced in the second half. Also there were some really amazing metaphors, hidden among the thousands of ridiculous ones.

Needless to say, I don't recommend this book. I will not be reading the next book in the series. And hopefully no one will ever wonder about raindrops in my presence again.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Buy This Book
Pages: 328
Published: April 2012
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance 

Goodreads Synopsis...
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.


This book, and basically every book by Rainbow Rowell, has an enormous amount of hype surrounding it. So when I picked up this book, I had some high expectations. And let me say, all of them were met! I loved this book, it was even better than I was expecting, and is now definitely one of my favourite books this year.

This first thing to love about Eleanor & Park, is how unique everything about it is. The characters are flawed both mentally and physically (meaning they arent incredibly hot with piercing eyes). Which is basically unheard of in young adult books. The plot itself was unpredictable, and complicated by real human problems. This is a love story primarily, but it is so much more than that. Also how the romance begins and develops is so genuine and different.

The author takes what is cliche, flips it around and puts it in the real world. Still managing to make it interesting and fun to read. Another thing this Rowell does really well is balancing light and dark in the book. It was both good and bad to feel depressed and also elated while reading this book. 

This was such an amazing experience and such a privilege to read. I offer it to you with scarf covered wrists, singing its praises!


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Book of the Week: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

A fantasy with dragons! Something that I am looking for more and more. After reading A Game of Thrones, Eon, and books like that. I can't wait to see this books take on dragons. I've heard really great things about the other parts of the story too...

I love black and white covers with coloured accents. I love the red border and gold raised title. And also the illustration itself is pretty cool.

Buy Seraphina
Goodreads page

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Book Reviews: The Vampire Academy Series

(them ugly covers are overflowing)

Vampire Academy Series...
1. Vampire Academy - 332 pages, published Jan 2007, my rating: 3.5/5
2. Frostbite - 327 pages, published March 2008, my rating: 4/5
3. Shadow Kiss - 443 pages, published Nov 2008, my rating: 4/5
4. Blood Promise - 503 pages, published Aug 2009, my rating: 4/5
5. Spirit Bound - 489 pages, published Jan 2010, my rating: 3.5/5
6. Last Sacrifice - 594 pages, published Dec 2010, my rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis of the first book...
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Things I liked about the series...
-The characters were probably my favourite thing in this series. Rose is such a different protagonist, she's strong and bad-ass, but also so strong willed and reckless. And I actually liked this about her, it added so much to her as a character that her faults were also her strengths. I also loved Christian, mainly because he is so similar to Rose, and he oozes sarcasm. Which is the only thing someone should be happy to be oozing.
-The setting, the dynamic of the school and vampires were really interesting to me as well. I enjoyed all the school drama to be honest, and also the fact that Lissa is a royal vampire. And getting to see what that means, and how it effects her.
-The books were all basically addictive. They were so much fun to read, and I couldn't stop.

Things I didn't like about the series...
-The constant re-capping that went on throughout the series. Every so often the author would re-explain something that had happened in a previous book. And she would do it in the most obvious and tedious way possible.
-One of the romances in the books really started to annoy me. I actually started out the books really loving and routing for these two characters to be together. But by the last two books, it had gone on long enough. I was just tired of this constantly being a thing, and I really really wanted it to stop.
-Rose and her lack of character development especially in the last two books also irritated me. At the start of the books she jumps into situations without thinking. Which is brave and endearing at first, but eventually I wanted her to use her brain a little more. Nope, apparently this was not meant to be. Yes she did grow, but it wasn't enough for me.

That is my review of the Vampire Academy series. I did really enjoy it, despite the negative things mentioned. And I will probably be reading the Bloodlines series spinoff, sometime in the future.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My New Bookshelves!

I recently decided (for what reason I still don't know) to get different bookshelves. If you've been following my booktube channel then you would have seen the four different videos, which documents me buying, building, organizing, and reorganizing my bookshelves.

These videos will be below, as well as pictures of the final product.

Even though I really didn't need them, I love my new bookshelves and the new set up.

Hope you enjoy the videos and pictures!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Book of the Week: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Multiple Katherine's, anagrams, and John Green. What more could you want?

There's just something about white books that I really like. Its just so crisp and fresh and clean. And with the simple design on this cover, it just adds to the freshness.

Buy An Abundance of Katherines
Goodreads page

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

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

Buy This Book   
Book 3 in The Lunar Chronicles.  
Pages: 550
Published: Feb 2014
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis...
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.


I loved this book, which was to be expected because I loved the first two. Cress was just such a joy to read, its one of those books that just makes me happy while reading it, and sad when it ends. Its fast paced, action packed and full of romances I cant help but root for. 

The character Cress was smart, sweet, and so darn adorable. I loved seeing Scarlet and especially Cinder again. And all the characters were fun and interesting to hear about. It was also really interesting to be able to get some insight into Levana, and what she thinks. Im excited to delve deeper into her character in the next book.

The only negative things I have to say, is that I wanted more Cinder. I really enjoy the idea of each new book, introducing a new character. But I yearn for Cinder scenes. Her plot line is definitely the one that interests me the most, and her romance makes me happiest of all. As well as this, I felt like the romance in Cress, and the suggested one for Winter; that was touched on in this book. Are coming just a little bit too easily. It seems like everyone has a perfect match just waiting for them, which leaves the romances to simple and uncomplicated. And romance should and normally is very, very complicated.

I still really enjoyed the book, and the things I didn't like were negligible compared to how much fun it was to be caught up in this story and world. Now begins the wait for the final book Winter. And just like the Stark's I will recite constantly and fervently, that winter is coming! 


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Book of the Week: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

This week is a love story like no other. I've not heard a bad word said about Rainbow Rowell, or any of her books. This will be my first book by her, and I look forward to seeing what it has to offer.

I love the simplicity of the cover, and I LOVE the simple font, and the '&' thats made out of earphones.

Buy Eleanor & Park
Goodreads page