Humour

Can’t Buy Forever: Mini Review

Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon51rhw10ql4l-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Published: May 17th 2015 by Page Publishing

Pages: 218                                                                                                                                                  

Format: Paperback                                                                                                                                  

Source: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.                                                                                                                                               

Links: AmazonGoodreadsBook Depository

‘Are you kidding me? You will eat anything that does not bite you first!’

Sooo…. I didn’t love this book as much as I hoped I would, but I didn’t hate it either. This novel was slightly different to many of the books I usually read. From the setting to the time period, all of it was new to me.

The characters were also at times fairly original, and I especially appreciated Elise, Odessa’s best friend for the lightness she provided the story-line.

To begin with, the book started at a fairly steady pace but towards the end it starts to pick up as we find out more about Nicholas’s past.

In regards to the writing, it was a little confusing at times and at times the grammar needed to be double-checked, but in general, I did enjoy the way the author wrote.

There were also some interesting references made to other books an I am planning on reading about Prince Ivanhoe after this. I originally wanted to know even more about Adrianna, however in the end the story was a good length and the pace was good.

Rating: 3/5

Reading in Winter

2016

On the coldest of winter days, there is nothing better than curling up, cocooned in blankets. With a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other, life couldn’t get much better than that. So, as January looms, here are my 5 favourite books to read when its cold outside.

23018259inferno2bcatherine2bdoyle9780552573740dsb_final_6_151nih6cc-pl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

  1. Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy- 

I got this book for Christmas and was intrigued by the title. Yuri is a genius and he knows it,  but I didn’t at any point find him to be condescending. With humour, swearing and an asteroid hurtling towards LA, what’s not to love?

2. Inferno by Catherine Doyle-

This is hands down my favourite book ever. All about the Mafia and the complex roles of the families within it, and with a relatable heroine, I couldn’t put this down. I’ve waited a year for the sequel, Mafiosa, to be released and in four days nothing can stop me from finally reading it.

3.  And I Darken by Kiersten White

This book was dark in the best way. Lada is without fear and at times conscience, and I loved it! Set in the Ottoman Empire, it was hard not to be drawn into the scheming politics and life of the court.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This books reached my expectations and then surpassed them. The world seen through Karou’ eyes was vibrant and the writing was beautiful. The humour in the book brought tears to my eyes, as did the moments of sadness and despair. I don’t think I’ll have any problems completing the rest of this series by the end of the month.

5. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 

I haven’t read all that many graphic novels, but after reading Nimona I couldn’t help but wonder if I had been missing out. You’ll race through this book in no time at all but the characters will stay with you for much, much longer. This is definitely a graphic novel I would want to own.

So that’s my top 5 books, what are yours?

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

dash-lilys-book-of-dares-rachel-cohn-david-levithanDash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Published October 26th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 240                                                                                                                                                  

Format: Paperback                                                                                                                                  

Source: Library                                                                                                                                                  

Links: AmazonGoodreadsBook Depository

 

This is a book that needs to be read. Christmas is a time for celebration for Lily but with her parents abroad and her brother busy, she must find other ways and people to spend time with. So, she writes a set of instructions in a red moleskin diary and leaves it in the local bookstore, The Strand. And so sets of a chain of events that sees both Lily and the recipient of her red notebook, Dash, running around Manhattan, getting into trouble and meeting each of the others’ friends and family along the way.

I was hesitant to pick up this book at first, only because I thought I had read something like this before. I needn’t have worried. I found Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares to be highly original and entertaining.

Lily was very much your friendly and goodnatured yet slightly shy girl, full of Christmas Spirit. Whereas, on the other hand, Dash was your extremely cynical, not to mention pretentious boy, desperately lacking in Christmas spirit. How could they not be perfect for each other?

We don’t see a lot of Dash’s parents, but we understand that his snarly-ness (is that a word?) comes from the fact that his parents are divorced and cannot stand each other in the slightest. To add to that Dash’s father is a very cold, distant figure who never shows any interest or love towards his only son.  This contrasts hugely between that of Lily’s family who are all extremely close to each other.

Our main characters first impressions of each other were far from positive (Lily was somewhat drunk and even though it was a once time thing, Dash did not know that). However, they do finally, get over their initial apprehension of each other, though not before a badly aimed snowball angers a horde of over-protective mothers ending in the both of them being escorted to prison. After all there is nothing more romantic then spending a little time behind bars together…

In short, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares did not disappoint, and I cannot wait to start the sequel.

Rating: 4/5

 

Goodbye Stranger ~ Mini Review

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Where did I get it? The local library

23615709Summary: Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?
On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

 

 

My  Thoughts:

This is one of the first middle-grade books I’ve read in a while but I found myself thoroughly enjoying it.

This book has fast become one of my favourites of all time and I even went around wearing cat ears for a few days to commemorate my new found love. (Read the book to see what I’m referring to.)

Tabitha and her friends were so engaging and their moments were filled with laughter and fun as well as the occasional tears and misunderstandings that made the book all the more realistic.

Goodbye Stranger was just perfect for a mostly light read with a serious and thought provoking messages laced throughout.

Rating: 5/5

 

Novels I’m Taking on Holiday

As everyone knows, the Easter Holidays are fast approaching and since I am going abroad, I had to limit the number of books I carried with me. So without further ado, the 5 novels I am travelling with are:

  • 26365537Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – This is a World Book Day novella all about Star Wars fans. Although I know little to nothing about Star Wars, I know that I am going to fall in love with Rowell’s newest characters.

 

  • 25437747Beautiful broken things by Sara Barnard- This is the first novel that Barnard has written and I can’t wait to follow Caddy’s story as she comes to terms with all that’s going on around her and as she finds out more about her new friend.

 

  • 514ue3imbtl-_sx310_bo1204203200_Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin- You should know that I really do not like to read book set in any war period, however after reading the blurb and hearing so many stellar reviews about this book I had to pick it up form the library. Fingers crossed that this will be an exception to my aversion for war books, for me.

 

  • 9781409591221-how-hard-can-love-be-newHow Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne- I really enjoyed reading the first book in the Normals series and I definitely need to read Amber’s story to see where she goes and sees and learns while spending her holidays in America.

 

  • 511f5sz9ydl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done by Sarah Mlynowski- I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and with the holidays here I don’t have excuses.

 

 

 

What books are you reading this holiday? Do you have any plans for Easter?

Changers

Changers (Drew) by T Cooper & Allison Glock Cooper

Where did I get it? The local library

28541528Summary: Drew opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.

Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl.

Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever–and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.

Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner–a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name–and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called “Abiders” (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that shows you that your first impressions can sometimes be totally wrong. After reading the blurb I was skeptical about picking up this book as it didn’t really sound like a story I would normally enjoy. However this was not the case and I ended up finishing this novel in no time at all.

Drew is the main character and we only really meet Ethan for a few pages, though we learn a little of what he was like through Drew’s thoughts. The plot flowed along naturally and I laughed out loud at several moments.

One point that wasn’t really a problem, more like an observation, was that the whole changer race and organisation keeping everyone in check was not really explained in depth. Considering, though, that this is the first novel in a series there will be space to  delve into the history and aims of the ‘RaChas’ ‘Abiders’ and ‘Changers Council’.

All of the characters were well developed and Audrey has become one of my favourite book best friends. Chase, however I could not really bring myself to care about and with the decisions he made I don’t feel sad that he may not feature in future books in this series.

Rating:4/5

February Book Haul

IMG_2397

This month I was glad to say that I refrained from purchasing any novels for myself, but I did receive a few from friends and family for my birthday as well two that I won in a giveaway.

  1. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford-  This was my ‘classics’ read for the month and I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift from an aunt.
  2. Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne- I’ve already read Am       I Normal Yet? and I absolutely adored it, so I can’t wait to read Amber’s story and see how the series progresses.
  3. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton- When this stunning debut came out, I heard so many excellent reviews about it that I knew I had to pick it up. Those reviews held true and I really enjoyed reading this book.
  4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- I was given this book as a birthday gift from my friend over at The Little Book Wolf and although I haven’t read it yet, I’ve been meaning to start the Lunar Chronicles for a while and now I have no excuse.
  5. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman- Ever since I heard this book was coming out and read the blurb, I knew it was right up my alley. I can’t wait to start it and I am almost certain I will be hooked form the beginning to the end.

 

  *  I also received Vendetta and Inferno by Catherine Doyle in a giveaway.*

Which books have you got this month? Are they any good?

Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Where did I get it? I bought it

fangirlwipSummary: Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

 

My Thoughts:

I have read a few books by Rainbow Rowell, but Fangirl still remains one of my favourite of her novels (second only to Carry On).

Cathy and Wren are identical twins but they are very different on the inside. I thought that Cathy was an interesting narrator and I wanted to know more about her and her life at home with her friends and family.

Regean was probably my favourite character and I was so glad that she and Cathy became friends. Levi, too was a really sweet love interest. For me, the best parts of the book, however, were those involving interactions between the twins, Cathy and Wren, as it was intriguing to see the blatant differences between the two by just their choices and actions.

I haven’t really been paying attention to any new books written by this author, so I was nicely surprised when I recently saw on GoodReads that Rowell has released a new short story for World Book Day, called Kindred Spirits, which I will be urgently looking to read.

Rating: 4/5

How Willa Got Her Groove Back

How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay

*I received this book for review purposes. Thank you to NetGally and Entangled Publishing, LLC*

28871512Summary: When Willa Schofer’s father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa’s senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother—the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he’s constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk.

Just when Willa’s decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously—how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he’s not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she’s allowed to crush on the guy.

Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool.

My Thoughts:

This was one of those books that I didn’t love or hate…. I just enjoyed it.

If you are looking for a cute, fun contemporary romance then this is the book would be right up your alley. Willa is your average teenager who lived with her father until he decides to re-marry. As would be expected, Willa is not exactly jumping for joy at having a new step-motherwho she barely knows and on top of that Willa seems to have aquired a new step-brother too.

In terms of the plot line, I have read similar books to these but that isn’t to say that this novel didn’t have its own unique factors that kept me reading on. Once you reach half-way through, the pace starts to pick up and the ending was definitely not what I was expecting for the characters.

I liked the MC and she dealt with everything (like suddenly becoming the centre of attention overnight) very well, after her entail shock had died down.

I would most defiantly like to see where the author takes Willa and Finn next and I believe that a sequel will be released n November some time this year.

Rating: 3.5/4

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Where did I get it? I bought it

61t67xhl2cl-_sx321_bo1204203200_Summary: Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I seriously can’t believe that I took so long to finally read this book. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is woven beautifully and the words just flow from one page to the next. Our protagonist, Charlie, is delicate and real and his thoughts were so profound I felt touched and saddened by his tale.

There were many poignant characters and I could sympathise with the confusion Charlie was feeling as he tried to ascertain his love for Sam and his friendship with Patrick and the others.

I haven’t really read many novels like this one though I did try Kate Sclesa’s “Fans of the Impossible Life” which I found not to my liking.  Saying this, I will defiantly be looking out for more books akin to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. There were many sensitive topics broached in this book and I felt all of them were handled with the utmost care.

I’m not sure if the film adaptation is any good, but I intend to find out as soon as I have some free time.

A must read for all!

Rating: 5/5