Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Dead Beautiful, Yvonne Woon

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon, reviewed by Eleanor

What is this book about?
'Coming from sunny California, the mist-shrouded Academy was a shock, with its strange customs, ancient curriculum and study of Latin - the language of the dead. Then I discovered that the school has more than one dark secret... I also discovered Dante. Intelligent, elusive and devastatingly gorgeous, most people can't decide whether they love, hate or fear him. All I know is that when we're together, I've never felt more alive - or more afraid.'

Who should read this book?
This is a Young Adult book, which could probably be read by adults and younger teens too. Having said that, it was a little scary in places (for Bronte and Me!)

How long is this book?
506 pages, quite a long book.

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

Star Rating:
4 stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
Dante. Dante. Dante. Now that I am reviewing this book, I am beginning to slightly regret not putting Dante as one of my book boyfriends because he's so nice and good looking and he can speak Latin, which is cool.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Renée's Grandfather. I know that, obviously, it makes for a good story to not have all the secrets told in chapter one however I did feel as though Renée's Grandfather kept her in the dark for just a little bit too long.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I don't mind this cover. But, although I'm not quite as extreme as Izzy with her burning hatred of photo-title-pages, I really don't like covers which have photos where you can see peoples' eyes clearly. That sounds weird -I'm not actually scared of eyes.

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?
I like the title of this book, it's relevant to the story and I cannot really think of an alternative.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
“In love, everyone does things that hurt the other person, so there really is no "Right" and "Wrong". You just have to decide what you're willing to forgive”

I really liked this book. I don't want to give too much of the storyline away though, because one of the main things that I loved about it was how surprised I was by some parts of the plot. And it was for this reason that I found myself unable to put it down. I read this book on my Kindle so, as soon as I finished reading Dead Beautiful, I could download the second book in the series, Life Eternal, straightaway. Hooray for Kindles!

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

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Book Boyfriends!...Let the dreams continue...

Dear beautiful people that drink tea,

Bronte here! So it's February! The second month of publishing for Eleanor, Izzy and I but that's not why it's so special. It happens to be not one, but two, of the review-ers birthday within the space of four days, so we are going to treat you guys to something special. If you're wondering it's mine on the 9th and Izzy's on the 12th.

Any reader who reads young adult fantasy, romance or dystopian or any book really will know that there is always someone who is seemingly perfect in every book. Commonly know as Book Boyfriends.

So my Book Boyfriends:

1. William Herondale (Infernal Devices)

With his dark hair and endless blue eyes Will is perfect in the dreamly gaze of many therefore maybe it is a bit cliché to have him at the top of the list but I just can't help it. I love how he is sweet and gentle and so funny! But there is also the side of him that is dark, bad and myserious that is some how irresistable. His past is terrible and because of this you find youself feeling sorry for him, how he can be so happy all the time with the weight on his shoulders is beyond me. I want him to end up with Tessa. And if he doesn't then I will cry, but at least he will then be all mine.

2. Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars)

3. Four/Tobias (Divergent)

4. Lucas Delos (Starcrossed)

5. Adam Wilde (If I Stay)

Izzy's Book Boyfriends:

Hey hey hey. Let's get this thing going:

1. Etienne St. Clair (Anna and The French Kiss)

He isn't magic. He can't make things fly, doesn't ride a broomsticks. He isn't a vampire, he doesn't kill vampires. He doesn't turn into an animal of any kind. Yet, anyone who has read this book can agree with me that he is just... phwoar. Since he isn't magical it's even harder to realise that he isn't real. He's so romantic, and funny. The way Stephanie Perkins creates him makes him even better, as he isn't Mr Perfect, but as close as you can get with him still being realistic. Plus he's short. I'm short too. We could be short together.

2. Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars)

3.  Jace Wayland (The Mortal Instruments)

4. Oliver (The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight)

5. Wes (The Truth About Forever)

Eleanor's Book Boyfriends:

Hmmmm, okay, I'd have to say:

1. Jace Wayland (The Mortal Instruments)

I just love Jace, SOO much! Smart and sarcastic, and fighting against evil. Reading this makes you fall in love straight away.

“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”

2. Edward Cullen (The Twilight Saga)

3. Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson & The Olympians)

4. Alex Rider (Alex Rider)

5. Eli (Along for the Ride)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, reviewed by Izzy

What is this book about?

In this futuristic world, at the age of 16 everyone is made pretty. This means that everything is equal, which results in no more wars, arguments or unhappiness. The world of the Pretties is perfect. Tally can't wait. But her friend, Shay, realises that the operation doesn't just make you Pretty, and she would rather escape to somewhere you stay individual. Tally is given a choice, either find her friend and turn her into the "police," or never turn Pretty at all.

Who should read this book?

Like so many dystopian novels, Uglies is aimed at teenagers. Yet, like dystopians, Uglies isn't rude and contains no swearing but has a plot which can be enjoyed (and admired) by adults.

How long is this book?

425 pages an average to long book.


Story Line:   8/10
Well written:    3/5
Enjoyability:   3/5
Overall:  14/20

Star Rating: 3 stars

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

Definitely Dr Cable. I mean, it would be the most terrifying experience of my life, yet she's so evil in a totally awe inspiring way. You get the feeling, she truly believes she is doing the right thing as well which is interesting and a brilliant development by Westerfeld.

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

Tally. While screaming, "GET SOME PERSONALITY PLEASE." Westerfeld created such awesome characters in David and Shay that Tally sort of faded into the background, when it was her story. I hope her character is developed for the rest of the books

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

I think it's eye-catching. I want to hug Westerfeld that he didn't put a photo on the front. I'm sorry, I just don't deal well with photos on covers. It bothers me way too much. ANYWAY, Westerfeld appeased me with this cover and I'm a big fan.

Question 4. What do you think of the title?

I like the title. It's short and to the point, and sets him up for the next three in the series. Yet I think the competition of dystopion novels is fierce and for me titles such as, "Divergent," and "The Hunger Games," just make me slightly more interested.

Question 5. Favourite quote!

"What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful."


I cannot fault Westerfeld in the originality of his ideas. As an aspiring authors of sorts the idea behind this book made me seething with envy, and green is not my colour. Lovers of dystopian will adore this book with every fibre of their being. I, as I've made very clear, am not the biggest dystopian fan, and as I often find, I thought the main character was underdeveloped. However, Westerfeld managed to make this better by having very interesting secondary characters. If you love dystopian, read this book, and even if you don't, I'd say read it. It makes you realise the importance of the complete originality of your being.

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

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Page to Screen, Beautiful Creatures

Book: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Film: Beautiful Creatures directed by Richard LaGravenese
Compared by Bronte

1. Scenes missing (if any) from the film

One of my favourite scenes in the book was where Ethan is in the Caster Library and finds his mothers desk. On it are items that mean a lot to Ethan and I just liked the sad 'more to Ethan than you think' part in the book. Also his mother uses random things to book mark pages, plastic spoon etc that was a nice touch to the book. It is a little detail and would be hard to convey on screen, but I just liked it.

2. Characters missing (if any) from the film

I don't think that there were any main characters missing from the film that I felt should be included. Boo Radley the dog was not in the film, does he count as a character?

3. Anything added into the film that wasn't in the book that was interesting.

I really liked the bit at the dinner table where Lena and Ridley have a, a...misunderstanding? Fight? It was really well produced and made, it looked real and it was. It was made without special effects if my knowledge is correct. It wasn't how I'd imagained it to play out but I very much enjoyed it like that.

4. Most beautiful scene in the film.

The part where Lena gives Ethan his Christmas present. It was just really cute. And sweet.

5. Did anyone drink tea in the film?

Yes, Lena gives Ethan tea when he is recovering from his little shock. He also has a cookie with it, which makes it ten times better. Cookies make everything better.

6. Overall: Book vs film

The film is never better than the book. Isn't that what everyone says, so you always go into the cinema not expecting much but I have to say I was really excited about this film from the moment I knew it was being made and I have to say it was really good.

Often in films they change the story quite a bit to make film lovers enjoy it and not lose interest but I guess with a book containing as much creativity and imagination as this one, you wouldn't have to change much. And they didn't. Which is why I loved this film so much!

It stuck to the book, the actors were brilliant, very well cast and the acted just as I imagined they would, but they are actors so I would expect no less. But they were great. Overall this film gripped me from the beginning, just like the book did and I can't wait for the next one. Such a long wait.

A bit more...

So this is a little extra. You lucky people. Eleanor and I were discussing the connection between Beautiful Creatures and To Kill a Mockingbird and although very different books made at very different time they have an awful lot in common.

So Gatlin, a small town in the deep south of America, just like Maycomb County, where no one leaves and generation after generation stay there. Maycomb County is filled with prejudice toward race, class and gender just like how in Gatlin, people are prejudice towards the Ravenwoods, even though Macon never really comes out of his old house any way, so how would they know? Some would say he is a bit of a recluse. Ring any bells?

There is definitly a connection between Macon Ravenwood and Boo Radley, besides the fact he has a dog actually called Boo Radley. We also have Lena, who no one knows and people don't like her because of the rumours that spread around the small town, a little like Tom Robinson.

When the Galtinions (!people from Gatlin!) try to get rid of Lena and they all sign partitions its a bit like how in the court no one listens to Toms side of the story even thought they know that he is really the innocent one, a bit like Lena. They all go off religion and what they think that God would want in both books. Both very religion orientated. We also have the fact that Ethan, Jem, both lost their mothers when they were old enough to remember them which adds to the sympathy of the novels.

In Maycomb County everything bad that happens is blamed on the people that don't fit in, the Ewells, Cunninghams, Robinsons etc just like how in Beautiful Creatures everything strange that happens, lightning etc is blamed on the Ravenwoods, even though in this case they were actually to blame. But that is not the point.

Finally we have Amma, who is my opinion should be married to Atticus. They are very similar, protective, clever, secretive. No one knew Atticus was 'One Shot Finch' just like no one knew Amma was a keeper. And their names both start with A. Let's not forget about that. We could also compare Amma with Calpurnia for the same reasons really, sweet, caring, lovely and they both cook food and look after Ethan/Jem/Scout who they love as if they were their own children. A motherly figure.

So whether it was intentional or not, we can conclude that the books, although set in different time zones and made for different genres, are very similar.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Character VERSUS Character #1

Hey Tea Lovers! We thought we would do a new series where we put character against another character to see which one each of us prefers. Obviously, we haven't all read the same books so some of us may have to put N/A for a question etc. Anyway we hope you like it, and make sure to tell us your answers in the comments below!

Who do you prefer?

1. Katniss (The Hunger Games) vs Hermione (Harry Potter)

Izzy: Hermione
Bronte: Hermione
Eleanor: Katniss (Sorry, just because she's Katniss 'the girl on fire')

2. Ron vs Harry (Harry Potter)

Izzy: Harry
Bronte: Harry
Eleanor: Harry

3. Cricket (Lola and the Boy Next Door) vs St Clair (Anna and the French Kiss)

Izzy: St Clair
Bronte:Cricket (sorry guys)
Eleanor: St. Clair

4. Wes (The Truth About Forever) vs Eli (Along For the Ride)

Izzy: Wes
Bronte: Wes
Eleanor: Eli

5. Hazel (The Fault in Our Stars) vs Margo (Paper Towns)

Izzy: Hazel
Bronte: Hazel, although I am currently reading Paper Towns, flexible opinion :)
Eleanor: Margo

6. Owen (Just Listen) vs Dave (What Happened to Goodbye)

Izzy: Owen
Bronte: Dave
Eleanor: Owen

7. Tobias (Divergent) vs Peeta (The Hunger Games)

Izzy: Peeta
Bronte: Tobias
Eleanor: Tobias

8. Gale (The Hunger Games) vs Jacob (Twilight)

Izzy: Jacob
Bronte: Gale
Eleanor: Jacob

9. Edward (Twilight) vs Peeta (The Hunger Games)

Izzy: Peeta
Bronte: Peeta
Eleanor: Edward Cullen, FOREVER!

10. Lucas vs Orion (Starcrossed)

Izzy: Orion
Bronte: Lucas
Eleanor: Lucas

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Just Listen, Sarah Dessen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, reviewed by Eleanor

What is this book about?
"I'm Annabel. I'm the girl who has it all. Model looks, confidence. A great social life. I'm one of the lucky ones. Aren't I? My 'best friend' is spreading rumours about me. My family is slowly falling apart. It's turning into a long, lonely summer, full of secrets and silence.

But I've met this guy who won't let me hide away. He's one of those intense types, obsessed with music. He's determined to make me listen. And he's determined to make me smile.
But can he help me forget what happened the night everything changed?" (Amazon)

Who should read this book?
I'd say this book is probably 13+

How long is this book?
371 pages
Story Line: 7/10
Well written: 4/5
Enjoyablilty: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

Star Rating:
4 stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
I think I would probably choose Clarke. She was Annabel's closest friend before Sophie came along and ruined things and she just seems really lovely.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Sophie, Annabel's "best friend." She's an awful friend and it's horrible how quickly she turns on Annabel, without giving her a chance to explain things.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I really like Dessen's front covers. The face made of a jumble of objects and colours is really pretty.

Question 4. What do you think of the title do you think there is an alternative?
'Just Listen' is a really good title for this book as there are quite a few characters with troubling pasts and so lots of stories to be told and listened to. Also, music is quite a big part of the book.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
'Don't think or judge. Just Listen.'

I really loved this book. It was the first of Sarah Dessen's books that I ever read and even now, after reading all but one of her others, it remains my absolute favourite. So it's definitely worth reading!

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

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Die for Me, Amy Plum

Die for Me by Amy Plum, reviewed by Bronte

What is this book about?

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Who should read this book?

A thrilling romance with a great story line is almost everyones cup of tea (thank you, yes the pun was indeed intended (: )

How long is this book?

341 pages, an average sized book

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?

Jules. Jules, funny, sweet, clever, irrestistable, I could go on. I just think that he comes up with the funniest things to say and some made me even laugh out loud. I like poeple that make me laugh.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?

Every single one of the Numa. I can't just throw tea at one so I have to throw some at all of them although I'm pretty sure I'm going to need more than a cup, maybe a bucket?

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

I love this cover! So much. It is very pretty and I love the colour. Red is my favourite colour. I love the way you can see Paris in the backround and the cloudy-ness of it. I love the pretty patterns and the style of writing, old and ancient. I love the way she is standing alone, as if she tackles Paris on her own but how she is above it, looking down and in control. I also love the dress. I love this cover. Just in case you didn't pick that up but I do love this cover.

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

This title is perfect. It can mean so many things relating to the story which is why it is perfect.

Question 5. Favourite quote!

'“You've heard of vampires?"
I nodded.
"You've heard of werwolves?"
"Of course."
"Had you ever heard of us?"
I shook my head.
"That's called 'staying under the radar,' dear Kate. It's what we're good at.”' - I thought it was funny.


I loved this book. I thought the way that Amy Plum described Paris was beautiful. The detail she put in to just the littliest things. I like the way that it wasn't the 'normal' Paris, it was the back street, not the normal things that get described like the Eiffel Tower. It made me want to go to Paris. I loved Vincent and I loved his family, house and his way of living. It was just all very good. Good story, well written and very enjoyable.

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

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt reviewed by Izzy

What is this book about?
After a car accident that leaves her best friend dead, and scars that will never disappear, Jenna struggles to rebuild her life. She doesn't want to go out, and she hates school. Thankfully a gorgeous boy comes to help her out. Annoyingly, he comes with his own bag of problems. Can Jenna help Ryan, as much as Ryan helps Jenna?

Who should read this book?
I'm starting to annoy myself by saying "teenage girls." It seems slightly sexist. So, anyone. I'd firmly put it in the 12+ category though.

How long is this book?
320 pages

Story Line:   7/10
Well written:   4/5
Enjoyability:   4/5
Overall:   15/20

Star Rating: 4 stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
I honestly adore Jenna as a character. She is very much flawed but in ways that simply make you love her. She wasn't bland or dull, something that I fear in so many young adult novels today. She has a personality and a mind of her own. Although she's very focused on her love interest I think this is adds to her character rather than detracts from it.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
I think his name was Ed. If he isn't called Ed he's the guy at the pub who's a complete tool. Man I would throw loads of tea at "Ed." (supposed Ed. I'm not sure. These reviews are SO PROFESSIONAL.)

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I'm not a fan of photo covers, which makes me worry that if I hadn't got this book from a friend I may have never picked it up. . To me, photo covers make the book look distinctively average.

Question 4. What do you think of the title?
The title is good, and obviously very fitting to the novel. I'm not sure I'm ever going to love a title quite as much as what Jennifer E. Smith gave me, but Skin Deep is a fine title. No strong feelings either way.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
“But good girls don't do that, don't make a fuss, don't upset parents. And I was a good girl so I curled up on the floor and sobbed silently instead."

Overall: I was so, so happy with this book. I think it was probably that I didn't think it would be very good (sorry Laura Jarratt!) and I was very much proven wrong! This book isn't like every other one on your Barnes and Nobles/ Waterstones shelf. It isn't all just about the boy and the girl. In fact one of the major story lines comes in at the second half and is destined to make you gasp and cry just a little. Crongratulations are in order to Laura Jarratt who has definitely made an impact with very good debut.