Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Play Hooky With

Okayy, evidently 'playing hooky' is some kind of weird American phrase because I have never heard of it (despite the large amount of books I read, and the large amount of which are American) and had no idea what it meant. However, a little bit of research (what a great thing Google is!) told me that to 'play hooky' is to skip school (or work, or whatever...) Well, you learn a new thing every day!

For my list, I'm going to do unreleased books. These are books that I'll probably be really tempted to play hooky with as soon as they are released!
  1. Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
  2. Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
  3. Promised (Birthmarked #3) by Caragh O'Brien
  4. The Evolution Of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin
  5. Losing Lila (Lila #2) by Sarah Alderson
  6. City Of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare
  7. Seeking Crystal (Benedict #3) by Joss Stirling
  8. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  9. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie

Sunday, 25 March 2012

If you haven't seen the Hunger Games movie, you need to go see it right now.

I am a massive fan of the Hunger Games. So, needless to say, I had been extremely excited ever since it was announced that a movie was to be made. Of course, that excitement was coupled with a little anxiety over whether or not the movie and its cast would be able to do my favourite book justice.
But now, having seen the movie, I know that I needn't have been worried at all.
I absolutely LOVED the Hunger Games movie! I came out of that cinema and I wanted to go straight back in and see it right again! I know that when it comes out on DVD I'll be rushing to buy it so that I can watch it over and over again to my heart's content.
I must admit, when the cast was first announced, I had my doubts. Jennifer Lawrence really didn't fit my image of Katniss - my image of Katniss was:
Very small, skinny (after all, she barely has enough to eat at home) and wiry. Although she is 16, she looks young for her age, and vulnerable, but she is actually, as we know, very fiery and completely able to fend for herself.
I wasn't extremely keen on the choices for Gale and Peeta at first either but Josh Hutcherson did quickly come to grow on me as Peeta.
However, after seeing the film, I can completely understand Gary Ross' casting decisions. Whilst, before, I had only the cast's appearances to judge them by, I now have seen them actually taking on their roles and completely embodying the characters of the Hunger Games and can say that I think the whole cast did a fantastic job! For me, the one character I think was absolutely PERFECT was Prim, played by Willow Shields. She played Prim's delicateness and fright really well and she was just exactly how I imagined her to be when reading the books. I also loved the Career tributes. They all seemed to have a slightly crazed, sadistic side to them and an eagerness for fighting and bloodshed, which makes sense because the Careers do, after all, train especially to compete in the Hunger Games. 
I really liked how we got to see the Gamemakers in the movie and what went on behind the scenes of the Games. We got to see a whole new side to the story in the film that we couldn't see in the book. Also, it was very nice to see all the Capitol's crazy fashions brought to life.
The film managed to stay very true to the storyline but it was quite different to the book, however I think the beauty of this is that both book and film are each amazing works in their own rights. The movie just was a great interpretation of a great book, I think.
You know that tingly feeling you get when you're watching a really good film? (Or reading a really good book?) Well, I had it throughout the whole of the film, it was that good.
And even though I knew everything was happening, the movie still made me cry loads! I was on the verge of tears at the reaping scene and the goodbye scenes that followed, and the Games hadn't even begun yet! And of course, I just sat there, tears silently rolling down my face, when Rue died.
As the film ended and the lights came up, I was left with an immensely satisfied feeling - I loved the film and everything was just amazing.
I went to see this with a mix of friends who had and hadn't read the books, and those who hadn't read The Hunger Games beforehand came out dying to read them straight away!
So, if you haven't watched the Hunger Games movie yet, what are you waiting for?
'The World Will Be Watching...' You'd better be too!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Who's excited for...23/3/2012???

Okay. So it's 20th March. 3 days until 23rd March. Know what that means? 3 days until the Hunger Games movie comes out!!!!! I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!! Seriously. More excited than can be expressed through these words. And a little apprehensive... (I mean, will the movie do the book justice? It had better...) But mainly EXCITED!!!

So, anyway, at school in Art, our theme for this term is 'Time' and when my Art teacher set us the task of creatively portraying any date that was significant to us, I knew straight away what my date was going to be.

It's a date that has been ingrained in my head since it was announced last year, and a date that I have been eagerly, and impatiently, anticipating for what seems like forever. And it's a date that is (FINALLY!) almost HERE!!!

Yes, of course, 23 March 2012!

I had loads of fun doing this, so I decided to put it up here and share it with you guys...

What do you think? And how excited are you for 23/3 to finally roll around!!! :D

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring TBR list

Today's theme for Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is books on your Spring 'to-be-read' list, a particularly appropriate topic for today because it is the first day of Spring!
So, these are the books I'm hoping to get round to this Spring!

  1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth...I am infinitely excited for this one, and have been ever since I finished Divergent!
  2. City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare...I just love The Mortal Instruments series. And whatever will happen regarding Jace?!
  3. Legend by Marie Lu...I bought this a while back but haven't read it yet! It looks good though...and it's a dystopian!
  4. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons...Another dystopian! Planning to go out and buy this one this weekend actually...hopefully it's in stock, or else I won't be happy :(
  5. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver...Delirium was great, hope Pandemonium is too!
  6. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter...I very recently finished 'Only The Good Spy Young', the 4th book in the Gallagher Girls series, so now I really want to read the 5th one!
  7. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith...When I saw this in my school library, I rushed to take it out straight away! It is currently temporarily residing in my locker until I have time to read it, which will hopefully be soon.
  8. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson...I've wanted to read this ever since my friend brought it in to talk about when we had to choose a 'Favourite Book' to speak about, the idea sounds really interesting!
  9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young...ANOTHER dystopian! (Yes, I do love my dystopians!)
  10. Fever by Lauren DeStefano...Although I wasn't in love with Wither (I did still like it though!) I am still interested to see what happens next...

Of course, there's still hundreds of other books that I want to read - I have a continuous, never-ending, bottomless TBR list that just grows and grows all the time - but these are some that I hope to read soon!
What's on your Spring TBR lists? :) 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 358
Source: Bought
Tagline: 'What if you knew exactly when you would die?'

"A botched attempt to create the perfect human race means that men die at 25, and women die at 20. Young girls are being abducted and forced into polygamous marriages in a desperate bid to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it.
When Rhine is kidnapped, she is sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage - and Linden's cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left."

Well. Did I like Wither? YES. Did I love Wither? Ummm...sadly, no.
I think the problem was that, for some reason - and I really don't know why - I just didn't really connect with the characters or the story. I think, if only I had been drawn in to the world and characters of Wither more, then I probably would have loved it instead of just liking it. Instead, though, I felt a little detached from the story throughout and, therefore, it didn't really evoke much of the emotion in me that I feel it should have.

For example, the romance between Rhine and Gabriel. They fell in love but I never really felt it. Sure, I could see the possibility of romance in the early days when Rhine first met Gabriel but I don't think it developed very well - it seemed to jump straight from bud (at the beginning of the book) to full flower (at the end) without ever really blossoming in between. Gabriel always felt more like Rhine's friend to me; the few stolen kisses they shared didn't really change that.

Surprisingly, the character I felt I sympathised with most was Linden. Despite the fact that Rhine could never forgive him for being the reason behind her abduction, I liked Linden. He seemed a truly sweet character and you could tell he honestly loved Rhine. He himself was oblivious to the doings of his father, the only character who really was not very nice, and so was almost as much as a prisoner in his own beautiful, 'perfect' life as Rhine was.

Nevertheless, despite my lack of connection with Wither, it really was a very beautifully-written story. The writing was just as beautiful as I imagine Linden's mansion would have been. The storyline was good and perhaps next time I read it (and I do intend to read it again) I will savour the story more slowly and find myself drawn into it more, and then I will love it.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Paranormal Romance Books

So, this week for Top Ten Tuesday, we all get to pick our own genre and, as you can see from the title, I have chosen to do my favourite Paranormal Romance books!

  1. Finding Sky by Joss Stirling
  2. Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson 
  3. Angel by L.A. Weatherly
  4. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  5. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
  6. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  7. The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  8. Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
  9. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
  10. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

I loved all of the above books and there is a lot of heart-achingly beautiful romance in them... If you haven't read any of these, you should! :) 

Monday, 12 March 2012

I've been given two awards! :)

Wow!!! I am honoured and extremely happy to have been given TWO awards recently!

The first was the 'Lovely Blog Award' which was given to me by the lovely Eileen from ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***

 The rules for this award are...

1. Link back to the person that bestowed the award upon you.
2. Follow the person that bestowed the award upon you.
3. Pass along to 15 Lovely Bloggers!

I want to shout out a massive thank you to Eileen for my first ever blogging award! And also compliment her on her own 'lovely blog'!
 So...now down to the business of picking out 15 lovely blogs to pass the award on to! (With all the AMAZING blogs out there how ever will I choose?)

Okay, although these are just some of the wonderful blogs out there, here are the blogs I would like to pass the 'One Lovely Blog' award on to...

Sonia @ The Story Queen 
Leanna @ Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Celine @ Forget-Me-Not
Emma @ Book Angel Booktopia
Cicely @ Cicely Loves Books
Lisa @ Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Sophie @ So Many Books, So Little Time
Kirsty @ The Overflowing Library
Leanne @ District YA
Sarah @ Miss Page-Turner's City of Books 
Lynsey @ Narratively Speaking
Carly @ Writing From The Tub
Jillian @ Random Ramblings
Ezmirelda @ P A R A F A N T A S Y
Cialina @ Muggle-Born

I just want to say to all you guys that I think your blogs are amazing!
And to everybody else who I couldn't list because I was limited to only 15, congratulations on all your lovely blogs too! :D

Now the second award that I have been given is the Liebster Blog Award, from Heather from Into the Cuckoo's Nest!

The Liebster Blog Award is an award for bloggers with less than 200 followers, and its aim is to help these blogs be found by others in the blogosphere.

The 'rules' for this one are...
  1.  Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
  2. Nominate up to five others for the award.
  3. Let them know via comment on their blog (or you can send them a tweet!)
  4. Post the award on your blog.
  5. (This fifth rule was added by Geeky Tendencies via inspirenordic)...Follow my blog and at least consider signing up for the A to Z Challenge. It is a great way to find new and interesting blogs, it helps people find your blog and helps you meet new bloggers. Who knows? You might reach the 200 follower mark!
Thank you SO MUCH for thinking of me for this award, Heather!
Here are the blogs I would like to nominate for the Liebster Blog Award...

Debbie @ Forever Reading
Ria @ The Beaucoup Review
Hannah @ The Girl In A Cafe
Kel @ EnchantedBooks
Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

Good luck with reaching (and surpassing) the 200 follower mark, guys! :D
So, thanks again to Eileen and Heather, and congrats to all of my winners! You deserve it! :)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 262
Source: Borrowed 
Tagline: 'A lot can happen in eleven minutes.'

By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.
But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….

 Delaney should have died. She did die. But somehow she has defied all odds to return to life seemingly unscathed. Seemingly unscathed. MRI scans show her brain to be damaged to an extent that would be fatal in any normal case, but Delaney's case isn't normal, and as the story grows, so does the abnormality of her situation. Delaney begins to feel strangely drawn to the dying.

Fracture is a story about life and death, pain and suffering, and right and wrong. With Delaney's new 'ability' comes an awareness of the constant presence of death, and she struggles with the knowledge of other people's pain, suffering and impending deaths. More troubling is the problem: is it right to 'help' ease other people's suffering? Or is it wrong to make the choice of life or death for someone else without their input?
Is thereanything Delaney can ever do to help? Or must she stand helplessly by on the sidelines and watch as people suffer and die without ever being able to do anything? 

If she interferes, she may be able to prolong someone's life. But she will also be prolonging their suffering. So is it right? Or is it wrong?

In Fracture, I really liked the relationship between Delaney and her best friend, Decker. Decker was so sweet, and the two of them had been best friends since when they were little and Decker promised to make Delaney smile. They were obviously very close and cared for each other deeply,  but during the story complications arise with their feelings for each other, written in a way that tugged at my heartstrings.

The ending, especially, I thought, was beautifully written. I was left with tingles as I finished the book. Seriously, I loved the ending. It was so beautiful. So beautiful that, yes I know, I just had to repeat myself to make sure I get the point across.
All in all, Fracture really was a thought-provoking, sweet and spine-tingling story, and yes, I completely recommend it to all of you!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Top Ten Covers (of books that I have read)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey there! It's Tuesday again so that means... another Top Ten Tuesday!!!

This week's topic is 'Best Covers' and to narrow it down a bit I've decided to do my favourite covers of only books that I have read. So, here's my list!

     Sister, Missing by Sophie Mckenzie...This caught my eye the moment I saw it. I love how the first thing you see is the girl's face staring out at you, but on a second glance you can make out a sideways view of her, of which the photo of her face is just making up her hair. 

     Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien...I think it's really cool how the words on the front make up a profile of a girl's face

    Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen...What is there to say? All of Sarah Dessen's covers are just so pretty! I had a hard time of choosing out of this one, Lock and Key, The Truth About Forever and Just Listen. I think it's really nice how on all the covers lots of cute little things are put together to make one big pretty picture.

    Across the Universe by Beth Revis... I really like how the two silhouetted profiles look quite vague at first but the nyou look closer and see them more clearly. Also, all those blueish, pinky purple colours at the bottom are so pretty!

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins... Personally, this is my favourite of all the Hunger Games covers out there. (Maybe because it's the copy I first saw and read, and the copy I own but yeah...) Anyway, really this just makes the list because of how the feeling it invokes in me whenever I see it. I LITERALLY LOVE the Hunger Games (!!!!!!!!!) as I'm sure a LOT of us do (I honestly could talk forever about the Hunger Games, but I won't bore you with that right now) and whenever I catch a glimpse of someone reading it or catch someone saying the words 'Hunger' and 'Games' in the same sentence I feel like jumping up and down like a mad person. Sometimes I do jump up and down like a mad person. Sometimes. Because I'm not that mad.

    Let's Get Lost by Sarra Manning

    Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

    Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

     Splendour by Anna Godbersen

     Stolen by Lucy Christopher


    Friday, 2 March 2012

    2012 Dystopian Challenge

    Hey there!
    As 2012 is supposedly the year of the apocalypse,The Non Reluctant Reader is hosting a Dystopian Reading Challenge!

    I have just signed up for the 'Hard' level - to read 15 to 20 YA or MG dystopian  novels between 1st Jan 2012 and 31st December 2012.

    So excited about this because I LOVE dystopian novels!!! :)