Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fang Girl by Helen Keeble

Hilarious and Lighthearted
This book had me in hysterics.

When Xanthe Jane Greene wakes up in a coffin, not breathing but certainly alive, it doesn't take her long to figure out that she's been turned into a vampire - after all, she's read every vampire book out there and frequents the fan site  After making it out of the ground, however, things start getting a bit more complicated.  Vampire politics are a little hard to understand when you're a newborn, and trying to sort out the good guys from the bad guys is tough - if there are even any good guys.

That was definitely one of the things I was not expecting from this book: a super compelling plot.  I could never tell who to trust, or what anyone's endgame was.  This, aside from the laughs, was what boosted my rating from 4 to 5 stars.

Also, don't be turned off by the cover - it's unrelated to the story, though the style fits the feel of the book.

I loved all the characters, especially Xanthe, or Jane, as she prefers to be called.  I could totally relate to her, and how much of a "fangirl" she was.  Her humour really got me, even though at times it seemed a little overdone.  As for the other characters, Zack, the little brother, was also amusing and a realistic 12-year-old brother (as confirmed by my experiences with a younger brother).  The parents were also fairly realistic, and they were surprising reasonable.  Ebon was kind of weird, but in a good way.  Sarah was a pretty big surprise, but despite that, I still liked her.  Van was my favourite character apart from Jane, and I also felt pretty sorry for him at times for the circumstances he's been put in.  Actually, that was a lie.  My favourite character overall was Brains - the goldfish.  What an awesome pet.

As mentioned, the story was so very funny.  Jane's voice was perfect for her age and she was smart too.  This was a rare book in the paranormal YA genre in that Jane's family was very present throughout the whole novel, which was awesome, and there was very, very little romance (I don't think there was even a kiss), which was also awesome and refreshing.

This is definitely a book that you have to be in the mood for, and if you take the paranormal genre overly seriously then you probably won't like it.  If you're up for a laugh, and don't mind the silliness, then I would recommend this to you.  If you're sick of vampires, then I would recommend this to you.  If you've ever enjoying being part of a "fandom", I would recommend this to you.

Sure, Fang Girl wasn't an immaculate literary masterpiece, but it was extremely entertaining and if you take it for what it is - a lighthearted, paranormal comedy - then you will not be disappointed.  I seriously can't think of anything that I didn't like about this book, so I give it a very justified 5 stars!

I hope you decide to pick this up if it sounds like something you'd enjoy.  If you have read Fang Girl, let me know what you thought of it! :)

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Friday 56 - Fang Girl

I have decided to try something new today, and participate in "The Friday 56", hosted by Freda's Voice.  All you have to do is turn to page 56 of a book (or 56% if you're and e-reader user) and share a sentence or two without spoiling anything

Today I've been reading Fang Girl by Helen Keeble, and I am loving it so far!

"Then, of course, I went straight back to  I'd never thought of myself as a Big Name Fan or anything, but literally hundreds of people had posted messages about how great I'd been as a moderator and how insightful my commentaries had always been, and how much fun I'd been in the roleplaying chat-room, and what a tragedy it was that I'd never finish my epic, multi-fandom, crossover crackfic saga (though there were not, in my opinion, nearly enough comments expressing this latter regret)." - Fang Girl, page 56

This book has turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting, and I was even considering returning it to the library without picking it up at all.  I'm so glad I didn't, because I have been laughing out loud constantly and I'm in love with the characters.  It's definitely a book you have to be in the mood for, but I'll talk more about it in a review when I'm finished.

What book are you currently reading?  Care to share part of page 56? :) 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mini Reviews ft. Opposition and Gathering Blue

Here's a couple more mini reviews for today.  I was hoping to have a third by now, but I haven't read anything new in time!

Could You Just Stop Kissing For A Minute?

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This was a great finale to a great series.  I loved the pacing in this novel compared to the others - it seemed to go a lot faster, and a lot more seemed to happen.  I was mostly happy with the way it ended, but I did have some issues - (highlight for spoiler:) I get that the Lux books are more about what happens to the characters rather than the world in general, but really, I wanted more detail about how the world was affected.  Also, I was really sad that Dee didn't seem to be as present in the novel.  I feel like she disappeared after the events of Onyx. You already know the other main thing that I had problems with if you've read the caption on the picture.  Often it just felt like the most inappropriate of times for them to be doing what they were doing...
I got attached to a lot of the newer characters in this novel, which was a plus.  As mentioned before, overall I was pretty happy with it!
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
 I'm glad I had been forewarned that this was a companion to The Giver and not strictly a sequel, otherwise I would have been pretty angry about this book!  I still am, a little.  Because though I got very few answers, I got so many, many more questions.  I liked the characters in this book more than in The Giver, but I found this one more predictable - though that didn't really take away from it - and a little slower.  Though I liked her, sometimes I wanted to shake Kira, the main character, because she just wasn't catching on to some things (though I have a suspicion that she knew what was going on but couldn't admit it to herself).  I liked Thomas and Matt too.  Again, I was left with an ultimately unsatisfying ending, and I am dying for Messenger, the third companion novel.
But WHY?

Have you read either of these?  Do you know if I will find closure in Messenger and Son, or if I will be eternally frustrated?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Currently Reading + Updates


I haven't posted since last Thursday.  I had a Soundtrack Saturday post planned, but I changed my mind about a song choice at the last minute and chickened out of posting it, and have since been avoiding the internet out of shame.

I also haven't been reading much these last few days which is kind of annoying.

This is due to a few things - mostly that I have no books checked out from the library, and none of the ones I have on hold have arrived yet.

Another reason is my impending practice exams.  They're next week and I have to get a TON of studying done before then.

For this reason, I'm also going to be posting a bit less in the next couple weeks.

It's also because of the book I'm currently reading - Blart: The Boy Who Didn't Want to Save the World by Dominic Barker, a challenge from my brother after I made him read the Chaos Walking trilogy, by Patrick Ness.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"Blart is not an average boy. He lives on a pig farm with his grandfather and doesn't care about being heroic or famous or legendary, but he does know that if you want to catch a pig you have to sneak up behind it and take it by surprise. So when a great wizard visits and explains that humankind depends on Blart joining his quest, Blart says no - until the wizard threatens his pigs. Reluctantly, Blart embarks on a very epic quest stuffed with brilliant characters: a feisty princess who likes dragons, a warrior who's a big softie at heart, a disaffected dwarf, and evil Zorab, trapped in a mountain, waiting for his minions to dig him out..."

I haven't heard the best reviews for this book (one of my friends on GR suggests not reading it), although my brother assures me that it's good.  I'm not really enjoying it so far, but I'm pretty sure I'm just set against it because of how ridiculous it is.  Hopefully I will finish it soon though!

Now I'm off to catch up with my Bloglovin' feed!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I'm Scared of Adult Fiction

I've decided on a slightly embarrassing topic for today's post...  I'm afraid to read books from the adult genre.

I didn't even realise until recently that I was afraid of these books.  I think the moment I admitted recognised that I had a problem was earlier this year, when the time came to find out the Booksplosion book of the month.

If you're unaware, Booksplosion is a book group set up by several popular booktubers, where they pick one book each month for all the members to read, discuss in the threads and then they have a liveshow discussion at the end of the month.  I'd taken part in a couple of these readalongs (Control by Lydia Kang and Panic by Lauren Oliver), and I'm always excited to hear what the next book of the month will be.  So, on this particular month, the book chosen was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  I'd read Fangirl by this time, so I was excited to participate.  But then...

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Dun Dun DUN

I decided to look it up on Goodreads and saw the genre box.

All of a sudden my brain started telling me "Oh Sabrina, you don't need to participate this month.  Besides, you have too many other books to read."  But I know the truth now.

I've been thinking about it more and more recently, and I think I have come up with a list of mind barriers stopping me from trying books from the adult section:

1.  I don't think I've read it before - so it's unknown territory
2.  I'm technically not even an adult yet (so I'm not even allowed, right? :P )
3.  What if I don't understand it?
4.  What if it's too different from YA and I hate it?
5.  What if it's too different from YA and I love it?
6.  What if I think it's better than YA and become a pretentious reader?

Okay, so that last reason isn't much of a concern.

The thing is, I have come across plenty of adult books that I am thoroughly interested in.  Books that I am dying to read.  But I just won't.

For example;

I know, I haven't read The Lord of The Rings.  I'm a disgrace.

Another thing with these is that they're also categorised as young adult by some people.  I need to get over this problem!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Authors I Need To Read More From - Top Ten Tuesday

I'm participating in another Top Ten Tuesday this week!  As you most likely know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and every week there's another theme for a list.  This weeks theme is "Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED To Read More".  I'm going to attempt this list, and we'll see how far I get before I have to alter the "one book" criterion.

1.  E. Lockhart

I recently read We Were Liars and I really liked it.  E. Lockhart has a lot of books out, so really, there's no excuse for me not to pick up another some time soon.

For some reason this picture wouldn't link, so the title will have to take you to the Goodreads page instead.
2.  Stephanie Perkins
I read Anna in September of last year, and I enjoyed it, but at the time I really didn't see what all the fuss was about.  Since, I have come to realise that fluffy contemporaries aren't really my style.  But considering I didn't hate this book, I think I should really give Lola and the Boy Next Door a chance.  Plus, I have heard wonderful things about Cricket :P

3.  Kiersten White

I can't believe I haven't continued with this series yet!  I also have several other books by Kiersten White on my TBR on Goodreads - Mind Games, The Chaos of Stars and Illusions of Fate, for example.  I need to read more!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - Review + Discussion

We Were Liars
My Poor Heart

My Thoughts...

Where do I even start?

First of all, I think this book is best off going into without knowing much about it, so the review section of this post isn't going to go into detail.

After letting my thoughts on this novel sit for a while, I have decided that my rating is more of a 4.5, but I wouldn't reread it.

The story follows Cadence, a member of the rich Sinclair family, and her struggle to recover her memories after an accident on the family's summer island.

Yup, that's my summary.  It's all you need to know.

I've heard mixed things about the writing style, but I honestly really liked it.  The metaphorical descriptions of emotions worked for me and easily got the message across, giving you a sense for the strength of the things Cadence was feeling.  I also appreciated that though the novel is relatively short (around 220 pages, depending on your edition), the story didn't feel compressed to be shorter.  I thought the pacing was great, building up the suspense and giving time to get to know the characters.

Speaking (uh, writing?) of characters, I didn't hate any of them, but I didn't particularly like any of them either.  The author did a good job of explaining their actions and the reasons why they are like they are.  Though Cadence made stupid choices, I understood them.  Admittedly, the Aunties got on my nerves a fair bit, and the Granddad could be infuriating, but I didn't hate them because I grew to understand them.

As the mystery unfolded, I found myself more captivated, and I couldn't draw my eyes away from the words.  Except for one point when I did have to pause for a little because I was worried about my heart rate.  Seriously, it was that good.

Did I mention there's a map and a family tree at the beginning of the book?  If you needed another reason to pick this up, there it is.

I highly recommend this book for any fans of suspense or non-fluffy contemporaries.  Even if you're not the biggest fan of those genres, you might like this book.

I'm now going to go into a spoilery this-will-ruin-the-entire-book-for-you discussion of We Were Liars, so if you haven't read it... get out of here!

* There may also end up being spoilers in the comments, so read at your own risk *

Friday, 12 September 2014

My Book Life - Tag

Thank you very much Connie @The YA Book Thief for tagging me to do this post!  I'm going to follow what seems to be the unspoken rule of this tag and not mention a book twice.

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Who would be your father?
Mr Kadam from Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck is my pick.  He's always looking out for the characters and is just kind and awesome in general.  He acts a little more like a grandfather than a father, if you know what I mean.  The characters in these books are lucky to have him!

Who would be your mother?

Issa from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is my choice for this one.  Issa is just lovely, and again, very kind.  But she is also smart and can fight if it's necessary.
Who would be your sister?
I picked Jane Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for this one.  She's always looking for the best in people which would be good in a sister.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Mini Book Haul

It's not often that I get physical books of my own, so when I do, it's exciting!

It's especially thrilling for me when they arrive in the mail.  There's just something about not knowing when they're going to turn up...

So, you can imagine that I was exuberant when I arrived home from school yesterday to find not one, but two packages that I had been expecting on my bed.

Without further ado, here are some photos.  Please ignore my strange thumb, unfortunately Wingardium Leviosa was not working for me this afternoon.

I finally purchased Ruin and Rising!  I'm still yet to read Siege and Storm however.  I want to read the whole trilogy at once, so I'm waiting until I have sufficiently forgotten the events of Shadow and Bone.

I also bought Heir of Fire (as you can see).  And... I haven't read Crown of Midnight yet.  I'm hoping to read this series all the way through once I've finished school this year (only 6 weeks left until I finish classes, and 2 months to-the-day until I am finished all my final exams!).

Mum recently bought me The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, but I agreed that it was alright if she put it away until Christmas.  So I am going to be strong and wait until then.

Thanks for reading!  What was your last book purchase?  Did you get as excited as I did?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The TBR Tag

Thanks to Kelly @ Bibliophile Bliss for tagging me in this one!  I think I'll get straight into the questions, since the topic of this post is pretty obvious!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I use Goodreads.  It's not difficult to remember the books that I own that I am yet to read, as there is not many of them (currently 5), but there are way too many that I don't own to have them listed any other way.

Is your TBR mostly print, or ebook?

The ones I own are mostly physical copies.  I have a few ebooks on iBooks that were free from the iBooks store, so I got them on impulse.  Except for Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor - I'm saving that one for a rainy day.  Moving on...

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I never know what I'm going to read next until I pick it up.  Generally, it's something I'm in the mood for or something I've been recommended recently.  I also have a shelf on Goodreads with the books that I am most excited to read next.

What is a book that's been in your TBR the longest?

Fallen by Lauren Kate has been in my Goodreads TBR since March 2012 - presumably when I signed up.

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Everything Seemed Pretty
I feel late to the bandwagon on this one, but I finished reading The Winner's Curse.  I did have a couple issues with it, but it didn't take away from the entertainment the story provided me with.

Of course, I have to first mention the cover.  Yes, it's a "Girl in a Dress" cover, but not as I know them.  It's  unique, actually fits the story, and I think the typography on the front is gorgeous (it's shiny, which you can't tell from the picture).  My favourite part of the cover though is the actual book spine.  It's so beautiful and I wish I had a picture to put here, but I don't.

Anyway, moving on to the more important parts...

The novel follows Kestrel and Arin.  Kestrel is from the world of balls and socialites, whilst Arin works as a slave.  When Kestrel purchases Arin at a heavy price for her household, gossip flies around the community both within the Valorians - Kestrel's people -  and the Herrani - Arin's people.  What follows is completely unexpected to both the community and the reader.

The writing style in this book stood out to me the most.  The words often seemed to flow from the page, making it a fast read, and the descriptions made everything seem so pretty.  I thought the third-person point of view really worked well with the story, and I still became attached to the main two characters.

Kestrel and Arin were both intriguing characters who were smart and weren't too impulsive (which I appreciated), but I felt they still made some silly choices at times.  Not too many though, so I didn't mind that much.  I wish some of the side characters had been developed a little more, though I think that will happen in future books.  I am still confused about how I feel towards a couple of those characters.

The beginning of the novel seemed a little slow to me, as though not much was really happening, but I could feel tension building up as though something big was going to happen.  I was not disappointed, and around the middle of the novel I became more invested in the story.  I felt like the action really picked up from there.

Another slight issue I had was that in the last third of the book I had a little trouble figuring out the timeframe, which threw me off a bit.

Overall, I enjoyed The Winner's Curse and I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Soundtrack Saturday - Divergent

Soundtrack Saturday is a new meme/feature created by Erin over at The Hardcover Lover, where you choose a soundtrack for a book that you've read.  There's 4 guiding questions/statements, which I'm going to answer now for Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Just a warning, there may be slight spoilers in this post, but nothing that should ruin the book for you if by some chance you haven't read it yet :)

A Song I Think Goes Well with the Beginning of the Book:
I'll Make a Man Out of You from the Mulan soundtrack.  I suppose this isn't really for the immediate beginning of Divergent, but I think it fits with all the Dauntless training and Four's (rather than Eric's) perspective on the Transfers.

A Song I Think Fits a Character in the Book:
Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia.  I think this song represents Tris because no matter what is thrown at her, she never crumbles under the pressure.  She keeps going and pushes forward.

A Song I Think Represents a Relationship in the Book:
Borrow My Heart by Taylor Henderson.  This song seems to fit Fourtris well.  "Love is a feeling that you fear", "I won't let you go, when your world's in the dark" and "for you, I'll be brave" - please tell me you see the connections!

A Song I Think Fits the End of the Book:
Alone Together by Fall Out Boy.  I think the lyrics of this song captures the end of Divergent where (highlight to read)Four and Tris (and Co.) are leaving on the train, with no plans to go back.  Although they're heading to Amity HQ, they're not quite sure where they're going to go from there.

I had a bunch of fun writing this post!  I hope you liked it!  Link me to your own Soundtrack Saturdays :)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Q&A - Liebster Nomination

I was lucky enough to be nominated for another Liebster - many thanks to Andie @ Metaphorical Musings!  The rules for this were slightly different than my last post in that you are supposed to list 11 facts about yourself as well as answer the 11 questions.  As I have already nominated 11 people, I've decided that, like many other bloggers, I am just going to answer the questions.

So first, I have 11 facts about myself (I apologise in advance if they are all extremely boring to you, and I have tried not to repeat things that I have mentioned previously):

1.  If I’m not reading or wasting time on Goodreads, I’m either watching TV or Youtube videos….or on Tumblr.  Oh, and I do my homework occasionally too.

2.  I'm short-sighted, so I can't see things far away from me clearly.  I either wear my glasses or contacts everyday.

3.  I'm not only short-sighted, but short-heighted.  I am seriously the only person I know who will never be taller than their mum.

4.  I used to play and love netball.  Sometimes I catch myself missing it.

5.  I also used to learn karate.  Then my brother quit, and I was forced to as well.  This same thing also happened with swimming, basketball and tennis.

6.  I've always wanted to be a writer.  I do still plan to at least attempt to release a novel one day, but I think I'm better at coming up with ideas than actually writing them out.

7.  I'm a slow reader. *sob*

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It's a struggle.

8.  If I read a book that I really like, I generally force my parents to read it.  My dad is currently struggling through Allegiant (and has been for MONTHS) because he wants to finish the series now that he's started it.

9.  Being worried is part of my personality at this point.  I'm always stressed about something.  People have been telling me not to worry so much for my entire life.

10.  I'm also an extreme procrastinator and a bit of a perfectionist (about my own work).  This doesn't mix well with the worrying.

11.  I do not get along well with spiders, but I refuse to kill them.

Phew.  Now onto part two, which is the questions I was asked by Andie:

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Characters Who Would Be At My Lunch Table

Today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is the top ten book characters that would be sitting at my lunch table.  My list is going to include characters who I think would actually be my friends in real life, rather than who I would wish to be my friends... Okay, I'd probably wish for quite a few of these to be my friends too.

1.  Cather from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is like my twin.  We are so alike in many ways.  In fact, our alikeness, at times, made reading Fangirl an uncomfortable experience for me.  I could totally see myself living off of protein bars because I didn't want to go to the dining hall.  And I suppose whilst Cath is sitting at my table, Levi probably would too - not a bad bonus.

2.  Katy from the Lux books by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Katy is another character that is similar to me, if only through our love of books and appreciation of gardening.

3.  Thomas from Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
From what I remember of Thomas, he would probably fit right in at this table.  He's a loyal friend, so he would be welcome too.

4.  Ethan from Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Maybe I am getting book-Ethan mixed up with movie-Ethan, but he was a kind and funny character who I think would get along with everyone currently at the table.  He'd probably bring some much needed laughter as well.

5.  Angela from the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
Yeah, I went there.  Angela was gentle and kind and I think we'd be good friends.

6.  Simon and Clary from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
I like to think that I'd be friends with Simon and Clary.  Like Ethan, these characters would help balance the serious with the silly.  Plus, I'd love to tag along on some of their adventures.

7.  Tessa and Jem from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
On the topic of Cassandra Clare...  I feel Tessa would be welcomed at the table and again, she loves reading, so we'd have something to discuss.  I think Jem has the perfect personality to fit in with this group too, unlike my darling Will, who could intimidate a few of us.

8.  Al from Divergent by Veronica Roth
I think Al would easily be friends with most of this group.  Perhaps they could teach him a few things about loyalty and bravery as well...

9.  Luna and Neville from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
Must I elaborate on this?  Again, I believe these two would get along with everyone.

That's my list!  I've only got 9 books but I kind of cheated and included 12 characters.  I'm surprised how into this I got, but this week's theme was a lot of fun!  Would you pick any of the same characters?  Be sure to link me to your TTT in the comments! :) 
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