Monday, 30 March 2015

Movie Monday (4)

Movie Monday  can be found here @ Mindful MusingsIt’s where  two of my favorite things come together: books...and movies! We've got everything from ideal castings for your favorite book to movie, recommendations based on the books you've read and liked. 

So this weeks Book Casting is..

Magic Bites

by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)My Cast

This week I have stepped out of the YA genre for Movie Monday, and into the realm of Urban Fantasy. I felt like a bit of a change, but also these characters really stuck out for me and I could so easily visualize them. Hence, why they are featured this week.

Firstly we have Kate Daniels our heroine of the book. She reminds me a bit of Buffy (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). She's a kick ass mercenary who lives life by her own rules. She's not afraid to bring the fight, and wields an awesome sword called 'Slayer'. She's definitely not someone you want to be getting mad. Eva Green totally gives off a 'Don't mess with me' vibe and I could see her fulfilling the role of Kate perfectly

Next we have Curran, Leader of the Free Beasts aka Pack Leader of the Atlanta shape-changers. Blonde haired with a roughed up edge. He can be intimidating, arrogant and pretty annoying when he wants to be. Especially when he's trying to get under Kate's skin. But despite this, the two work well together. His animal form is a Lion and with good self control he mostly keeps it leashed... unless necessary. Charlie Hunnam with his blonde hair and beard felt like the perfect fit.  

 If you've read the book, Who would you cast as these characters? I’d love to hear your thoughts (and see your pictures) Or link back with your own Movie Monday post with a book of your choosing.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (19)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Broke And The Bookish.

Top Five Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit

To be perfectly honest I didn't do a lot of reading when I was younger. I actually had difficulty reading so I tended to shy away from it. My real passion for reading didn't come until a bit later in life. But some books that I definitely remember loving as a kid/ teen are below. 

The Forestwife Trilogy

The Forest Wife Trilogy

Theresea Tomlinson

Mary, 15 years old and an orphan, must flee into Sherwood Forest to avoid an arranged marriage. There her life truly begins, for she finds a community of heroic outlaws that includes a woman with seemingly magical healing powers and a young man who is bravely leading the fight against tyranny. This man is Robin Hood, and Mary will soon be known as Maid Marian, the green lady of the woods.

- A retelling of Robinhood. That I remember weaving magic, romance and adventure all into one. I read this when I was still in high-school (probably 10 years ago now) and remember staying in bed all day on the weekends absorbed by the plot and characters.  

Friends, Freak-outs and Very Secret Secrets (Ally's World, #4)

Ally's World Series

Karen McCombie

Meet the Love children: oh-so-perfect Linn, airy-fairy Rowan, animal-obsessed Tor - and Ally, trying to have a normal life somewhere in the middle of it all. Which isn't easy when you live in a house that's a cross between an animal hospital and something out of 'Changing Rooms'. And then there's school and the small matter of the forgotten history project and the obnoxious new girl that - oh joy! - Ally's been nominated to look after. It's going to be a fun couple of weeks...

- This series was my guilty pleasure when I was younger. There was something so relatable about the main character, and her struggle with teenage-hood, boys, absent parents and annoying siblings.

Search for Senna (Everworld, #1)

Everworld Series

K. A. Applegate

David's life was pretty normal. School. Friends. Girlfriend. Actually, Senna was probably the oddest aspect of his life. She was beautiful. Smart. But there was something very different about her. Something strange.
And on the day it began, everything happened so quickly. One moment, Senna was with him. The next, she was swallowed up by the earth, her screams echoing from far, far away. David couldn't just let her go. Neither could the others. His friends and hers. So, they followed. And found themselves in a world they could have never imagined. 
Now they have to find Senna and get home without losing their lives. Or their minds. Or both...

- I can’t remember much about this series, except the feeling it gave me when I was reading it. I remember the suspense and intrigue of the mystical world the author had created. My plan is to start reading this series again and see where it takes me. 

Girls Under Pressure (Girls, #2)

Girls Series

Jaqueline Wilson

Magda is tall and glamorous, Nadine is willowy and 'gothic' and Ellie, well, Ellie thinks she is unattractive and boring and that no boy will ever be interested in her. The three girls have been best friends 'forever' even though they don't seem to have much in common. But one thing they all want is a boyfriend!

- Jaqueline Wilson was a staple of my childhood reading experience. Her characters dealt with real issues (like eating disorders and body image) that as a teen were easy to identify with.

The Raging Quiet

The Raging Quiet

Sherryl Jordan

A captivating tale of two remarkable and extraordinary young people - Marnie, a courageous young woman, and Raver, a strange and spirited young man - whose only real crimes are that they are different. Set within a chilling world of predjudices and hypocrisy, ignorance and self-righteousness, The Raging Quiet explores the tenderness of love and friendship and the power to overcome the injustice of being different. This is the story of two outsiders in medieval times. Both are set apart from their small community: Marnie because she is a newcomer, brought to the seaside village by her new - and much older - husband, and Raver because he is the village lunatic. subsequent isolation pushes her towards Raver - and an important discovery: the villagers have mistaken his deafness for madness.

- This one of my all-time favourite books. Every time I try and describe it I’m speechless. It’s a beautiful story of love overcoming obstacles. It has everything, including witch trials, a historic setting, romance and a happily ever after.

Other Honorable Mentions

The Haunted Mask (Goosebumps, #11)Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1)Five on a Treasure Island (Famous Five, #1)Mary Anne Saves the Day (The Baby-Sitters Club, #4)

What books did you love from your childhood?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Review- Biggest Flirts- Superlatives #1(Jennifer Echols)

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)


Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger. 

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…                               

My Review 

So Will is the new boy at school. Pretty much upon his arrival he meets Tia at a party and the two end up hooking up. However when they both realise that they want different things- Tia, just a casual hook-up and Will, a relationship. Things don’t work out and they end up just becoming friends. There is obvious chemistry between them though, and their constant flirting leads them to be nominated Biggest Flirts for their senior superlative. This comes as a huge shock to both of them….and also Wills current girlfriend.

So, let’s begin with what I didn’t like, so we can end on a high note.

To begin with I found the main character, Tia, hard to relate to.  She had her mind set on not succeeding in life because of the responsibilities which came with it. Which led her to constantly not live up to her potential. I found this incredibly frustrating especially when she is clearly blessed with brains (and beauty). Even with her hobby which she is passionate about, which is being part of the drum line in band, she throws competitions between other members in order not to reach the coveted position of drum captain ( apposition which she clearly deserves based on her talent), because of the responsibility it holds in her mind.

"I always do well on drums. I'm a good drummer. I just don't want to come in first, because first chair is drum captain and has to be in charge."
- Jennifer Echols (Biggest Flirts)

In addition to this, I found that Tia played games in her relationship with Will.  One minute she wanted him, and the next she didn’t (or told herself this anyway). All because of a secret covenant she had made with herself to not date. Which stems from her belief that her older sisters lives have been ruined by men in the past as they have either gotten pregnant, dropped out of school or ended up with abusive boyfriends. I can kind of understand her reluctance to get involved with him based on this but her games just felt juvenile. I felt like if she acted so immature, she obviously wasn’t ready to be in a real relationship anyway.

"So your seeing him again?" Will asked. "You didn't tell me that."...
...Part of me wanted to tell him I was seeing Sawyer, just to give him a taste of what I'd felt like when he'd lain on the beach with his hands on Angelica.
- Jennifer Echols (Biggest Flirts)

Now for what I liked. Firstly there was one redeeming facet of Tia that I really liked. Prior to meeting Will she was a bit of a player. She tended to hook-up with guys a lot, and wasn’t ashamed of it. That might sound like a weird reason to like a character, but I hate slut shaming in books and I think girls should be able to explore their sexuality as much as guys, and Tia owned that.

I thought it was really cool that Will and Tia’s hobby was marching band, which meant it was  the main setting for most of the story and that their passion over the same craft was something they could connect over. I haven’t read any stories before where the characters where in marching band, and I thought it was a really nice touch.

I was also a fan of the supporting character Sawyer. At first I was a little apprehensive about him. I had this feeling that because he was Tia’s friend/ Friend with benefits that he would get jealous of her relationship with Will and try and ruin everything. Not to say there weren’t moments where he and Will obviously didn’t get along. But I felt that in the end he turned out to be a big softy, and if I were to read another book in this series that I would want him to be the focus.

Overall I feel quite alone in not liking this book. But I think that my biggest obstacle was Tia’s character, and the lack of connection to her just made the whole story less enjoyable for me. I have liked this authors books before, and I am willing to give the next book in the series a try, as I had no problems with the actual writing. 

My rating: 2/5

Other Books In The Series
Perfect Couple (Superlatives, #2)   Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives, #3)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Waiting On Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

What We Saw

(Aaron Hartzler)
Expected publication: September 22nd 2015
What We Saw
Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?
This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time

Why I'm Waiting for it: 

I feel like this book is going to have a lot of suspense and mystery to it. I just hope that it doesn't turn out overly predictable, and that there are lots of twists and turns that keep me guessing. 

What book are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (18)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Broke And The Bookish.

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List

So for this list I’m going to break mine down into old books/series that are on my TBR for Spring and new releases for spring 2015 that I can’t wait to get my hands on. So let’s crack on….

New Spring 2015 Releases

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Crimson Bound

These 3 I am definitely going to make an effort to get to. Ever since I read Throne of Glass I have been waiting for a Court of Thorns and Roses to come out. Crimson Bound and End of days, are follows ups to amazing series which I have been impatiently waiting for their release. 

JoyrideSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

As I've mentioned previously I love when non- heterosexual relationships are explored in YA, and I've been hearing so many good things about Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. As for joyride, I'm not too sure on this one yet, I really like the synopsis, bu I haven't been a huge fan of Anna Banks' books in the past. But I'm happy to give her books another go, especially since she's writing in a slightly different genre. 

Old Releases on My TBR for Spring

Paper TownsUglies (Uglies, #1)

Paper towns has been on my TBR for ages (I even own my own copy) so I don't know why it's taken me so long to get to it. Uglies will be a re-read, but I feel like it's been so long since I read it, and I need to refresh my mind before I continue on in the series. 

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)Withering Hope17 First Kisses

I've heard great things about these last 3. They all seem like relatively quick reads to, so they'll be perfect to read during my lunch break at work this spring.

What books are on your 2015 Spring TBR?

If We Were Having Coffee #2

I have no idea who originally created this post, but I saw one on Book Nerd Canada's blog a little while back and thought it was a great idea to let readers updated on my life...only if they're interested :)

If we were having coffee,  would tell you that this week has been so super hectic at work that I literally crashed every night when I got home. Which means my reading has slowed down a lot this week. However despite this, I got to scrub in on a Splenectomy for a dog, which is so far the highlight of my career. I know some people are squeamish, but it was the most amazing feeling holding the spleen and assisting the vet to remove it. Then taking out the intestines to assess for metastases of the tumour. I don’t know why, but I totally get my kicks from this kind of stuff haha. I also proudly kept my cool during an emergency over the weekend where a cat had fallen 6 storey’s from a balcony and was in respiratory distress and was unable to walk.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I got to celebrate one of my best friend’s weddings this past weekend. I am so proud of him. He and his new wife have overcome so many obstacles to get to where they are today, and I couldn't be happier for them both. It was such a beautiful ceremony and reception, with a mixture of classic wedding, along with traditional Indian/Sri Lankan traditions. Including an awesome Bollywood dance for their first dance and delicious curries for dinner. 

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me about your life at the moment?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Review- Miss Peregrine Home for Peculiar Children- Graphic Novel (Ransom Riggs + Cassandra Jean)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel


Ransom Riggs's haunting fantasy bestseller adapted to a graphic novel! 
As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.

My Review 

This book was not what I thought it was going to be AT ALL. I’ve actually had little interest in reading the original novel form of this book, despite its surge in popularity a couple years back. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really care for the synopsis, it didn’t grip me and came off as a poor thriller-esque book. However reading a graphic novel is far less investment, so that’s exactly what I did.

Jacob is a teenager who grew up with his Grandfather telling him outrageous stories surrounding his childhood in a children’s home on a small island, supported with photo evidence of the wacky and weird other children he lived with. Jacob loves his grandfather’s tales until he becomes a teenager and sees them as ridiculously far-fetched. However after his grandfather’s death, he decides to visit the island of his Grandfathers childhood for himself, as a form of closure and what he finds there is definitely not what he was expecting.

This story completely blew me away. It turned into so much more than I thought it would be. Despite some of the difficult ideas around time-travel and looping that were introduced, it all made sense. I wasn't left struggling to figure out what on earth was going on, as I sometimes do in poorly explained YA with these elements.

The little blooming romance that developed was bittersweet in a way, you’ll know what I mean if you've read the story… or maybe it was just me who felt that way. But in its own way it was sweet and I liked that it didn't take over the story, and was just an addition which enhanced the characters.

The ending left on a bit of a cliff-hanger, which definitely entailed that there were far more adventures to come, which I’m excited about. Overall, the graphic novel, while merely a thoughtless addition to my library hall, blew me away and actually made me so excited to read the full book and its sequel. 

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Waiting On Wednesday (8)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Fans of The Impossible Life

(Kate Scelsa)
Expected publication: September 8th 2015

Fans of the Impossible Life

This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby. 

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with a mischievous glint in his eye.
Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives. 

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.A captivating and profound debut novel, "Fans of the Impossible Life" is a story about complicated love and the friendships that change you forever.


Why I'm Waiting for it: 

I love when YA features LGBT characters, and it looks like this book may take it a step further with a possible love triangle?  which makes me even more excited. For some reason I have high expectations for this book, and I feel like it's going to be reminiscent of something John Green might write; profound and soul crushing, with a mix of wit and sarcasm.

What book are you waiting for this week?

Monday, 9 March 2015

Movie Monday (3)

Movie Monday  can be found here @ Mindful MusingsIt’s where  two of my favorite things come together: books...and movies! We've got everything from ideal castings for your favorite book to movie, recommendations based on the books you've read and liked. 

So this weeks Book Casting is..

The F-It List

by Julie Haplern Cast

For me Alex and Leo are the two main characters who really stood out for me, so I've decided to cast them this Movie Monday.  

I can't remember her exact physical description in the book, but I always imagine Alex to be a petite, brunette, who has a very individual style leaning towards punk rock. She is straight-up and doesn't really take crap from anybody. For some reason her small stature and biting personality, reminds me of those small dogs who'll take on anyone. She's fiercely loyal of her friend Becca, but has trouble getting close to anyone else and has a tendency to push them away. 

Leo, is not your clean-cut, perfect male hero. He has problems of his own, but he's always there for Alex when she needs him, even if she can't always do the same for him. Physically he's quite tall, with a narrow but muscular frame. He can constantly be seen wearing an army jacket, and a beanie.

Together they make the perfect couple. They share similar interests especially in regards to horror movies, and comic conventions. Their difference in height, is also perfect for Leo to comfort her with a forehead kiss. 

 If you've read the book, Who would you cast as these characters? I’d love to hear your thoughts (and see your pictures) Or link back with your own Movie Monday post with a book of your choosing.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Feature and Follow (16)

Here's this weeks question:


Do you have any Furry friends? Share a picture

I can not express how much I love the question this week!
I have two permanent furry friends, although being a veterinary nurse means my home is a transient animal rescue for fostering animals. 

As for my own fur babies, I have Taylor my silver tabby cat a rescue whose now 6 years old. Who I swear taunts me every morning when I have to get up for work by languidly stretching out in bed (just as shown below). Then I have Penelope (Penny) my labrador x border collie who is a hyperactive eating machine (who is no longer a puppy, but I miss these innocent days so decided to put in a puppy photo of her)

Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

What's Next (2)

What's Next? Hosted by IceyBooks

What's Next? Is a cute little weekly feature hosted by IceyBooks, where you can get readers to help you decide what you should read next from your TBR.

Readers can rank the books, or just give their opinion on which was their favorite. If you want to join in head over to IceyBooks and link up your post :)

So I intend on participating in this feature monthly (rather than weekly) and posting 3-5 books at the start of the month which I'm interested in reading next. Instead of posting a synopsis, I'm  going to post the first sentence of each book as a teaser, and see which ones you guys vote for.

This Month

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld, #1)

"One day my father walked into his Back Bay apartment to find a blonde woman asleep on his couch. Nine months later, I appeared on his doorstep."
- Skylar Dorset (The Girl Who Never Was)

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

"Looking back, none of this would have ever happened if I'd brought lip gloss the night of the homecoming dance."
- Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle)

Playlist for the Dead

"All my years of watching TV made me think it was possible you could  find a dead body and not know it until you turned the person over and found the bullet hole or stab wound or whatever."
- Michelle Falkoff (Playlist for the Dead)

From the first lines of each book (or based on if you enjoyed them) which book should I read next?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Review- The F-It List (Julie Halpern)

The F- It List


With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer. 

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family. 
But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer. 
So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it

My Review 

Alex’s father has just died, and to top things off her best friend, Becca, has just been diagnosed with cancer. While being laid up in bed, while undergoing chemotherapy, Becca imbues Alex with the special task of completing her bucket list; a list of things that she has kept since a child of things she wants to do in life. While some of the tasks are pretty straight forward (eating a hot pepper) some are far more difficult for Alex to complete (Have sex with someone you’re in love with). But ever the best friend, Alex steps up to the challenge, ensuing lots of laughs and definitely a tear here and there.

As a character I really liked Alex. She was very unique and really stuck out as someone I could have easily known in High-school. She’s an old-school style horror movie fanatic, cynical about life, straight up and sarcastic as hell… and I adored her. The chemistry between her and Becca was amazing and spoke of true friendship. Their dialogue flowed so naturally and always ended up in a weird perverted place…..reminding me of me and my own best friend.

Surprisingly, the stories focus is actually less on her best friend’s cancer, and more about her struggles after her father’s death and her friends diagnosis and the ever increasing feeling that somehow she is a fault for them. She carries a lot of guilt around and whenever she starts to feel happy aka when she starts to get involved with Leo, a boy she’s had a longstanding crush on, she chastises herself for being happy while her best friend could possibly die. In turn this stops her from being able to really get close to anyone, especially Leo, who she constantly tries to pull away from.

Ahhh, Leo. At first I wasn’t a huge fan. He definitely didn't live up to my clean cut hero ideals. He himself is dealing with his own struggles, a brother serving in the war who his parents idealize while he feels unnoticed. However, as the story progresses I could see how perfectly he and Alex fit together. 

Despite the premise and the main characters struggles, the story is dealt with in a humorous and witty way, which doesn't subtract from the underlying journey of the characters and the message that this book holds. 

Things I loved about the book:

  • The movie and TV show references, and the fact  that Alex and Becca have Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons.
  • The overall reminder that life can be short and to make the most of it while you can. Don't hold back, do what you love and 'throw caution to the wind'.
  • That the main love interest was flawed in his own way. He wasn't this clean cut hero, that swooped in and saved the day. He was real and adorably sweet as well.

Things I didn't like about the book:

  • I felt a little like the bucket list got a little lost along the way. It definitely featured, but it wasn't the main focus as I had originally expected. 

My rating: 3/5

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