Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Comeback Season, Jennifer E Smith

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E Smith reviewed by Izzy

What is this book about?

The last place Ryan Walsh should be this afternoon is on a train heading to Wrigley Field. She should be in class, enduring yet another miserable day of her first year of high school. But for once, Ryan isn't thinking about what she should be doing. She's not worried about her lack of friends, or her suffering math grade, or how it's been five whole years since the last time she was really and truly happy. Because she's finally returning to the place that her father loved, where the two of them spent so many afternoons cheering on their team. And on this -- the fifth anniversary of his death -- it feels like there's nowhere else in the world she should be. And of course, a boy is involved.

Who should read this book?

Anyone who has previously loved the work of Jennifer E Smith, or is a big fan of the Cubs. Sarah Dessen fans will love the work of Jennifer E.Smith

How long is this book?
256 pages, quite a short book.

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

Star Rating: 3 Stars

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

Ryan was a really interesting character to read about. Like most teen novels she came with her own big bag of problems. However usually as the reader, you feel you know a lot about your protagonist and she's just closed off with the people they interact with. For some reason I almost felt like Smith created a character who was closed off from everyone including the reader. I'd quite like to have tea with Ryan just to get to her open up.

The Comeback SeasonQuestion 2. What character would you most like to throw tea at?
Sydney. She may become a "better" person but she annoyed me for the large majority of the book and I don't let go of my grudges that quickly.

Question 3. What do you think of the cover?
For a photo cover, I'm tempted to say I like this cover. It's actually really sweet. Smith doesn't have me converted that easily though.

Question 4. What do you think of the title?

 I really like the title "The Comeback Season," and obviously it has a double meaning in the book which I like. It's not as good as "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight," but to be fair to Smith I think that's my favourite book title of all time.

Question 5. Favourite quote!
“Hi,' he says.
'Hi,' she says back, and then to her great surprise, she begins to cry.
'You know,' Nick says as he hands her a tissue from the bedside table,' for all this talk about how you don't cry, you sure are sprouting a lot of water.”

Overall: For a really, really simple book I didn't quite get the ending. If what I think is happening, what Smith seems to suggest, I'm not a very happy young lady. However, Smith's writing is again one of my favourite things to read and reminds me most of what I love about 3rd person writing. I am getting so excited about "This Is What Happy Looks Like." Only another month to go! (At time of writing- March 2nd)

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

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, reviewed by Eleanor

10860047Author: Goodreads/Twitter/Website
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Pages: 387
Buy this book: Amazon uk/Amazon com
Rating: 3.5 stars

What is this book about? In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter's daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer's apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love... GOODREADS

Who should read this book? I don't think this would appeal to anyone over 14/15.

Would you have tea with the protagonist? Yes, although she was a little boring, her magic is pretty cool.

Would you fall for the main love interest? No.

Would you want to 'strain' the main antagonist? There wasn't really one antagonist but instead various conflicts between characters. I wouldn't strain any of these though.

Were the characters three dimensional? Definitely.

Would you like to have tea in a cafe at Le Cirque des Rêves? Yeeeah, and one of those cinnamon things they sell.

Do you like the authors flavour of writing? Yes.

Was the writing strong or weak? Very strong.

Was the ending to your taste? A very tasteful ending, although I was left a little confused (in a good way)

If this cover were tea, would you drink it? I think that this cover is pretty and goes with the story well, so yeah I guess.

Favourite Quote?
"Now the circus is open. Now you may enter"

Overview: When you start reading this book you have no idea what is going on, and you feel this way for just about.. the whole way through. Yet this is what makes this book so special. The characters are interesting and alive and I found myself enjoying all of their little stories until they eventually all intertwined into this magical ending. Another thing I loved about this book was that it goes into second tense for a couple of scattered chapters, a tense which is very rare in fiction at the moment but that really did work! This is a great fantasy read and it's set in a wonderful world.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Reader/Book Blogger

This week, on Top Ten Tuesday hosted by BrokeandBookish, we are listing our top reasons for being readers and bloggers:


1. I love reading because it is an escape. After a long day at school, it is great to be able to sit down and worry about someone else's problems e.g. the problems with being in love with a vampire or surviving a reality TV show in Panem.

2. I love reading because I became bestest ever friends with my best friend through our obsession with books (yes Izzy, I'm talking about you) I'm failing our friendship by not remembering the exact books we bonded over but taking a wild guess I'd go with it being Sarah Dessen's Just Listen. (Am I right?)

3. I love being a blogger because sometimes I read books that I absolutely adore but that I can't think of any people to recommend them to/don't know anyone who would enjoy them. So I love getting to review these kinds of books and know that by putting up a review on this blog someone who might actually enjoy it will find it!

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Can I just say that Eleanor's number 2 was the cutest thing I have ever read. Seriously. Also I'm sure you're right. Bonding over Sarah Dessen sounds like us. 

4.  I love blogging because I do it with two of my best friends in my world. It means that we have constant communication and we all try and think of new ideas all the time. I love our Facebook chat and our little meet ups.

5. I love reading because it gives me unfair, excessive, overblown ideas of what love should be. Good luck guys. ps Sarah Dessen if you could manifest one of those dudes I would be eternally grateful. 

6. I love reading because I feel such connections to the characters and as a reader you can feel so strongly what characters are feeling and going through. You can become completely lost in a story, and it lasts so much longer than a 90 minute film and it is possible to become so much more invested. You can feel things on so many levels in books, from metaphors to themes that just isn't possible in other mediums.


7. I love reading because when you read a really really good book you forget that you're not living it! 

8. I love reading because I'd love to be an author when I'm older so the books give me lots of ideas and inspiration.

9. And I love the idea of blogging because I would get to share my thoughts on books that I feel EVERYONE needs to know about.


(Sorry I went AWOL!! haha, whoops - especially after Izzy's number '4'! Sorry guys)

10. I love reading because it is a distraction from anything stressful happening in your life. You can be transported into another world where, either you can read about other peoples problems and realise that your not the only one, or read something easy and trivial that you can only dream about, but it always calms you down because it is so relaxing.

11. I love blogging because I love writing, but I can never find inspiration of what to write about, therefore writing/reviewing books gives me the perfect opportunity to combine two of my favourite things - reading + writing.

12. I love reading because it is a fantastic excuse to have a long, hot bubble bath. Note, I have never dropped a book or Kindle in the bath - its actually quite a difficult thing to do, so try it if you ever haven't! Its the best.

Agreed on:

13. We love blogging because of the amazing community that we have entered. Thank you so much guys! <3

What do you love about reading and blogging?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Spectacular Now, Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp reviewed by Izzy

Author: Twitter
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 304 pages
Buy this book: Amazon
Rating: 4 Stars

What is this book about? 
SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

Who should read this book?
It will have most impact on teens aged 13 and up

Would you have tea with the protagonist? (Aimee)
Yes of course.

Would you fall for the main love interest? (Sutter)
For me, Sutter would be the boy I would want to save.

Would you want to 'strain' the main antagonist? (Sutter's Dad)
Yes. The scene between Sutter and his Dad made me weep.

Were the characters three dimensional?
YES. Sutter particularly was possibly one of the most interesting characters I have ever read, not just in YA fiction but in fiction generally.

Do you like the authors flavour of writing?
Easy to read, but continually interesting, yes.

Was the writing strong or weak?
Strong. Tharp created a voice that was 100% recognizable- a difficult feat but managed with such ease.

Was the ending to your taste?
At first no, but after consideration, yes. I feel this may be the answer given by lots of people.

If this cover were tea, would you drink it?
I had the cover with Miles Teller on the front. So what do you think? Have you seen Miles Teller? Come on, Miles Teller people. He was in Footloose. Footloose. (Please say Miles Teller never reads this)

Favourite Quote?
"Childhood was a fantastic country to live in." 

Overview: The most remarkable thing about The Spectacular Now was that it was not what I was expecting at all. Sutter was not how I imagined him and he was a character I had never read before. His voice shone throughout the book and he became utterly real and alive to me. Even with books I adore this doesn't always happen. I cried and laughed for him. For the character of Sutter Keeley, YA literature should be eternally grateful to Tharp. The plot was good and strong, but Sutter really lifted this book into "great" for me. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by BrokeandBookish......


1. The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Come on, we all swooned when we first read this)

3. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (So Owen isn't Jace Wayland but the romance between Annabel and him is one of my absolute favourite ones)



4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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


7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Review soon- I mean it. I promise.)

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

9. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (The writing and complete genius of this book made me swoon as much as the star crossed lovers storyline)

All agreed on:

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (duh)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan reviewed by Izzy

Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Random House USA, Electric Monkey UK
Pages: 388 pages
Buy this book: Amazon
Rating: 3 stars
What is this book about? Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day. (Goodreads)

Who should read this book? 11+ (references to sex and underage drinking)

1. Would you like to have tea with the protagonist? (Rhiannon) Yes, I adored her.

2. Would you fall for the main love interest? (A) No way.

3. Would you want to strain the main antagonist? (Rev. Poole) Yes, the ending scene with him made me want to cry

4. Were the characters three dimensional? Yes 

5. Would you like to have tea in a cafe in Maryland? Yes, so long as I wasn't meeting A in a different body every time. 

6. Do you like this author's flavour of writing? Yes

7. Was this writing strong or weak? Strong

8. Was the ending to your taste? Yes, it was perfect

9. If this cover were tea, would you drink it? Meh.. Loved the original hardback cover but my paperback isn't as beautiful.

10. Favourite Quote? "If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough." 

Overview: This book was so promising, and I would still give it a strong recommendation to anyone who asked- I completely devoured this book. The premise was something that I had never seen done before, and was completely unique. As always Levithan delivers with beautiful writing and well rounded characters. Unfortunately though, I found this book a bit preachy. Like with every chapter I was having to learn a new lesson about how to be a good person, and treating people right, which was slightly frustrating. The book was still a solid read but not as good "The Realm of Possibility," by Levithan, which I loved.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

This week's Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the BrokeandtheBookish is on the top tear-jerking books that we have read...


1. Before I Die by Jenny Downham

2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

3. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

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3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

5. The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

6. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson



7. Wonder by R.J Palacio

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

All agreed on:

10: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. DUH.