Month: December 2015

Book Review: Everblue

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Everblue by Brenda Pandos – eBook, 305 pages – Published July 29th 2011 by Obsidian Mountain Publishing

Ah, who doesn’t love a good mermaid story?

I started reading this a while ago, but never got to the end. This time I actually finished it, and am about to start the sequel, Evergreen.

Basically, Ashlyn’s best friend, Tatiana, is a mermaid. Her whole family are mer, including her twin brother Finley, Ash’s long-term crush. Their father guards the Lake Tahoe gate to Natatoria, the underwater land of the mer.

When their dad is requested for a mission, the twins and their mother are stuck in Natatoria. Meanwhile, Ash is getting close to the most popular guy at school, while worrying herself to death about her friends’ disappearance.

Fin sneaks out of the gate without permission, witnessing Ashlyn falling off a boat and injuring herself. The only way to save her would require the life-long joining of their souls. As punishment, Fin is thrown in an underwater prison, until Tatchi breaks him out and the pair escape Natatoria together. Again, they are captured – only this time, their punishment is to be promised. For mer, a promising is more powerful than marriage. But Fin is already promised to Ash, and he refuses to allow Tatch to be promised to someone she loathes so much.

Their father returns to break them out of Natatoria for good, but for Tatch he’s too late. The family flees without her, blocking up the gate in Tahoe. For a while, Fin and Ash finally get to be together, until the family receives word of mermen heading their way.

I’m really not a romance person, especially not cheesy romance. I do love a good mermaid book, and the way this is about a human girl and a merman (as opposed to the other way round) is refreshing. But it’s just a bit too lovey-dovey for me, and rather predictable.

Ashlyn herself seems to overreact rather a lot, and a lot of her “serious” problems are pretty, well, stupid. To be fair, I know of a few teens that would react in a similar manner, but they are not the kind of people I want to be around. So basically, Ash got on my nerves a bit throughout this book.

Natatoria is nicely developed, and the story behind the king and his son’s love for Tatch is a good detail. It’s not an ordinary mermaid book, but still has a nice hint of magic and mystery.

It’s a relatively easy read, but a bit too cheesy for my taste. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. 3 stars for Everblue.

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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 2: Favourite Christmas tradition, new or old:

Well we don’t have many traditions in my family, but one thing we try to do every year is watch The Polar Express on Christmas Eve. Last year, my brother and mum both fell asleep half way through, but I enjoy it nonetheless!

Nominees:

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12 Days of Blogging

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Thank you PerfectionInBooks for tagging me! I hadn’t even heard of this one before!

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 1: List your favourite things about Christmas.

  • baking (and the smells!)
  • the music
  • buying people presents
  • wearing weird or super sparkly clothes
  • getting all cosy with my family (and preferably a book)
  • decorating the entire house
  • watching other people open their presents
  • watching the pets open and play with their presents
  • the general joy!

 

Nominees:

winter

Book Review: Five Seven Five

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Five Seven Five: The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson – eBook – Published by C.E. Wilson (first published November 20th 2015)

I was given the opportunity to read this in return for my honest review, thanks to C.E. Wilson. Thank you so much!

White’s only relative is her cousin, Shade, a Chosen One. She wants so desperately to be be like him, to go out into the Unkown. Shade brings his cousin words, snippets of what’s out there. But it’s not enough.

Shade was meant to teach White how to become a Chosen One. She doesn’t want to be stuck in the colony her whole life; she wants more. But the Chosens are sent out to look for an escapee, and sadly Shade doesn’t make it back alive. Another Chosen, Salt, tries to help White out of her mourning and pain. He even tells her how to get to the Unknown undetected.

What White finds is more shocking than she ever expected – a Creator. A giant person, who goes by the name of Kes (and claims that he is not, in fact, a Creator). He teaches White about the human world, and how the Forgotten Ones – her colony – came into being. He even shows her the outside. Skies so blue, ladybugs, lightning… He even shows her how to write the haiku poems she’d always been given by Shade – hence the title, named after the layout of a haiku.

Everything is going well, until White realises that she has some serious feelings for her new friend – right as Salt admits to liking her. Her attempt to capture Kes’s attention goes horrifically wrong, and Salt makes her promise to never return to the Unknown.

This book was a great read. Kes is bit… unlikeable at times, and I often found that White came across as a bit of a stubborn bitch, but I still liked it nonetheless. The whole idea of the Forgotten Ones is so original, and I never would have seen it coming at the beginning. The life of the colony is highly developed, and with the Scriptures and everything it really does seem like a normal way of life. The arrival of Kes is quite a shock!

I know I’m picky, but I did notice a few grammar mistakes. Nothing major, and nothing that puts you off reading either.

I took quite a long time to read this, but I think that’s mainly because of all my deadlines on other books. The ending was a great cliffhanger, and I must admit that I hadn’t really been expecting Shade to meet Kes. The feelings between the characters don’t emerge until quite late on, but I like that the story wasn’t centred around romance. As I said, it’s an original story and I really did enjoy it. I’m pretty tempted to read the rest of these books! 3.5 stars for Five Seven Five.

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Book Review: Fangirl

 

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

I finished this book earlier today, and have been dying to sit down and get this review done!

The first book I read by Rainbow Rowell was Eleanor & Park, but I have to say that I loved this so much more! It’s still a romance, but less so – as in, it isn’t too romantic, and love isn’t the only storyline.

Basically, twins Cath and Wren have just started college, staying in separate rooms for the first time. Instead, Cath shares her dorm with Reagan – a chronically angry-looking girl with about five boyfriends – and Wren with Courtney, her new party buddy.

For years, Cath has been writing Simon Snow fanfiction with her sister, and has become internet-famous. She signs up for Fiction-Writing class, and continues to work on her main fic – Carry On, Simon. But when Professor Piper accuses her of plagiarism when she turns in a piece of fanfic, Cath isn’t sure she’s cut out for the class. Not to mention the fact that the final Simon Snow book is soon to be released.

As if these problems aren’t enough, the girls’ father ends up back in a mental hospital after they leave home, and their mother – who left when they were just eight years old – is trying to get in touch again. Oh, and Cath’s close friend and writing partner uses a joint piece of work for an assignment, without giving Cath any credit.

Throughout all this, Cath breaks up and makes up with her sister, and her relationship with Reagan’s ex-boyfriend is a crazy ride. Levi and Cath are clearly becoming an item, until Cath turns up at Levi’s party and finds him kissing some other girl. So much for that.

I can’t say I know what college is like, but Cath really reminds me of me and my friends. For one, I’m a total introvert and would never leave my room, let alone ask someone where the cafeteria is… And two, my friends are all the internet type, many of which also love to read a bit of fanfiction every now and then. Some of her insecurities and worries are incredibly similar to my own, which kind of gave me a sense of relief. (Phew, it is normal to worry about that!)

I love the relationship between Wren and Cath, and how it addresses the issues that siblings face. And the situation with their parents, which I’m sure lots of people can relate to. Basically, I love how this isn’t just a simple college book, where guy-meets-girl and everything’s great. It’s far more realistic than that, with an appropriate hint of humour.

The characters themselves are also all imperfect in some way. Cath compares Levi to her ex-boyfriend and admits that he may not be quite as attractive, yet she still likes him more. Not to mention how she comments on the little things she notices, but not in a negative way.

I sped through this book, which I wasn’t expecting with a book this length. It’s funny, it’s realistic, and it’s a great read. Not to mention, it’s now on my favourites list. Five stars!

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The Versatile Blogger Award

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Hey! I was nominated by PerfectionInBooks, so thanks so much!

Rules:

  • Show the award on your blog.
  • Thank the person that has nominated you.
  • Share 7 different facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 blogs of your choice.
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

 

Facts:

  1. I turned 16 last week, on the 9th of December.
  2. I have a pet corn snake named Abenaki who lives in his vivarium at the end of my bed.
  3. I’ve been to two Fall Out Boy concerts, and went to Sonisphere Music Festival when I was ten.
  4. My dad is Indian, but was born in Kenya.
  5. I used to love coffee, but now I’m addicted to tea.
  6. This time last year I was in hospital for anorexia.
  7. I used to love reading, but I didn’t read very often for a long time. I started properly reading again this summer.

 

Nominees:

  1. CreativWriter
  2. Book Lover Thoughts
  3. Sarah’s Bookshelf
  4. The Bookish Khaleesi
  5. Bookish Freaks
  6. annelisebooklife
  7. Sue’s Reading Corner
  8. The Literary Hellion
  9. JenAcideByBibliophile
  10. Bookahontas
  11. Your Daughter’s Bookshelf
  12. Dee’s Book Reviews
  13. A Frolic Through Fiction
  14. MultiFandomed Book Blogger
  15. Little Blog of Books

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Book Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #2) – Paperback, 200 pages – Published September 1st 2009 by Pan Publishing

This is the second instalment of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which I’m absolutely in love with.

This novel begins with the Heart of Gold being attacked by the Vogons. You know, as you do. Obviously, nobody on board wants to die (apart from, perhaps, the Paranoid Android). They don’t have much time, so Zaphod Beeblebrox does the first thing that comes to his mind; he summons the ghost of his great-grandfather, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth.

Zaphod suddenly finds himself in the lobby of the office blocks of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, upon the planet Ursor Minor Beta. To his unfortunate luck, he’s accompanied by Marvin, the depressed robot.

Thanks to the locked-off part of his brain (and a few hints from his deceased relative), Zaphod is certain that the reason he is where he is is because he needs to see Zarniwoop – a guy who he is pretty certain he’s never met before. Instead, an entire half of the office block is taken to Frostar World B, home of the Total Perspective Vortex. Being in this vortex is the worst fate anyone can suffer; being shown the true size of the Universe and feeling how very tiny you are to it in comparison.

Zaphod is led to the vortex by a disembodied mind, but surprisingly remains unaffected by what he sees. He then finds Zarniwoop on an abandoned airship, and is told that they are not, in fact, in the real world as such.

Anyway, Zaphod discovers that he has been carrying the Heart of Gold within his coat pocket, his friends safely on board. Zarniwoop revives it to its full size, and the crew ask the computer to send them to the nearest place to eat. It turns out that this would be Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It’s located on Frogstar Planet B, but a fair while into the future – at the exact time the universe ends, in fact.

Marvin, having been left alone in the past, finally calls to tell his friends that he has been waiting for them in the car park the whole time. No longer interested in the Heart of Gold or the mission he required it for, Zaphod decides to steal a jet-black ship parked beside the limoship of a famous band. (They happen to be famous not due to their talent, but due to the sheer volume of their concerts.) As luck would have it, this ship is actually the stunt ship used in the band’s performances, and as its passengers their fate is to crash into the sun with it.

Using the unfinished transport device on board, the crew are sent safety. Trillian and Zaphod find themselves with Zarniwoop, on their way to interrogate the ruler of the Universe, who happens to live alone in a shack with a cat whom he has dubbed The Lord. Arthur and Ford, however, are aboard a ship full of frozen coffin-like items, which is fleeing a doomed planet and heading for a new home.

Upon this new planet, Ford and Arthur meet the ape-like beings who already live there. With the coming of the new people, these beings begin to die out. Much to Arthur’s dismay, as this planet turns out to be Earth two million years before its destruction. And if these native creatures don’t survive, then that means the human race is evolved from the idiots that crash landed there.

Desperate to help the natives along their revolutionary path, Arthur attempts to teach them the art of Scrabble. Sadly, this doesn’t quite work. All this really achieves is them discovering the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, which they already knew to be forty-two. What they really want to know is the original Question, which they are certain is not six multiplied by nine.

This sequel is just as fantastically crazy as the first, and I love it just as much! The characters are all very much the same, with their unique personalities and quirks. Arthur’s love for tea also plays a huge part in this story…

It’s clever in the most absurd way, and as subtly hilarious as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyI love it so much, it’s definitely in my favourites! Five stars for this book by Douglas Adams.

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