Month: December 2015

2015 Favourites

 So it’s time to bid farewell to 2015, and hello to 2016! May the coming year be filled with new favourite books for all of us!

This year has been a great year of reading for me. I haven’t read many books that were published within the year, but I’m going to list the best ones I’ve read over the year, regardless of when they were published.

At the start of the summer I read the Divergent series. This trilogy is the one that got me back into reading!

This dystopian series follows Tris, Four and dozens of other characters stuck in a world of hidden truths. Together, they fight against the society, discovering the truth to their existence.

Divergent is an incredibly popular series, now with movie adaptations. Veronica Roth is the creator of the hugely famous factions – Dauntless, Candor, Amity, Erudite and Abnegation. It’s a massively successful trilogy, and I can see why. There are tons of emotional happenings, not to mention the heartbreaking ending. I gave each of these books five stars, I loved them so much.


My next favourites this year are the Ultraviolet series by R.J. Anderson. I did actually read the first book a while ago, but I reread it this year, followed by the sequel.

I’ve never found anything like Ultraviolet. 16-year-old Alison is in a mental institution, following the disappearance of a girl from school. She thinks she killed her somehow – she watched her disappear, right in front of her. While stuck in the institution, Alison meets Faraday, who’s researching tetrechromacy – a condition where people can see sounds, as well as the ultraviolet spectrum. Alison’s mother has always called her crazy, so the knowledge of this condition is a great relief to Alison. Faraday isn’t who he claims to be, though. In fact, he isn’t what he claims to be, either. He isn’t human.

I loved this book the first time round, and I loved it the second time. The second book isn’t quite as good in my opinion, but it’s still a good book that’s worth reading.


Another series I love is the Splintered series. The first novel is a whimsical twist of the famous novel Alice in Wonderland, where Alyssa must go down the rabbit hole to free her family of the Liddell curse. She meets some amazing, unique creatures on her journey, which she makes with her crush Jeb. But each of them nearly lose their lives in Wonderland, and they have to make some difficult decisions.

Unhinged, the second novel in the series, features Morpheus – the “caterpillar” – venturing into the human realm. But he’s not alone – the Red Queen is on a rampage, and she’s trying to take Jeb and keep him prisoner in Wonderland.

I gave both books five stars, as I simply love anything to do with Wonderland. They’re modern, funky, and just great reads. I’m looking forward to reading the next couple of books. You can read my full review of Splintered and Unhinged.


More Than This by Patrick Ness is another new favourite of mine. A boy awakes in a deserted world, seemingly alone and with no recollection of who or where he is. His memories are slowly restored as he meets with other kids stranded in this lonely world, and they realise what has happened. This is a strange dystopian novel, where people live online rather than in the real world. I really loved this book, and obviously gave it five stars.

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More Than This by Patrick Ness – Hardback


Another novel I fell in love with this year is The Girl at Midnight. It was surprising that I fell in love with this novel the way I did, as it’s not usually the sort of book I really like.

Echo has been befriended by the Avicen people, an ancient race of magical, feathered beings. These people are at war, and it’s up to Echo to find the firebird and end the conflict.

I gave this five stars as well, because I just fell in love with it immediately. It’s original, and wonderfully written. A definite favourite of mine this year.

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The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – Paperback, 361 pages – Published April 28th 2015 by ATOM


I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson stole my heart this year. It tells the tale of twins Noah and Jude, following the separation of their parents. Noah is in love with another boy, and Jude is struggling to find her place in the world. She falls in love while working with a famous sculptor, and rediscovers the love shared by her and her brother.

I loved everything about this book, from the writing style, the metaphors and the plot to the layout and quotes displayed artistically on certain pages. Five stars for this wonderful novel. My full review is here.

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I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – Paperback, 429 pages – Published April 2nd 2015 by Walker Books


Another novel I discovered this year is Paperweight by Meg Haston. Stevie is struggling to cope with her brother’s death, feeling responsible for the incident. She’s also struggling with an eating disorder, and has been sent to a treatment unit. This is something I could relate with, hence why I like it so much. But this book also talks about abuse, different sexualities and dealing with grief, which I thought was just great. Five stars, I’d definitely recommend this. Read the full review.

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Paperweight by Meg Haston – Paperback


Now the next book was quite surprising. It seems like a typical young adult fantasy, but I just loved it. It was emotional, exciting and filled with action. It wasn’t a romance (thank God), and features some unlikely friendships. Not to mention the shock of finding Kali’s mother…

The book I’m talking about is Every Other Day. It’s about Kali, who’s a human every other day, and a supernatural monster hunter in between. When she takes the deadly bite of a chupacabra from popular-bitch Bethany, it has a very different effect on her. After thinking she was alone for so many years, she discovers that “her kind” come in pairs – meaning she’s far less alone than she ever imagined.

You can read my review here. I was really quite surprised by this book, thinking it was going to be just like every other book in this category. But it was unique, and it actually broke my heart at one point. Another five star book here.

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Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Paperback, 329 pages – Published February 2nd 2012 by Quercus


This year I finally managed to read some of the famous Hitchhiker series by Douglas Adams. The first two books were absolutely amazing! They’re hilarious, eccentric, and oddly genius. The third book wasn’t quite as good in my opinion, but I’m looking forward to reading the next instalments nonetheless.

I’m not going to try and summarise each novel here as this post is already long enough, but here are the links to my reviews of the first three books: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, the Universe and Everything.


I nearly forgot to mention this last novel. I read Eleanor & Park this year, and although it was good, it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. But then I read another of Rainbow Rowell’s novels, Fangirl, and loved it! It’s a cute, relatable story about sisterly love, separated parents, fiction writing and romance. It contains dozens of very real anxieties and thoughts, and is easy to read. Another book awarded five stars by me! Here’s my review.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Paperback, 461 pages – Published January 30th 2014 by Pan Macmillan


I’m sorry that was such a long post! This year has been crazy! Feel free to comment on your favourite books you’ve read this year, and please vote on my poll – which is the best book published in 2015? You can access it from the home page of my blog.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful new year.

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WWW Wednesdays

What am I currently reading?

I’m still reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I’m afraid, as well as Evergreen, Am I Normal Yet? and Wreck and Order.

What did I finish reading recently?

The only book I managed to finish this week was Alice Takes Back Wonderland.

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What am I reading next?

Next up are The Amazing Book is Not on Fire, The Fallen Star, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and The Five Times I Met Myself.

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Sorry…

I’m really sorry I’ve not been updating my blog as much as I used to! I’m going to try to get back on track with my weekly tags, and finish and review the books I’m currently reading ASAP. In the meantime, I think I’m going to have to discontinue my daily Last Line Read posts. Sorry guys!

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Book Review: Alice Takes Back Wonderland

Professional Reader

Usually, I read ebooks in the order my request to review them is accepted. However, I had to make an exception for this as it’s based on Alice in Wonderland – my favourite story. I was given the chance to review this book by NetGalley, who provided me with a free copy in return for my review.

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Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons – eBook (Galley), 270 pages – Published September 28th 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press

This is a great, original book. It combines dozens of fairytales in one story, each tale and character with their own little twist.

17-year-old Alice from Missouri is on medication for ADHD and schizophrenia, which she was diagnosed with after an alleged visit to Wonderland ten years ago. She’s spent all this time trying to accept that Wonderland isn’t real – until the White Rabbit turns up at her house and pushes her back down the rabbit hole.

With the help of the Mat Hatter, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and many others, Alice has to defeat the Ace of Spades, who is removing the Wonder from Wonderland, and trying to turn it into the human world. Alice travels between Wonderland, Neverland and even the Grimm Kingdom, gaining allies and developing a plan. Along her way, Alice rescues Tinkerbelle from Hook (or Captain Gepetto, the father of Pinocchio who’s been mistaken for the crock’odial for quite some time), brings down the Gingerbread Man (a villain in Grimm), reunites Queen Cinderella Charming with her daughter Snow White, and even falls in love with Peter Pan.

Basically, this is a cross of all my favourite stories. I’m now in love with the idea of Alice and Peter Pan being an item, with each of them being one of my uttermost favourite characters. The idea is that echoes of Wonderland, Neverland, Grimm etc reach the human world through the rabbit hole, inspiring the stories we grow up loving. But as they are only echoes, many details aren’t quite right.

There’s a lot of action in this novel, especially toward the end. Like I said, all the characters are wonderfully unique, and have nice little quirks. Some of the writing is kind of… simple, but still descriptive. It’s also rather repetitive at times, though this is sometimes used to it’s advantage – certain quotes are repeated from the original book by Caroll, entwining this modern story with the older novel.

I didn’t find this as easy to read as I would’ve liked, though I did get into it in the end. The plot is great, and the characters too. I’d give this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 if need be.

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The Bookish Alphabet Tag

Another huge thank you to PerfectionInBooks for nominating me!

The Rules:

Pick a book that is on your shelf or one that you have read in the past and fill out each letter of the alphabet. The idea is to use books that you have either read or that are on your TBR list.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Butter by Erin Lange

Candy by Kevin Brooks

Doon by Carey Corp

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Gone by Lisa McMann

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I‘ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

King Dork by Frank Portman

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Nox-Cruor by R. Kain

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Paperweight by Meg Haston

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson

Rock War by Robert Muchamore

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Terminal by Kathy Reichs

Underworld by Meg Cabot

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

XVI by Julia Karr –

Your Daily Brain: 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain by Marbles, The Brain Store

Zoo by Tara Elizabeth –


Book Code:

With no mark = read

With * = in my TBR

With – = book I cheated because I don’t have one starting with that letter ( I just searched for books with that letter)

Feel free to have a go at this yourself, it’s a great tag!

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WWW Wednesdays

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I’m sorry I haven’t posted this on time (I was kinda uh tipsy last night) and I didn’t post it last week, but I’m going to try to get back into routine again.

What am I currently reading?

Alice Takes Back Wonderland, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Evergreen and Am I Normal Yet?

What did I finish reading recently?

Over the past two weeks I’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Fangirl, Five Seven Five: The Boy with Words, Everblue and Life, the Universe and Everything.

What am I reading next?

I’m planning to read Wreck and Order, The Maze Runner, The Fallen Star and So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

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12 Days of Blogging

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Rules:

  • Include the photo above in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

 

Day 4: Share a Christmas story or write one of your own:

So this time last year I was in an eating disorder unit in London. We had a tree in the rec room, and on the night before a couple girls were discharged we had a little party (without staff!). We played some games like truth or dare, and the Christmas tree ended up being decorated in our bras.

Nominees:

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Book Review: Life, the Universe and Everything

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Life, The Universe and Everything (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #3) by Douglas Adams – Paperback, 199 pages – Published September 1st 2009 by Pan Books

I loved the first two books in the Hitchhiker series, and had heard that the rest aren’t quite as good. I’m afraid I have to agree on that with this book, though it isn’t a bad book by any means.

In this exciting novel from Douglas Adams, we find Arthur Dent where we left him – on prehistoric Earth. Having been separated for a few years, Arthur and Ford Prefect are reunited, in time to find a sofa appear before them. Something to do with eddies in the space-time continuum… The sofa takes the pair back to modern day Earth, on the Lord’s Cricket Ground to be precise. They witness the Ashes being stolen, and Slartibartfast teaches them about how the people of Krikket decided to destroy the universe on the discovery of there being one. The whole planet was encased in a Slo-Time envelope, except for one battle ship. This ship, armed with deadly robots, seeks the key to unlock the planet – part of which happens to be the Ashes.

Ford, Arthur and Slartibartfast take it upon themselves to save the Universe. But Arthur finds himself separated from the others, alone in a dark chamber. It turns out that he had been brought there by Agrajag, the soul of several beings he happened to have killed over the years. Most creatures aren’t aware of having been reincarnated, but Agrajag remembers each time he had been killed by Dent.

While escaping Agrajag, Arthur accidentally learns the art of flying – and is hit by a flying party. Ford and Slartibartfast – as well as Trillian with Thor the Thunder God – happen to be there. The robots soon arrive and steal another part of the key before the others get a chance to take it. Eventually, the robots gather the entire key, and Trillian figures out who has been manipulating the Krikkiters into destroying the Universe the whole time.

I’m a huge fan of this series, but I didn’t like this book quite as much. The random rambles seem to be just that at times, and although they are important to the plot in some way, I did tend to feel a little lost sometimes. And there are barely any new characters – certainly no main ones. While the original characters are all great, they just aren’t quite the same as they were.

It’s still eccentric, it still has subtle hints of humour, and it all fits together in a peculiarly clever way, so I have to give this book 4 stars.

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Infinity Dreams Award

Thanks again to PerfectionInBooks for tagging me!

Rules:

  • Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.
  • Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.

My answers:

  • What were you doing an hour ago?

I was helping my dad wrap Christmas presents!

  • Fav song?

Hmm… That’s a hard one! I’m in love with Missing You by All Time Low, Clean by Taylor Swift, Happy Song by Bring Me the Horizon and tons more! (Feel free to check out my Spotify.)

  • Fav movie?

Another hard question… Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, or that version of Peter Pan with Jeremy Sumpter in.

  • Fav TV Show?

I have a few: Supernatural, American Horror Story, iZombie and Grimm.

  • Something you would recommend to  everyone (it can be whatever you prefer, sports, music, books, movies, tv shows, features in a blog, etc, etc, etc).

Second hand books. There’s so many awesome and unheard of books hidden in market stalls and charity shops, all at such a low price!

  • Fav evil character?

I think I’m going to have to say Loki.

  • What would you prefer to be: Superhero or villain?

Hmm… Probably a superhero because they always win, though there are a lot of pretty awesome villains.

  • Do you have any signed book?

I don’t think I do (sadly).

  • If you could meet one actor/actress, who would she/he be?

Possibly Demi Lovato, because she’s a real inspiration.

  • Recommend a book!

More Than This by Patrick Ness.

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  • What you do think you might be doing in an hour?

Either reading or helping people wrap presents again!

My nominees:

  1. Emily Talks About Books
  2. RedHeadedBookLover
  3. Cafe Book Bean
  4. Reading Between Oceans
  5. The Worn Bookmark
  6. The Little Book Cottage
  7. A Frolic Through Fiction
  8. Multifandomed Book Blogger
  9. The Girl Who Read Too Much
  10. I Read Books
  11. Making Days Better

 

Your questions:

  1. What five words would you use to describe yourself?
  2. Do you have any pets, or have you had any?
  3. If you could live anywhere on Earth, where would it be?
  4. If you could live anywhere at all (be it fictional, somewhere within the universe or just a few streets away) where would it be?
  5. What’s your earliest memory?
  6. What has the best day this year been?
  7. What is your current main goal?
  8. Where do you hope to be in five years?
  9. What is your favourite quote, from a book, song or person?
  10. How would you describe your fashion sense or your general style?
  11. One thing you just can’t stand?

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12 Days of Blogging

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Rules:

  • Include the photo above in each blog post
  • You may start at any point in December
  • Use the topic supplied for the post of that day
  • Make sure all posts are in December, but they don’t have to be posted consecutively (lets face it it’s a busy time)
  • Nominate 3 people after each blog to start the challenge
  • Have fun!

 

Day 3: Your favourite Christmas recipe/food:

Hmmm… A bit boring, but I think I’ll have to say chestnuts! Or marzipan, which I tend to get every year.

Nominees:

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