Monday, 25 August 2014

The Key to the Golden Firebird, Maureen Johnson

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson, reviewed by Eleanor

Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon us
Number of pages: 297

What is this book about?
As three teenage sisters struggle to cope with their father's sudden death, they find they must reexamine friendships, lifelong dreams, and their relationships with each other and their father. (goodreads)
Who should read this book?
If you like Sarah Dessen, you'll definitely like Maureen Johnson.

Star Rating: 3 Stars

Would you have tea with the protagonist? Yeah, I guess. Although she's pretty busy holding her family together to do anything for fun.

Would you fall for the main love interest? No, Pete is sweet but a bit too annoying for me.

Would you want to 'strain' the main antagonist? The books I have been reading recently have had a severe lack of obvious antagonists. I'd say May's nemesis is her past. And yes, I would strain it.

Were the characters three dimensional? Yep.

Do you like the authors flavour of writing? It kept me reading so yes.

Was the writing strong or weak? It was an easy read.

Was the ending to your taste? At the very end it was but there were a couple of things that happened towards the end that I didn't really care for.

If this cover were tea, would you drink it? No.

Favourite Quote: "The funny thing about stop signs is that they're also start signs.”

Overall: This is a good read, written in a style similar to Sarah Dessen's novels. I preferred it to '13 Little Blue Envelopes', (the first book I reviewed!) just because I liked May more than Ginny, but they are both great books. I read this fairly quickly, in about a day I think, so it's not a difficult read at all and the ending is nice!

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

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Unrest, Michelle Harrison

Unrest by Michelle Harrison, reviewed by Eleanor

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon us
Number of pages: 375

What is this book about?
Seventeen-year-old Elliott hasn't slept properly for six months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Now he is afraid to go to sleep. Sometimes he wakes to find himself paralysed, unable to move a muscle, while shadowy figures move around him. Other times he is the one moving around, while his body lies asleep on the bed. According to his doctor, sleep paralysis and out of body experiences are harmless - but to Elliot they're terrifying. Convinced that his brush with death has opened up connections with the spirit world, Elliott secures a live-in job at one of England's most haunted locations, determined to find out the truth. (blurb)

Star Rating: 3 Stars

Would you have tea with the protagonist?
No. He's a bit boring to be honest.

Would you want to 'strain' the main antagonist?
There isn't a main antagonist in this book but I would definitely want to strain all the restless ghosts that won't leave Elliott alone as well as overprotective Hodge.

Were the characters three dimensional?
They were.

Do you like the authors flavour of writing?

Was the writing strong or weak?

Was the ending to your taste?
No, not at all. I really enjoyed the book until the last 15-20%.

If this cover were tea, would you drink it?
No. It's quite a creepy cover.

Overall: I was really really enjoying this book until, as I have mentioned above, I got close to the end and just didn't like where the story was going anymore. The characters were actually great, okay a little boring but I still really liked them, and I thought that the relationships between them were interesting and realistic. I think the main problem for me was that I can read very fantastical books and I can also read very real life books, but this book was a little bit too much 'in between' for my liking. I am not superstitious at all and so, no matter how realistic an out of body experience might feel, I would not ever think that it was anything other than my mind doing crazy things. I started this book in that mind set and so when it became clear that the dreams in this book were in fact something other than just a mind playing tricks, in my eyes it became unbelievable and a little silly. I know that this is a fiction book and so ghosts being real is absolutely fine but, for me, it didn't really work. Saying all that, up until the end I really was hugely enjoying this book and the twist at the end (not the ghost one) was really surprising, which was great, so I would still recommend this if it sounds like your sort of thing.

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

Sunday, 17 August 2014

All The Truth That's In Me, Julie Berry

All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry, reviewed by Eleanor

Publisher: Templar Publishing
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon us
Number of pages: 272

What is this book about? Judith has been missing for a long time. Kidnapped two years ago she has now returned home to her mother and brother, only without a tongue. Unable to speak, Judith silently pours out her thoughts to Lucas, the boy she is completely in love with. (blurb)

Who should read this book? Young Adult.

Star Rating: 4 stars

Would you have tea with the protagonist?

Yes, I would. Although, as she cannot talk, there would not be much conversation.

Would you fall for the main love interest?
I don't think I would. Lucas is great for Judith but not for me.

Would you want to 'strain' the main antagonist?
There isn't a main antagonist, there are just lots of misunderstood people who I probably wouldn't strain.

Were the characters three dimensional?
Yes, they were 3D and they were real people.

Do you like the authors flavour of writing?
The style of writing is not 'modern' at all but I really really liked it.

Was the writing strong or weak?
I would definitely describe the writing as strong but in a really good way.

Was the ending to your taste?
The ending was very much to my taste. It tied up loose ends but not so much that it became sickening.

If this cover were tea, would you drink it?
No. I don't mind the cover but it is a little bland, in my opinion.

Favourite Quote:
“And what rules of economy dictate that a boy without a foot is more whole than a girl without a tongue?”

Overall: You have to start this book with an open mind. It's different to your typical young adult book and, at first, it is quite a slow read. But then, all of a sudden, you realise that you absolutely have to know what happens and that you do not want to put the book down until you have heard the whole of Judith's story. Judith makes this book. She is a truly amazing protagonist who makes normal people decisions, (I cannot stand it when the (main) characters in books make stupid, unnecessary decisions that no one would ever even contemplate) she's not annoying and she's real. The plot is clever and unwinds slowly as Judith opens up more and more to Lucas, the boy she loves with all her heart. The whole book is written in second tense, which is different but only adds to the book in a positive way and makes it stand out against other novels. This book surprised me with how good it was and, although it is very different to a lot of the books out there, I would definitely, definitely recommend it. I loved it!

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

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Top Ten Books I Am Not Sure I Want To Read

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a list of the top ten books we are not sure we want to read. It could be we have them on our bookshelves but have never picked them up or that everyone is always talking about them but we just don't feel drawn this particular book...


1. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I know this is relatively contradictory to previous Top Ten Tuesdays (the books I was putting in my beach bag, I think) but its just every time I think about reading this book I go back to the same pressing issues. 1. I can't remember the ending of the last one 2. It is sooo long 3. Will it live up to expectation 4. Will it be as good as the Infernal Devices series. You see my problem - has anyone read it yet? Please tell me if I should or shouldn't.

2.  If I should Die by Amy Plum. Again, we have the slight same issue in that I can't remember the detail (and here I am just going to point out that I only like ready books in a series if I can absolutely remember everything because otherwise I get confused and my enjoyability level goes down - easily confused you see...) I also seem to remember that I did not like the ending of the last book. (Die for Me Review)

3. Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I thought this series started off so well. I loved it because it was different and exciting - almost thrilling and the unexpected seemed to always happen - you seemed to expect the unexpected. However, I felt that it just went on a little and the authors were kind of introducing unplanned things just to drag it out slightly longer. (Page to Screen 'Beautiful Creatures')



4. The Gift (The First Book of Pellinor) by Alison Croggon. This is more of a book I haven't got around to reading rather than want I don't want to read. The problem with it is that the first page is a huge complicated map and the second page is a list of how to pronounce all the different letter combinations that the characters will be using in speech/that are in the characters names. This seems like a book where extreme concentration is necessary and I'm just not ready to commit to that. I will very very soon though because it does look really good!

5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (the finale of the Divergent trilogy). I don't know what it is that happens at the end of this book but I've heard that it is bad. Really bad. So I just can't quite bring myself to read it. I know, I'm a wimp.

6. The Vampire Diaries Series by LJ Smith. I love love love the TV series (yes, I watched the series before reading the books, disgraceful) but I haven't heard such great things about the books and so I am not sure I will be reading them.



7. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. I was/am a Harry Potter superfan. I read every book, joined Pottermore (Hufflepuff if you must know), even wrote a bit of fanfiction. However, this novel has had some pretty appalling criticism. I may hate it, I may love it, but I am way too lazy to find out. Sorry not sorry. Except I am, really sorry and everything. 

8. Forever Blue by Ann Brashares. I know what happens here. YEAH I READ THOSE SPOILER REVIEWS. And I'm not letting it happen. If I don't read it, it didn't happen to the sisterhood in my head. If you did read the novels though, which was your favourite character? Mine continually changes every time I go for a re-read. 

9. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I definitely will be reading it. 100%- in fact I'll probably pre-order it. However do I want to do this? I'm nervous. I love Stephanie Perkins' books so much, and really respect the decision she has made to put off writing and publishing this novel. But I've been waiting so long, with the rest of the superfans that instead of pressure being alleviated, I feel it has mounted. 


10. Shadow of the Zeppelin by Bernard Ashley. This is our school summer read that for me personally, (Bronte) I have yet to make a decision whether I will finish it!! 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Dystopian

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a list of our top ten books in the Dystopian genre


1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This book is one of the best dystopian novels I have read, and also one of the first.

2. The Host by Stephanie Meyer. This book has a slightly different take on a dystopian world and I think its brilliant writing and story making.

3. Matched by Ally Condie. Although I actually haven't finished this series, I like the fact that, to begin with especially in Matched, the story seemed to be well planned out and wasn't very predictable at all.


4. Firstly, I'm going to have to say, 'Partials' by Dan Wells. I know I can't seem to be able to stop going on about this book but I just love it so much!

5. Next, 'Wool' by Hugh Howey. I haven't reviewed this book yet, but it is a very good dystopian. Terrifying, yes, but also very good.

6. And, 'Legend' by Marie Lu. Another one I haven't reviewed (oops) but that is an excellent read that I would really recommend.



7. Divergent by Veronica Roth. This is my favourite Dystopian series ever, as I think the action and the love is balanced perfectly. Also I think Roth created interesting, believable characters. There has been a bit of uproar about the final novel but I think this is a trilogy really worth reading. 

So confession time; I actually haven't read any other dystopian novels other than, The Hunger Games, The Host, Divergent and Uglies. I wouldn't really recommend Uglies, unless you were already a massive reader of dystopian as I found it really difficult to get into and didn't enjoy much. I always find dystopians a bit too heavy on action and a bit lax on character development and good writing. However, Eleanor and Bronte are huge fans of the genre so it's all personal taste. Sorry for being such a party pooper!


10. 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins. It has to be mentioned. The first book in this series is a must read for anyone trying out the dystopian genre.


(Book descriptions from Goodreads)

Friday, 1 August 2014

Page to Screen: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green,
The Fault in Our Stars, by Josh Boone,
Compared by Bronte.

Author: Website Twitter
Film: IMDb
Buy this book: Amazon Barnes and Noble
See this film: Cineworld Odeon

Were there any key scenes missing from the film?

This is probably one of the few films I have seen that stays so, so true to the book. This, of course, made me extremely happy as often films can be nothing like the book it was based on - which makes no sense. I went to see the film because I liked the book, so when the film isn't like the book...! Don't even get me started! This film was practically identical the the book, I think this might have something to do with John Greens avid involvement in the production.

Were there any characters missing from the film?

It has been a while since I have read this book, I am not going to lie but there were a few characters missing from the film that only played a minor role in the book, I seem to remember. Hazel does have a friend (the name of which I have forgotten) who plays a small part, whereas in the film it appears Hazel is very lonely and doesn't go out at all - which to be honest is practically the same as the book.

I really enjoyed that fact that the film was based closely on fewer characters - it was a lot easier to connect with them. It works to include a minor character in a couple of chapters in a book, whereas in a film it would be odd if we had a 2 minute passing glance of a character who would quickly be forgotten and add nothing to the story in the eye of the audience.

Was there anything added to the film (not in the book) that was interesting?

The ending was slightly different as Peter Van Houten appeared at Gus' funeral. I think this was an incredibly good thing to do. For lovers of the book it created an almost closure to the fact that he does care, even if only slightly. He could have just sent the letter, as he did in the book, but the fact that he delivered it...I don't know, others may disagree but for me it added a little bit of sentimentality.

Did anyone drink tea in the film?

There was rather a lot of tea drinking, particularly in the hotel in Amsterdam!

Favourite scene in the film:

A particularly impossible question to answer. It was all amazing. But. I have to answer so I am going to say the bit when they go out for dinner in Amsterdam. They both looked amazing and I loved how the lights were like stars, and then they were drinking the stars in a was just so well done! I also loved what is often referred to as their meet-cute - it was perfect and you got a complete insight into Gus' character.

Overall - Book vs Film:
The film is never as good as the book. In this case, however, both were equally as amazing as the other. I probably just preferred the book but it is a close call. The actors were so well cast - Shailene and Ansel were AMAZING as were everyone else. I thought that for the few who had not read the book, Gus' illness came as a very big shock; in the book you have a little bit of an insight that something is about to happen, unlike in the film. Unlike many others, I thought that Isaac's hair was perfect, even though it was black! It did everything for me, I laughed, smiled, ahhh, cried, just about recovered and then sobbed. John Green is a legend of Young Adult Literature and I am so excited to see what comes next!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

The One Plus One, Jojo Moyes

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, reviewed by Eleanor

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 516
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon us
What is this book about?

One single mum...With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't because you have to. One chaotic family...Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone.
Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking. One handsome stranger...Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help...One unexpected love story. (goodreads)
Who should read this book? If you've enjoyed other books by Jojo Moyes, this is yet another brilliant one.

Star Rating: 3 stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
Nicky. He's a really interesting character that you don't get to learn all that much about. Also, he starts to blog in the book. And I blog. Crazy.

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Marty. He doesn't help to support his children at all, leaving Jess working constantly to hold the three of them up despite the fact that Nicky isn't even biologically hers.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I really like hand drawn covers and this one is so beautiful.

Question 4. Can you read the tea leaves from the beginning or are there twists in the plot?
Saying that the ending wasn't predictable would be a lie however, this did not detract from the enjoyability factor of the novel.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
“Everyone I've ever met who was worth knowing was a bit different at school. You just need to find your people'
'Find my people?'
'Your tribe”

Overall: I read this on the way home from Portugal and it was a really good book for a plane. It didn't cause me to sit and sob my heart out, provoking air hostesses to ask if I was okay, nor did it make me laugh out loud so loud that the other passengers looked at me funny. But, it did make me smile a huge amount. The plot was twisty enough to keep you reading but predictable enough that you reach the end feeling satisfied. This book isn't quite Jojo Moyes' 'Me Before You', which is quite possibly my absolute favourite book, but it is still an enjoyable read and I loved the characters dearly.

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

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Fairytale Survey Part 2

Found this new feature on The Daily Prophecy and thought it looked PRETTY cool. Eleanor took on Part 1 so here is Bronte and Izzy's Part 2....Mix and Match

Aladdin – The poor boy who found a genie.What is the latest book treasure/gem you found?

Izzy: I just re-read A Catcher in the Rye. I read it for the first time when I was 13 and didn't really "get" it. After a re-read at 17, I'm absolutely obsessed.

Bronte: I'm going to cheat and say that the latest gem I have found is actually an author: Tiffany Schmidt. I think although her story lines can sometimes be a little limited, the way she writes just draws you in. Her writing is so easy to engage with and I like that!

Alice in Wonderland – The girl who fell through a rabbit’s hole. Which book made you really feel like you landed in another world?

Izzy: SUCH an obvious cliché but Harry Potter. Rowling really adds detail from the money to the sports that you really are transported to another world when it comes to the Wizarding World.

Bronte: I would say the Starcrossed trilogy by Josephine Angelini. I love the way that this novel completely parallels the human world, yet there lives are so different. Greek mythology is so captivating that I feel completely transported into Helens new world.

East of the sun and west of the moon – where a girl embarks on a journey to save her love.Who is one of your favorite kick-ass heroines?

Izzy: (trying to think of a non-cliché answer) Sara Crewe from "A Little Princess." What makes her kick-ass? She makes the best of her situation and is continually optimistic. She's starving, but she gives her loaf of bread to someone hungrier. If that's not kick ass I don't know what is.

Bronte: I am going to go with Lou Clark from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. She is so brave and fearless in a way that I never could be. She just gets on and does what she has to do, even though it may not be the best thing for her - thats a really redeeming quality that makes her a kick-ass heroine.

The Frog Prince – where an enchanted prince becomes human again.What is a book you thought you would hate, but end up loving?

Izzy: I haven't finished it yet, but Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Bronte: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I only read this book because I had to for school - I would never have picked it up otherwise. I found it captivating and really enjoyable, probably because it was so different and addressed issues not commonly written.

Hansel and Gretel – left alone in the woods and captured by a witch.Which duo (sister/sister, brother/sister) is your favorite and why?

Izzy:  There are so many that I want to mention. Beth and Jo from Little Women, The Weasley Twins and Dante and Adam from Boys Don't Cry. However I have to go with a classic, Scout and Jem from To Kill a Mockingbird. I love their relationship in the novel.

Bronte: The Weasley Brothers!! First and for most the twin, because they are hilarious but also the whole family because they are amazing - just take that scene from the Quiddich World Cup!

Little Red Riding Hood – almost eaten by a wolf dressed as her grandmother.
What book disappointed you after falling in love with the cover and blurb?

Izzy: Every Day by David Levithan. Plus I loved Levithan and think he is a hilarious author but this novel just disappointed me. The characters lacked a certain warmth.

Bronte: Paper Towns by John Green. I've said it before: I found this book slow compared to other John Green book - especially when measured against his other novels.

Rumpelstilskin – nobody knows his name.

Which book do you love that doesn’t get enough attention?

Izzy: The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson. I read Crow Lake and Road's End and they were good but neither quite reached her second book which was out-of-this-world amazing. 

Bronte: All books by Amanda Hocking. I think that her writing is amazing and her stories so different and special compared to the cliché dystopian YA literature we have become accustomed too.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Bright Before Sunrise, Tiffany Schmidt

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt, reviewed by Bronte

Author: Website Twitter
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pages: 288
Buy this book: AmazonBarnes and Noble

What is this book about?

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. (Goodreads)

Who should read this book?
If you, like me, really enjoyed Schmidt's Send Me a Sign debut novel I think you will really enjoy this book too. Its a really cute novel and if I hadn't of read it already, it would definitely be on my Top Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag list!

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

Star Rating: 4 Stars

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

This maybe weird, but I think that I would most like to have tea with Brighton's father. From what I read he sounded like a really nice, kind, lovely caring person who would be really easy to just talk to. (Although I don't mean "nice" about great...inside joke)

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

Potentially everyone at some point...Brighton for being such a 'teflon' person, Jonah for being so mean at the beginning, his Mum for changing, Paul for being so horrible to Johan...but anyway. I can only pick one which would have to be Paul as he is consistently horrible whereas the others all change to some degree.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?

I think this cover is so cute! It was actually what drew me in to read it in the first place - and then when I realised Schmidt had written it, it became top on my list of books to read next.

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

This title made no sense to me before I read the book! Only after I finish the book did I realise: Brighton is her name (Bright is her nickname) and we see her personality change at night, before the sun has risen. I think it is the perfect title because it makes me want to read more to understand!

Question 5. Favourite quote!
'One night with Jonah and I've morphed from Teflon to something that reacts when scratched...a record or a match."

We all know how much I enjoyed Send me a Sign so it is difficult for Schmidt to beat it; maybe its because I finished the book yesterday and I'm still basking in the post book enjoyment period, but I think I almost enjoyed this book more! I think again, however, Schmidt rushed the ending slightly more than was necessary, but I do understand that as a 300 paged book that covers a 12 hour period, it does have to end somewhere. I would have perhaps liked to see Brighton and Jonah develop their relationship a bit more though. Overall, great book and I can't wait to read more from Tiffany Schmidt if they keep getting better!

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

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Top Ten Characters I Would Want on a Deserted Island With Me

This weeks rendition of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish is the characters that we would want on a desert island with us. Enjoy!


1. Four, from Divergent. He seems like the sort of person that would know what every item on a Swiss Army Knife was for. And he isn't scared of being stuck on a deserted island.

2. Peeta, from The Hunger Games. If he can survive the games, he can survive anything. He is also lovely and hilarious so would provide me with witty conversations.

3. Lucas, from Starcrossed. I love him so much and he is a God. Literally. So.


4.  Samm, from the Partials trilogy. He's super strong, smart and agile. So I'd know that I would be completely safe.

5. Ron Weasley, from the Harry Potter series. He could bring the tent his family borrowed for the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, the 'seemingly small but actually huge on the inside' tent. His patronus may not be able to protect me from dementors but he would definitely make me laugh and that's what you need on a deserted island.

6. Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games. She's great at hunting, which would be really useful.


7. Bridget Jones, from the Bridget Jones trilogy. I just read the last one "Mad About the Boy," and man is that woman funny. On a desert island you need some humour to lighten the mood of being super depressed and away from your family. 

8. Atticus from To Kill A Mockingbird. When I wanted to go crazy, he would keep me grounded and say something inspiring. Also he can shoot well, and if Katniss is off her game we need someone else who can kill animals for us.  

9. Levi from Fangirl. His smile would just lighten up the doom and gloom. Plus he's one of my favourite characters of all time and I'd love to meet him and talk to him.


10. Damon, from the Vampire Diaries. Because he's Damon.

We hope you enjoyed our rendition of this weeks Top Ten Tuesday!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Fairytale Survery Part 1

Hi, Eleanor here!
I found this feature on The Daily Prophecy and thought it looked rather fun so here it is...The Fairy Tale Survey, Part 1. Part 2 will follow.

Classic Princesses:

Pinocchio – The boy whose nose grows when he lies.
Is there a book you lie about reading, because you feel ashamed for liking it?
I'm not really embarrassed by any of the books that I have read. I think that reading is a very personal thing and although there may be books I wouldn't brag about reading (for example some of the samey, trashy vampire romance books that I love so much) if someone asked me outright I would never lie.

Beauty and the beast – The girl who fell in love with personality.
Which book do you love that has a hideous cover?
Hideous is a very strong word, I'm going to go for a book I love that has a slightly-boring-and-not particularly-striking-in-my-opinion cover. 'Partials' by Dan Wells. I love love love this book but just feel that the cover is a little dull. I don't think that having people on the front cover of a book looks very good, maybe it's just me. Saying that, you cannot see the person's face (the ultimate cover sin) plus I do only have this book on kindle so have not seen the cover on a real life book.

Snow white – Hunted down for her beauty.
Do you ever buy a book based on the cover alone and if so, what is the last one?
This is going to have to be a really boring answer when I say that no, I have never chosen to read a book because of it's cover. I, occasionally, pick up a book at random from the library and borrow it but this has nothing to do with cover. I am not an overly artistic person and so the cover doesn't mean too much to me. However, it is always nice when a book has a nice cover i.e. Wonder by R.J Palacio.

Sleeping beauty – Cursed to sleep, awakened by true loves kiss.
What is your favorite book couple?
I am going to say Jace and Clary from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. But only from the first trilogy, in the second I think it all gets a little silly. (I have not read 'City of Heavenly Fire' yet though, so the series could still redeem itself!)

Little Mermaid – Gave up on her old life for love.
Do you ever branch out to new genres or do you like to stick with the ones you know and love? If you try new things out, what is the latest book?
My absolute favourite genre is dystopian but I do love a paranormal romance too. Although there are plenty of those out there, I do like to branch out and find different things quite a lot because I find the story lines of the books I love to read can sometimes become a little repetitive. Recently I have read 'The Rosie Project' by Graeme Simsion, which was different to what I normally read but still amazing! I have also read and loved 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern, 'The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared' by Jonas Jonasson and 'Timeriders' by Alex Scarrow.

Cinderella – Who lost her shoe after midnight.
What is the last book that made you stay up all night?
I recently read 'Shadows' by Paula Weston and absolutely loved it. I haven't yet reviewed this book but the two installments of the trilogy that I have read so far are very good and I would definitely recommend them.

Rapunzel – locked up in a tower.
What are some of the worst books you read last month?
Last month I started a book called 'The Key to Erebus' by Emma V. Leech and Roisin O'Connor, a book which I had heard good reviews about but that I just could not get into. The story is very fantastical with vampires, fairies, witches, the usual lot, a genre which I do usually really enjoy but in this particular case I found the main character quite dull and the plot didn't grip me at all. I hate not liking a book as I feel as though I have failed to understand the author/s and so I may go back to this book one day and find I love it, we'll have to see.

What do you think of this survey? Have you read any of these books?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Maze Runner, James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner, reviewed by Eleanor

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 374 pages
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon us

What is this book about?
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive. 

Who should read this book? If you loved the Hunger Games, you'll love this.

Star Rating: 3.5 stars

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

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Gally. He's mean. Or a griever (nocturnal monsters made up of balls of blubber with hundreds of super spiky weapons protruding from their fat). They're pretty mean too. And very scary.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I like it, it's another one of those covers that you only get if you have read the book.

Question 4. Can you read the tea leaves from the beginning or are there twists in the plot?
I kept thinking I knew what was going on only to have Dashner throw in another twists to throw me off track.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
"If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”

Overall: I enjoyed this book. I have been planning on reading it for over 2 years now and I have absolutely no idea why it has taken me so long to get my hands on a copy because it is quite honestly amazing! The thing that makes this book is the main character, Thomas. What I cannot stand in a book is when the characters constantly makes stupid decisions that no-one would EVER even consider. Thomas made good decisions, which I adored. Sure, he did reckless things but they were necessary and justifiable. I also really liked the plot of this story as, although it vaguely follows the structure of a dystopian novel, there were lots of little twists and I didn't predict any of these. Lastly, there was no love triangle. INCREDIBLE. I'd definitely recommend this book to all who love a completely terrifying but extremely addictive post-apocalyptic read.

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

Sunday, 22 June 2014

If You Could See Me Now, Cecelia Ahern

If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern, reviewed by Eleanor

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 401 pages
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon us

What is this book about?
Elizabeth Egan's life runs on order: Both her home and her emotions are arranged just so, with little room for spontaneity. It's how she counteracts the chaos of her family -an alcoholic mother who left when she was young, an emotionally distant father, and a free-spirited sister, who seems to be following in their mother's footsteps, leaving her own six-year old son, Luke, in Elizabeth's care. When Ivan, Luke's mysterious new grown-up friend, enters the picture, Elizabeth doesn't know quite what to make of him. With his penchant for adventure and colorful take on things large and small, Ivan opens Elizabeth's eyes to a whole new way of living. But is it for real? Is Ivan for real? (Goodreads)

Who should read this book? I think it's mainly for adults although there aren't really any adult themes so really suitable for anyone. Although this book may seem like a fantasy from the blurb, I'd say that the main theme is more real life than anything else.

Star Rating: 2.5 stars

Question 1. What character would you most like to have tea with?
Luke, because he may quite possibly be the only sane character in this book, despite being six years old!

Question 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Ivan, he's supposed to be this grown man of a similar age to Elizabeth but he was just so childish. I guess that this added to the whole 'is he real? is he not real?' theme (as Ivan is actually an 'imaginary friend' and so only Luke and Elizabeth can see him) but it got really annoying.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
I was going to write about the cover having no relevance to the book but as I have been writing this I have just realised the connection. So actually I do quite like this cover, you'll have to read to understand it though.

Question 4. Can you read the tea leaves from the beginning or are there twists in the plot?
Except for the obvious 'boy meets girl' this book wasn't too predictable.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
"Don't ever take for granted when people look in your eyes; you have no idea how important it is to be acknowledged."

Overall: This was overall an okay book. The problem was that I found it quite a slow read as the plot wasn't very fast paced and there weren't really any shocking events so it just meandered along and didn't really pull me in. The 2.5 that I have given this book is mainly because of this and also because I found the characters a little hard to like. However, I thought that the story idea was really new as it is definitely not something that has been written about or looked into very much, if at all. Also, once I had got through the first few chapters, the idea of this imaginary friend became a lot easier to accept. This book is definitely different and for this reason I would recommend it to those who want an easy read that you don't need to think about too much but that is completely different from anything you've read before.

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