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?