Saturday, 30 August 2014

Mini Reviews ft. The Giver and Seraphina

I have some more mini reviews for you today!  These are super short reviews of books that I've recently read that I didn't have quite enough to say about for an individual post.  I collect these reviews over time and put them together in one post when I have enough.  So without further ado...


The Giver by Lois Lowry

This was an amazing reading experience for me.  It follows a boy named Jonas, who lives in a controlled world, with no knowledge of anything outside of this.  The world in which he lives is supposed to be perfect, and on the surface, it does seem to be that way.  But as the story goes on, the reader discovers that all is not what it seems.
I truly enjoyed the tone of this novel, and I thought the length was perfect for the story being told.  I appreciated the message of the book, and I liked Jonas a lot and admired his ability to make tough decisions whilst still remaining realistic.
However, the ending left me completely in shock and, honestly, unsatisfied.  I've since done my research, and apparently I have to read the rest of the books in the quartet - I probably shouldn't have been so surprised by this!
Though at times the novel felt like a lesson (which is not necessarily bad), I loved it and would recommend it to anyone.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Another great book that I have had the good fortune to come across.  As an impulse-pick-up from my school library, I didn't know what to expect from this.  I was not disappointed.  Seraphina follows a girl of the same name in her home of Goredd.  Goredd has lived in peace with dragons for quite some time now, but the recent murder of Prince Rufus has put this already strained peace in danger of collapse.  This summary barely scrapes the surface of what goes on in this novel, but I will tell you no more.
My main (and really only) frustration with this book was that it took me quite a while to get into it - what with learning all the new, strange terms and character names (which, admittedly, could have been avoided if I'd realised there was a glossary at the back of the book).
I enjoyed the complex world and plot of the novel, as well as the writing style and characters - though I didn't connect with them as much as I'd hoped.  The romance was believable, which is always a bonus, and the themes explored really made me think.
Overall, I thought this was an amazing story and I can't wait for the sequel.  If you decide to pick this up, which you should, stick with it!
So Much Just Happened

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Liebster Award - Discover New Blogs

I was fortunate enough over the last few days to be nominated by Erin @ The Hardcover Lover, Katie @ Kittens and Books and Kelly @ Bibliophile Bliss.  I am thrilled to have been nominated by these wonderful bloggers, so, a massive thank you to them! :)

The award is given to new bloggers by other new bloggers, and the rules are:

1. Link and thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you
3. Tag 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers
4. Ask the bloggers you nominated 11 questions, and let them know that you nominated them

So... here are my answers to the questions!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Quick Updates

So I haven't posted in almost a week, I believe, which isn't too unusual for me, but I probably won't be able to post in the next couple of days either due to the need to catch up on school work.  This is because I have been ill and haven't been on the internet for FIVE DAYS (it's killing me).  I'm feeling better now, but this has put me behind in a few things.

I was hoping to have a review out this week, but I haven't been able to read either, so that can't happen just yet.

If you left me a comment in the last couple of days, I've replied to it by now.

I'm really hoping that this will be the blog that I stick with, as I haven't had much success with that in the past, and this has just become something that I love to do but I feel like I could slip out of it very easily.

Hopefully you'll forgive me for being slack.

I'm just blabbering now, so I'll leave it at that!

Oh, and I found this:

Thursday, 21 August 2014

My Unfinished Series (That I Don't Plan to Continue)

A couple or so weeks ago, I did a post about series that I have started and am planning to finish.  So today I've decided to share some series that I've started and am not planning to complete... most likely.  I say 'most likely' because I am easily swayed and could probably be convinced to continue some of these.

I suppose I'll just jump right into it now then.

1. The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I read and enjoyed Beautiful Creatures - in fact, at the time, it was one of my favourite books.  Admittedly, I wasn't satisfied with the ending and it was a bit slow, but that didn't really change my overall opinion.  But then Beautiful Darkness happened.  Yeah... I'll leave it at that.

2. The Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

I first read Shatter Me a couple of years ago, presumably when it first came out.  I enjoyed it well enough, but the second book was not yet out and I was not yet an active member of Goodreads and never took notice when it did come out.  After endless recommendations for the series, I picked Shatter Me up again at the beginning of this year.  I still enjoyed it, but Juliet had started to bother me.  Whilst waiting for Unravel Me from the library, I decided to read the novella, Destroy Me, because I had heard good things about it.  I was not lied to!  I loved Destroy Me.  However, in Unravel Me, Juliet became more annoying, the situation her and Adam were in was annoying me, and my hold from the library ran out.  And I just decided to give up.  I will definitely read anything else the author releases though because I'm fascinated by her writing style.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these.  I remember attempting to read the first one when I was younger, and putting it down because I wasn't interested.  Maybe I got distracted by something else I wanted to do, because I honestly believe I would have loved these.  I love them now.  I gave each single book a 4/5 stars, but as a whole, I think I would give The Spiderwick Chronicles a 5/5.

Each volume was short and sweet (well, not really sweet - they were actually creepy and dark), and I would definitely recommend reading them all together as one book rather than separate.  No matter how old you are, I truly believe these are worth a read.

The stories follow Jared Grace along with his twin brother Simon and their older sister Mallory and their discovery of the Faerie world.  After their dad leaves their mother, the family moves into a distant relative's large, dilapidated house.  Even on the first night, Jared realises that something isn't quite right in the house, and the siblings try to discover what it is.  When they come across a book of Faeries, the children are suddenly thrust into a dark and dangerous adventure that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the experiences of the Grace children and learning about all the different kinds of creatures in the Faerie world.  I loved the creepy vibe I got from the books - seriously, if you're going to read these, make sure you get the hardcovers because they make a difference to your reading experience, I swear! - and the fact that as well as dealing with magical problems, the children also had to face the fact that their father had left them, and some other everyday issues for kids of their age.

I'm going to have to watch the movie again because I really don't remember much about it.

I realise this was a pretty short review, but as is my usual problem, I don't want to give too much away.  I hope to pick up the next series, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, someday in the near future.  I'll probably try and buy the hardcover box set...

PS. Sorry for the terrible layout of the pictures, I'm still new at this!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Libraries: Wins and Woes

Ah, libraries.  A sanctuary for many booklovers around the world.  I personally love my local library.  In fact, I don't know what I would do without it.  However, over the years, I have discovered a few things about it that get on my nerves.  Of course, I'm not blaming the library for them (as the issues I have are mostly out of their hands), but I still get annoyed :P 

My library is better than most.  And I'm not just saying that.  For starters, any book that I want, I can put on hold.  All I have to do is go onto the website and search for it.  It doesn't even matter if the book is in my local library or somewhere in one of the branch libraries.  I have borrowed books  that are located hours away from my home.  Once I put them on hold online, it tells me where I am in the queue (how many people got there first that I have to wait for) and lets me know when the book arrives at my selected library.  I also get a phone call to let me know.

Another thing I love is that my library has DVDs.  When I started watching Teen Wolf, I got the whole second season out on DVD from the library and marathon-ed it.  The discs weren't even scratched!

I can also put books on hold before their release date.  I'm currently waiting for Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I got Panic by Lauren Oliver earlier in the year through this method.

My library also takes requests for books - if they don't have it, they'll buy it.

Considering I don't often buy books, the library is my source of most things that I read and I have no idea how I would read without it.

Now I feel like I shouldn't complain, but I can't help myself...

Often, when I'm in a queue for a book, I don't know how long it's going to take to get to me.  For example, I have had to wait MONTHS for previous books in the Lux series when I've only been 4th in the queue (I've made a "waiting-for-library" shelf on my Goodreads specifically for these circumstances).  Other books, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower only took a few days for the library to get to me when I'm something like 25th in line!  This bothers me, because if I think one book is going to take ages, I put more and more on hold, hoping their arrivals will be staggered so that I can read them in time for their due date.  This rarely happens exactly like I plan it, obviously.  But I don't learn!

Another thing that bothers me is that sometimes the quality of the book I get lent isn't in the best quality.  Most recently, I had to put down The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima because the copy was...well, gross.  Like, there was A LOT of hair caught in the pages.

Pet hair.


The last thing I'm going to discuss is the physical borrowing system in the library itself.  In the past, you would take the book you wanted to borrow to the counter and a human librarian would put it on your account.   The same went for returning.  Now, however, they have changed to a self-serve system.  This wouldn't be an issue (hey, I'm all for avoiding human interaction), but my mum and I have an incredible ability to render every machine useless.  That is, we repel technology.  So, every second time I try to use this system, I have to get a librarian to come over because something has gone wrong.  The book is already on hold by someone else (clearly it's not, I'm holding it in my hand, but that still always gives me a moment of panic), the barcode won't scan, it's not accepting my card or it won't print my receipt.  Okay, maybe it's not every second time, but you can see the issue (plus, it totally ruins the point of the aforementioned avoidance of human interaction).

Anyway, the 'wins' of my library certainly outweigh the 'woes'.  What do you think?  Is your local library as good as mine? ;)

This post was brought to you by "I'm Still 10th in the Queue For The Giver" and "Opposition is Taking A Long Time to Get to Me."

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, just in case you didn't already know ;)

Today's picks are books that I have on my tbr shelf (on Goodreads) that I'm not so sure that I actually want to read anymore.  Opinions on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

1.  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
So.  I liked Anna and the French Kiss, but really, I don't know if I want to read another book so similar to it - though I don't really know how similar Lola and the Boy Next Door is (because, obviously, I haven't read it).  I'm not a massive contemporary / realistic fiction fan.  It takes a lot for me to really love a book of that genre, and I feel like if I go into this book with the high expectations I have gained from seeing countless reviews, I will be disappointed.  I'm still undecided.

2. Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I read the first book in the Covenant series earlier this year and I wasn't blown away by it, but I was interested in the concept.  To be honest, I haven't heard much about this series, but I do love the Lux series by the same author, so maybe I should stick with this a little bit longer.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mini Reviews ft. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, A Monster Calls, and The Assassin's Blade

Today, I bring you mini reviews that I have written over time.  These are for books which I didn't have quite enough to say for a separate review, but for which I did want to comment on.  Here they are...


Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Everything about this book was beautiful.  Except Razgut.  I hate Razgut.  I'm not going to go into the synopsis, as it is the last book in a trilogy after all.  I thought it was a very fitting and fulfilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.  The writing was entrancing and at times I would find myself forgetting how long I had been reading for.  If you haven't read this trilogy yet - get on it!
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
 This is a story that I won't forget for a long time.  It follows Conor, a young boy whose mother is unwell and his struggles due to that.  The pictures in the book are stunning and suit the tone of the story perfectly, as well as, I believe, Conor's emotions.  I could get lost for minutes at a time taking in all the elements to each illustration.  This is a quick read, dealing realistically with dark, yet sadly common, issues that I would recommend to anyone.  In fact, I've already convinced my brother to read it.
Hauntingly Beautiful


The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
This is a bind up of the Throne of Glass novellas and gets a larger picture because it is so pretty!  I have read and really enjoyed the first two novellas in the book - The Assassin and the Pirate Lord ~and~ The Assassin and the Healer.  Celaena (the main character) is all-round awesome, and I loved that even though she is an assassin, she still has a conscience.  I'm having a bit of difficulty getting through this because I have this idea that I have to read each novella in one sitting - so I keep waiting for a time to present itself where I can just sit and read 100 or so pages.  These times are, of course, rare, and I've been waiting a couple of days for one.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

August TBR

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that there is little use to me in creating a TBR.  I say this because I never stick to my plans, as proven by my July TBR from which I read two out of six(ish) planned books.  But, I'm going to do it anyway.

Another reason my TBRs rarely work out is that my primary source of books is the library.  Three of the above novels are ones that I have put on hold and am currently waiting for to arrive at my local library.  The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas is the only one that I own, and is therefore the only one that I am guaranteed to read.  I've already read Throne of Glass and I liked it very much so I am hoping that The Assassin's Blade will be a similar experience.

I really haven't heard much about The Giver by Louis Lowry to be truthful, except that I believe there is a movie coming out for it so I thought I would give it ago.  Also, it's relatively short which means it won't be too much of a waste of time if I don't like it.

In contrast to The Giver, I have heard a lot about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  However,  I still don't really know what it's about!  Rich kids?  I decided to read this though because of all the hype and one of my groups on Goodreads is reading it in August so it'll be nice to join in on the conversation.

Finally, I'm planning on reading Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout as it is the last instalment in the Lux series, which I have absolutely loved so far, and it comes out this month!  Yay!  I'm expecting wonderful things!

Have you read any of these?  What are you planning to read this month?
Back to Top