Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fracture, Megan Miranda

Fracture by Megan Miranda, reviewed by Eleanor

What is this book about?
Delaney Maxwell falls through the ice on a frozen lake, and is underwater for eleven minutes before being pulled out. Her heart stops beating, her brain stops working. She's clinically dead. Yet she wakes up.
Although everyone wants Delaney to be okay, she knows that she is no longer normal -as she finds herself drawn to those who are dying. But is her altered brain now predicting death, or could it be causing it?
Who should read this book?
This is a young adult book

How long is this book?
265 pages, an average sized book

Marks
Story Line: 6/10
Well written: 4/5
Enjoyability: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

Star Rating:
3 Stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
Decker. He's Delaney's best friend, the one who saves her life by pulling her out of the lake and giving her CPR. He's just so sweet and I loved how he was always there for Delaney, even when they'd had an argument.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Troy, who can also sense death, is really quite a scary character. Although he's just trying to help Delaney, and he feels punished by his ability, his perspective is really sinister and his tendency to always be where Delaney is is just really creepy. I'd tell him to back off..and then I'd throw tea at him.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
It's a pretty title page, I like the reflection underneath the title and the scene in the background is nice.

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?
Fracture is a good title. I like how it has other subtle meanings and isn't just a reference to what the ice did when Delaney stepped on it.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
'The first time I died, I didn't see God. No light at the end of the tunnel. No haloed angels. No dead grandparents...Not even an endless darkness. Nothing.'

Overall:
This was a good debut novel, with a clever story idea -with the whole 'sensing death' thing, and it brought up some interesting topics e.g. the meaning of life and death, etc... but I didn't really like the characters and I found it all a little anti-climatic as I couldn't really see where the story was going and when I reached the end it didn't seem concluded. (Okay, I just google searched it and there may be a sequel, so I guess the lack of an explanation as to why she's so 'drawn to death' is acceptable) This book was still a good read though, and I will definitely be tempted to read the next one.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Slammed, Colleen Hoover

Slammed by Colleen Hoover, reviewed by Bronte

What is this book about?

A family shattered by a sudden death that leads to two unlikely lovers forming an intricate bond. Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and her younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.
One young man brings change to all of this. After moving across the country, Layken meets her attractive twenty-one-year-old neighbor, who has an intriguing passion for slams. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after a heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart.

Who should read this book?

This is a book that 13-25 years olds would enjoy. Its a quick and enjoyable read for people who like a sad, sweet and lovely book.

How long is this book?

206 pages. A short book.

Marks
Story Line: 8/10
Well written: 4/5
Enjoyablilty: 4/5
Overall: 16/20

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?

Layken's brother, Kel. This is because he seems really nice and the sort of child that says a lot, but often means nothing. Sometimes it's nice to have a character that's there for an 'ice breaker' and that makes you laugh with the things they say. However he is young but still sometimes comes up with just the right thing to say and this makes him seem really lovely, sweet and just amazing.

Slammed (Slammed, #1)Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?

I'm not really sure if I can certainly say who I would throw tea at. Sometimes it's Layken mother as she often just thinks the wrong thing and gets the wrong impression, but sometimes she says the most perfect things and is a really good listener. You also feel a little sorry for her, just lost her husband, raising two children and also holding in her fair share of secrets that must make life difficult for her. Sometimes I want to throw tea at Will. Without giving anything away, I get why he did the things he did but he could have been nicer about it and said something different.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

I love this cover. It does look quite boring and simplistic but really I think thats the whole point. It is a chair in a spot light and this reflects the story because one of its key elements is a type of poetry called 'Slam'. Hense 'Slammed'. This is a lovely part of the book, I feel, and a lot of the poetry is really good and something that you can often relate too, even if the poetry is personal.

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?

Like I said, Slam poetry, 'Slammed'. It works perfectly. Slammed could also be reflective of Laykens life though, which puts the title into two perspectives, either of which works.

Question 5. Favourite quote!

“If I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die.” 

Overall:

Overall this book was a quick, very quick, we're talking a night staying up late, and therefore it was a page turner I couldn't put down. There are twists, turns, laughs, tears and awwww's therefore it is a book well worth reading.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wonder, R. J Palacio

Wonder by R.J Palacio reviewed by Izzy

What is this book about?
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
Who should read this book?
I'm finally able to say all teenagers. Thank gosh. Man, that's a huge relief. BOYS, YOU CAN READ THIS ONE TOO.

How long is this book?
313 pages

Marks
Story Line:   9/10
Well written:  4/5
Enjoyability:  4/5
Overall:  17/20

Star Rating: 4 Stars.

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?

It's a toss up between the obvious choice of Auggie and his sister Via. I'm thinking Via because she's my age, so we'd have more to talk about. I still feel as hard as her parent's try Via is always going to be slightly overlooked and overshadowed. Also in the book she seems so sweet and smart. I like sweet and smart people.

WonderQuestion 2. What character would you most like to throw teat at?

Julian's Mum. You can almost forgive Julian for his stupid behaviour. He is 10 years old and doesn't know any better. One of the things his Mum does though just made me cry my eyes out. And made me really, really want to throw tea on her.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

I'm a big fan of the cover, especially as it's repeated throughout the book. Definitely very eye catching, certain to make you pick it up in your local Waterstones (UK) or Barnes and Noble (USA).

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?

I like the title, I do. I like how it ties together at the end. However I think a different title might have been better. Something about a standing ovation maybe?

Question 5. Favourite quote!

"Everyone should get a standing ovation at least once in their life."

Overall: This is the first book ever that has made me cry happy tears and sad tears (also angry tears.) Definitely a... I want to say emotional roller coaster but the phrase is so clich├ęd and over used. An experience? I don't know, all I know is that this book is special and you won't have read anything like it before.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Divergent, Veronica Roth


Divergent by Veronica Roth, reviewed by Bronte

Firstly, I would like you, after you have read this book, to comment, in the comment box, what factor you would most like to be in as I am curious as to which is most popular. For myself, I would love to be in Amity and would go even if I was born into another factor.

What's this book about?

In the world of Beatrice, the world is split into 5 factions, each one having a specific personality type, allowing you to be a part of it. At the age of 16 you must pick which faction you will belong to. The choice splits up families and friends alike.

Who should read this book?
Any person, child (well 12ish +) and adult, who is loving a bit of dystopian, fantasy tied in with a thrilling romance.

How long is this book?
487 pages, an average to long book.

Marks
Story Line:  9/10
Well written:  4/5
Enjoyability:  4/5
Overall:  18/20

Star Rating:
5 Stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
I would most like to have tea with Four, also known as Tobias, why? Why would Roth even make that his name, such a girly, posh, snotty, 'unstrong' sounding name! Four is perfect for me which is why for me he will be Four, forever and always. So, Four, such a lovely person, good personality, rough past but in some way that just makes you like him more because you feel sorry for him. I just love Four and wish he was real, I often find myself wishing for characters to be real...

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Caleb. This is because I don't know how you could be so selfless and lovely to your family and then just leave and appear to show no emotion about it. It just annoyed me. Tris showed emotion over the fact that it meant a lot to her to leave her family but from Caleb nothing, nothing. He would get a pot of tea, not just a cup over his head from me.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I like this cover, not a lot but I don't dislike it. It is effective in catching your eye and sort of showing what the books setting is, without giving to much to away.

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?
Well, I'm not entirely sure what to say about this title, actually being honest I'm not sure what it means. Okay, after googling it, for those of us in the same boat as me it means 'tending to be different or develop in different directions'. After reading this I think that it is perfect because in the book, that is basically what a Divergent is, a sneaky title, unless you knew what it meant of course!

Question 5. Favourite quote!
Oh my gosh, this is tricky, but...
'It must require bravery to be honest all the time'
But I have to say there are many other quotes I loved but would involve to much dialogue to put in my review!

Overall:
I really liked this book. It was different, imaginative and new. It wasn't a normal dystopian read and for that I commend Roth for coming up with new ideas, but then I guess that is what makes a good author! I would encourage anyone to read this, including adults as I believe anyone can enjoy this humorous, romantic thrilling book.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Jennifer E. Smith


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith reviewed by Izzy

What is this book about?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Who should read this book?

Teenage girls between the ages of 12-20. Once you get any older the book may or may not become stupid. Stupid in a very cute, soppy way still.

How long is this book?

215 pages. A short book.

Marks
Story Line:  8/10
Well written:  4/5
Enjoyablilty:  5/5
Overall:   17/20

Star Rating:

4 Stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?

I was thinking Oliver, because he's the hot main character but once you've read this you'll realise that Oliver doesn't really belong to you. Therefore having a tea with him would feel so wrong. Honestly, I'm seriously considering a cup of tea with the 80 year old lady who was sitting next to Oliver on the plane. She was telling some seriously interesting stories, plus she seemed like one of the sweet old ladies instead of the grumpy wrinkled ones.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightQuestion 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?

No characters in this book annoyed me. Maybe I'd throw some on Oliver's Dad.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

I think that the cover is good. I have a slight penchant for black and white photos which makes the cover all the more appealing. It's not exactly special, but I'm a fan.

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?

I LOVE THIS TITLE SO MUCH.SO MUCH. ( X 100,000) I think it may be one of my favourite titles ever. I don't even know why. Just saying it makes me really happy.

Question 5. Favourite quote!

“What are you really studying?"
He leans back to look at her. "The statistical probability of love at first sight.” 

Don't judge me. I like cheesey things.

Overall:

The book is, perhaps predictable  However it's fun, sopping and so romantic that you almost want to take the book and have a picnic in the park with it. In Paris. Then later we could go to the top of the Eiffel Tower?

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Send Me a Sign, Tiffany Schmidt

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt, reviewed by Bronte

What's this book about?
Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?”

Who should read this book?
This book is a young adult book classed under realistic fiction. It had romance, humour, sadness and isn't very predictable.

How long is this book?
384 pages, an average size book.

Marks
Story Line: 8/10
Well written: 4/5
Enjoyability: 3/5
Overall: 15/20

Star Rating:
4 Stars.

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
For me, I would most like to have tea with Gyver. Yes I know, strange name so you think strange person but he is the complete opposite. He is loving, funny, sweet, generous, gentle and really I could go on but I will let you read and come up with your own opinion. I think he would be very easy to be around and talk to about nothing and everything, but yet it's still comfortable and not awkward being with him at all.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
This would definitely be Mia's Mum. She is very self-centred and this shows as you get further into the book. The fact that she is more concerned with how she appears to others and what others think about her and her family is a little unnerving when the reason for this is because her only daughter has cancer! If I was Mia I would have got very annoyed with her from the beginning and not just put a false smile on.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I like the simplicity of this cover and like the colour however I am not sure it reflects the actual story. But for me this okay, the cover doesn't always have to relate to the book, it has to be eye catching a different so that you will pick it up and think 'Oh this looks good, I will give it ago'. In the end people do read books purely because they liked the cover. Or because they heard about it on an awesome review site. Hint. Hint.


Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?
I like this title very much. This, unlike the cover, does have something to do with the book. Mia is superstitious and always looking for signs to tell her what to do and in some cases this makes her blind to see what is, in my opinion, plainly obvious that you wouldn't do that, or would do that. In contrast, though, it does create some of the humorous parts in the novel.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
'Mi amore' - All will become clear if you read this novel.

Overall:
I think that this book was quite good, 15/20. One of the problems I had with it was the fact that the structure was a little boring. It had a very long beginning, clearly trying to set the scene for the reader, but for me I think that this went on for too long. There was then a period of, to be frank, nothing much, or rather just repetition of what had been already taking place which for me made me disengage with the story a little. When the ending seemed in sight so much was taking place in the last 50 pages that it felt like the ending was rushed and could have been spread out a lot more to make the story longer lasting. Overall though, a good debut from Schmidt, and I look forward to reading more from her.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

13 Little Blue Envelopes, Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, reviewed by Eleanor

What's this book about?
Ginny Blackstone, a 17 year old girl, follows the instructions that she finds in envelopes left by her Aunt, which take her all over Europe.



Who should read this book?
This book is targeted at teen girls, I can't really see anyone else reading it.

How long is this book?
320 pages, an average sized book

Marks
Story Line: 6/10
Well written: 4/5
Enjoyablilty: 2/5
Overall: 12/20

Star Rating:
3 stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
I would probably have to say Aunt Peg. I think she would have a lot of interesting stories to tell, having been all around Europe.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
As annoying as some of the characters in this book were, I’m going to have to choose someone who is only mentioned in the book but who we don’t actually meet to throw tea at. Ginny Blackstone’s Mum. I mean, yes, it did make a good story and everything, but who actually lets their 17 year old daughter go on a trip around Europe with only a small backpack of belongings, no phone and a brown paper package filled with 12 unopened envelopes. It seems pretty risky to me, but then I’m not a parent, so what do I know?


Question 3. What do you think of the cover? 
It’s okay, not amazing. I prefer the edition with an envelope.

Question 4. What do you think of the title? Do you think there is an alternative?
I think that the title works. It’s catchy and not at all misleading –the book is about ‘13 Little Blue Envelopes.’

Question 5. Favourite quote!
“I’m Keith,” he said, “and you’re...clearly mad, but what’s your name?”

 
Overall:
I did generally enjoy this book. I thought that Ginny’s journey was quite interesting and I love the idea of going on a road trip of some sort, with absolutely no clue as to where you’re going to end up at. The blurb of this book speaks of a meeting with a guy called Keith, posing the question “But will she ever see him again?” and my main problem with the story was that I wasn’t really bothered as to whether they would be 'romantically reunited'. Sorry, but I just didn't care. Other than that, the book was alright, and I was kept engaged by my curiosity as to what would be found in the 13th and final envelope.
 
What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Summer I Turned Pretty, Jenny Han


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, reviewed by Izzy

What's this book about?

"Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends' house. There's the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach . . . and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad - who she's been in love with forever - and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who's ever really paid her any attention.
But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It's going to be an amazing summer - and one she'll never forget . . ." (Puffin website)

Who should read this book?
Teenage girls, on the beach. Not something you should read if you want meaningful quotes, and it won't be one of those books which makes me cry.  Though, you will want to read the next two, because let's be honest, you need to know who she ends up with.

How long is this book?
288 pages, a short, to medium length book.

Marks
Story Line:   7/10
Well written:   3/5
Enjoyablilty:    4/5
Overall:    14/20

Star Rating: 3 Stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?

This is a toss up between Susannah and Jeremiah. Susannah because I imagine having tea with her would just make you feel amazing. She'd probably compliment you loads and loads, and you would just leave feeling super good about yourself. Also once you read it, there will be obvious reasons why you need to have tea with Susannah. Jeremiah, because I have a thing for the underdogs of the story.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?

Belly. I know she had SUCH a difficult life. Three boys are in love with her, and she's so beautiful. She enjoys complaining about this all the time as well. Look if I had three boys chasing after me then I wouldn't be complaining about how this was the "first time they'd ever noticed me." I'd just be enjoying myself. (Not in that way, dirty minds.)

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

The originial cover I wasn't a fan of because I really don't like photos on covers however the version I had I liked. To say I loved it would be an over- exxageraion but it's quite pretty.

Question 4. What do you think of the title?

I like the title, I think it's interesting. Though I find the idea of turning pretty, and then suddenly boys liking you slightly, annoying. Frustrating. Sending out the wrong message in some way? Maybe I'm being over the top.

Question 5. Favourite quote!

“Would you rather live one perfect day over and over or live your life with no perfect days but just decent ones?”  - Best "would you rather" ever.

Overall: I feel like this review has been too negative so far so I need to put this out, I enjoyed this book. It's gorgeous, fun, light-hearted and completely all consuming. It has its set backs, as no book is perfect and there are better books in the world. I'm still going to read the next two though.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

So very exciting! The first ever book review for Titles and Teacups, lets hope it goes well! We thought the best book to be our first review would be 2012's book of the year!

So, here goes:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, reviewed by Bronte.

What's this book about?

Narrated from the point of view of Hazel, who has always been terminal. Hazel doesn't want to hurt too many people with her impending death. Unfortunately when she meets gorgeous, healthy Augustus this plan goes out the window.

Who should read this book?
This book is a young adult book classed under realistic fiction. It has romance, humour, sadness and on top of this it is realistic and believable.

How long is it?
313 pages, an average sized book.

Marks:
Story Line: 10/10
Well Written: 5/5
Enjoyability: 4/5
Overall: 19/20

Star Rating:
5 Stars.

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
This for me is an easy answer, Augustus. There are so many things that I would want to ask him, and of course the fact that he is amazing. I would love to be Hazel, to have someone enter your world and become so influential and life changing in the space of a year that I would not hesitate for him to become my friend. He is definitely one of my top 5 'Book Boyfriends' and this is not only because 'Augustus was gorgeous' but because he was believable, which somehow made it worse when the book ended because I realised that in fact, yes, he was not real. Disappointing I know, but a sad fact of life.

Question 2. What character would you like to throw tea at?
Peter. Although quite an in important person in the book, I found him terribly annoying and I just didn't like him. Although at the end there's reasoning for his behaviour it just didn't cut it for me. Just because you have a reason for being nasty doesn't mean you should be.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I like this cover. It's simple, effective and relates to the book. Why? Well read it and find out.

Question 4. What do you think of the title, do you think there is an alternative?
I really like this title because it works. 'The Fault in Our Stars', it's a bit of a metaphor really isn't it? A fault, meaning somethings wrong with it, it is not perfect or how it should be. But placed with stars that presents a meaning of beauty, shinning in our sky and that only come out at night suggesting they are special and are always perfect, something that doesn't relate to fault. So for that reason I think this title is perfect, perfect!

Question 5. Favourite quote!
'You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful' This quote becomes so much more amazing when read within the context but I don't want to give too much away.

Overall:
There aren't many books you can say made you laugh out loud, sob like a baby and still enjoy it so much. This book ripped my heart out of my chest, stomped all over it, stabbed it with needles and put it back with a slice right through the middle. But still here I am telling you to go read it because you have to.

What did you think of this book? What would you like us to review next?