Sunday, 16 November 2014


So, it's been a week since my last post and I had several posts planned for the last week.  What I found though, was that I didn't like anything I'd written.  I like my ideas, but my execution was very poor.  I didn't feel excited about anything I wanted to post, because I knew that I could do it better.  I'm also currently fairly unhappy with my blog layout and design.  This has led to a long stream of procrastinating on writing new posts, and now I am behind.

Because of this, I have decided to take a further two weeks off of blogging.  I think this will help refresh me, and will give me time to come up with new ideas and to refine the ones I already have.  I realise three weeks is a pretty long time, and I would probably have just made it two, but I am going away for a week soon without internet.

Other updates:
-  The Retribution of Mara Dyer has still not arrived which is making me increasingly frustrated considering I preordered it and the longer it takes the more chance there is that I am going to see a spoiler.
-  I am officially finished high school as of last Tuesday, when I had my final exam, so I am free!  (Another reason why this blogging rut is so frustrating - I seriously have all the time in the world right now).

I apologise that I am going to be inactive in terms of posting for the next little while, but I hope that you can understand my reasons, and hopefully I will be better at blogging when I return!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Gif Tag

I've been tagged!  Noelia over at A Day in Bookland has kindly tagged me for the Gif Tag, in which you respond to different books with, you guessed it, gifs.  So, a huge thank you to Noelia, and here goes:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This was a sad one.  Brilliant, but sad.  I loved it.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I am hiding my face because I have not yet read it.  I plan to.  Soon.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

Historical fiction?  Sounds good.  973 page classic?  Not so much.
I don't think I could handle this one at this point in time.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Too Many Expectations

First and foremost, this is a love story.  It is also a survival tale and it is sci-fi, but it is a love story before either of those things.  This is not what I was expecting going into the book, and perhaps that is why I didn’t like it as much as I was expecting.

The novel follows Lilac and Tarver, members from different societal classes, and their attempts to survive on a seemingly abandoned planet after their space ship is destroyed.  It is nicely written, and the character development is the strongest part of the book.

My main issue was how slow it was.  I was not fully captivated by the story until the last hundred or so pages - when most of the action happened, and a certain event (spoiler:[Lilac’s death]) occurred.  If I’d known before picking this up that the majority of the story is just Lilac and Tarver wandering around a planet, I don’t think I would have minded as much (or perhaps I wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place).  Sometimes I felt as though the book was never going to end - not a good feeling.

So much of the story was just the characters narrating about their thoughts and feelings, and whilst I don’t have too much tolerance for that at the best of times, it also became repetitive.  Before the last third of the novel, this included a lot of whining from both characters too, making it even worse.  They did have their good moments though (and some funny ones), and I appreciated the development that the characters went through and how the changes weren’t instantaneous - they happened steadily over the course of the novel.  Lilac and Tarver became less annoying and a lot less whiny (well, in relation to their situation), which suited me.  I experienced a bit of frustration at times, though.  I wanted to scream “JUST EXPLAIN!” on more than one occasion.

I enjoyed the mystery element to the novel.  There were snippets of an interrogation between Tarver and someone else before each chapter that tied in with the events, which added a feeling of suspense and was probably the sole reason I kept reading after page 100.  My interest was piqued every time I got to one of these snippets, and it was like a little refresher for my boredom; something to stimulate theory-building.  And I had tonnes of theories.  None of them ended up being anywhere near correct, but then again, I don’t think you could guess the ending.

Speaking Typing of the ending: it was very science-y and a little hard to understand what was going on, yet it was the fastest paced part of the book.  I wish there had been more explanation as to [what had happened in the past to these aliens-things] but I can understand that this wouldn't be an issue for some people.

I felt that the ending for the characters was suitable except I also wanted more information on this!  [What happens in the future to them?  Do they really get left alone by Lilac's father?  Is Lilac's threat even valid anymore since the planet was destroyed after all?]  I'm kind of hoping it will be explained further somehow in the next books - though I believe this is an uncommon opinion, and most people think that it was wrapped up nicely.

So, I guess I liked this book, just not as much as I was hoping to.  I would recommend it if you are a fan of the 'star-crossed lovers' theme, or if you like survival stories.  As long as you don't mind the slow pacing.

Have you read These Broken Stars?  Are you planning to?  Let me know your thoughts below!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Top Ten Books I Would Like to Reread

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is books that you would like to reread.  Most of my reading in my younger years was made up of rereading.  I hardly ever tried new books, because I had plenty that I already owned and loved.  Which, looking back, seems kind of strange.  Now that I have aged a little (and er... discovered Goodreads) I'm overwhelmed with the sheer amount of books out there that I am interested in and I hardly ever reread books anymore.  Anyway, the below list is ten books that I am planning to reread sometime in the future!

1.  The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The final book in this trilogy finally comes out TODAY!  I'm so excited that I'm rereading the first two books whilst waiting for my preorder to ship to me.

2.  Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I read this earlier in the year, and purposefully didn't pick up Siege and Storm immediately.  This is mostly because I have heard some not-so-good things about the next two books in the trilogy, so I want to forget what happened in Shadow and Bone and then reread it without it being tainted by possibly bad knowledge of the future.  If that makes any sense at all.

3.  Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Are you sick of me talking about this trilogy yet?  I'm planning to reread the first two books in the trilogy so that I can read the last book with fresh memories of the previous happenings.

4.  Harry Potter (the entire series) by J.K. Rowling
This doesn't need explaining.  There is never a bad time to reread Harry.  Side note, for some reason I find the synopsis on Goodreads for this version funny:
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy - until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!

5.  The Princess and the Captain by Anne-Laure Bondoux (translated by Anthea Bell)
I discovered this book at a cheap book store when I was in Year 7 - so, around 6 years ago.  It was a book that I was not expecting to enjoy, but it pulled me in and took me on a stunning journey.  I feel like this book is relatively undiscovered (it has 1, 341 ratings on Goodreads) and depending on your whereabouts, you can get it super cheap.  It's a fantasy/adventure book and I have reread it so many times, but I will always go back to it (no matter how much it breaks my heart).

6.  Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Another book you're probably sick of me discussing!  I enjoyed this book when I read it this year, but it was slow to start because it took a while for me to understand what was going on (I discovered the glossary at the back of the book when I finished).  I really loved the second half of this book though, so I feel that if I come back to it, I will love the whole thing even more.

7.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Okay... so I talk about the same books a lot.  Anyway, I have so much love for this trilogy (really; it makes me happy just thinking about it) and can definitely see myself rereading it in the future.

8.  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Can't get enough Will Herondale - or Charlotte, Henry, Tessa, Jem, Sophie, Magnus... any of the characters really.  This is an amazing trilogy which will stay with me forever.

9.  Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
This book.  It is a part of my soul.

10.  Trixie Belden books by Kathryn Kenny
This mystery series has approximately 39 books.  I own and have read up to book 34.  I adored these stories when I was younger (as did my mum and her sisters), and it would be amazing if I somehow found the time to revisit all of them (and even find the books I never read somewhere).

That's my Top Ten Tuesday for today!  Be sure to share your top ten with me!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Mini Reviews ft. Crown of Midnight, Messenger and Son

Best.  Sequel.  Ever.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
I absolutely loved this book - it was a big step up from Throne of Glass in my opinion.  There was a lot more happening, and there wasn't a dull moment.  I liked seeing more of Celaena in action and seeing her relationships with other characters develop.  We also find out a fair bit about the world of the series, which I enjoyed.  I'm glad I read The Assassin's Blade before this however.  I think it really adds to the story, because Celaena reflects on some of the happenings from the novellas, and it's nice to know exactly what happened.  Dorian wasn't as present in this novel, which was a little sad, but I like the direction he's heading in.  My affection for Chaol also grew a lot in this one.  Highlight for spoiler:[That moment when he told Celaena he would run away with her made me cry.  Not joking.  I felt so awful for him when Celaena got mad at him for Nehemia's death (which by the way, I was actually really shocked by), because he was only trying to do the right thing.].  Nehemia was great too, I loved how she stayed true to herself throughout the novel.  I can't wait to get into Heir of Fire and see where the story goes.

Messenger by Lois Lowry
This is the third book in The Giver Quartet.  My favourite thing about this book was hearing about some characters from the previous two books.  However, I did find this one to be upsetting, despite being spoiled for one major event [He had so much more to live for!  Why did he have to die?!].  The tone of the novel was one of sadness, even though the ending was hopeful.  I liked the characters, especially the Blind Man.  I enjoyed the conversation between him and Matty, the main character.  Another drawback was Matty's constant insistence that they needed a Gaming Machine.  This was mentioned approximately two million times throughout the novel and by halfway through it was really getting on my nerves.  The plot was intriguing, especially the trading part.  Overall, I found Messenger to be entertaining, and definitely worth reading if you've read The Giver.
❀ Nice ❀

Good Conclusion

Son by Lois Lowry
As the last book in The Giver quartet, the length of this was a surprise.  It was about three times the length of each of the others, and sometimes I was a little puzzled as to why that was.  The biggest problem I had with Son was that occasionally it could be boring as though it had lost sight of where it was heading.  The first section of the book seemed unnecessarily drawn out to me.  I did enjoy the overall story, though some things seemed overly simplified and others overly complicated (I know, this doesn't make much sense, but if you've read it: [To have the final ending be the quashing of Evil... it was nice, but all too simple.  The cliff climbing was the main part that seemed to complicated.  So.  Much.  Training.]).  As with Messenger, I loved seeing characters from the previous instalments.  I also appreciated how everything tied up together and the ending was fairly satisfying.  I would definitely recommend this quartet.
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