Sunday 19 April 2015

Update - Hiatus


Hey everyone, well here is just a little post to tell you all I will be on a hiatus for the next, well, 3 weeks. I have my end of course exams starting on the 27th of April and they continue on until the 6th of May so I really have to get up and study now until that time ends. 

After the 6th of May though, you can expect a flood of posts.

I will have book reviews for The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. I may also have a review for A Game of Thrones as I am currently about 200 pages from the end of the book. 

Then I have a tag post which I've been wanting to do for ages!!! 

My April 2015 post will be up a bit late also but all the recap will be there and I'm going on a book buying spree at the end of my exams so you can look forward to that little haul too. I am also going to be posting up my Most Anticipated Releases for May and I will be back doing Top Ten Tuesday after May 6th and may begin Wishlist Wednesday too.

So that is all my fellow peeps. Have a lovely 3 weeks while I study like hell!!! :)

Saturday 11 April 2015

Book Review - All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance.

Published: January 8 2015

Pages: 388 pages (Paperback Edition) (Penguin)

Read: March 2015

Rating: 5 Stars

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. 

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

Book 10/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

All The Bright Places is about two teenagers, Violet and Finch. Violet has lost her sister from a car accident and Finch is trying to face depression and live without its tight grip. This story is about the two of them meeting and the events which take place as the complete a high school project.

I saw All The Bright Places all over blogs and BookTube after the book had been released. It was February when I saw this book in my local bookstore and I did, to my dismay, have an internal argument on whether I should get it or not. For one, everyone was getting and raving about this book, but then I wasn't much of a realistic fiction reader but my weak willed self fell for the cover, said what the heck, even if I didn't like it, it'd be pretty on my shelves. And it ended up on my shelves!!

The plot to this book revolves around the tough topic of mental illness. When I first picked up this book I hadn't realised this and was therefore shocked at the turn of events in this book where the signs of depression and grieving from both main characters were seen. But all in all, I loved the plot of this story, there isn't much I can say to sum it up into non-spoilery words so I'll just say that the plot and the story not once left me feeling bored (which can happen to me when I'm reading realistic fiction) but did not happen at all during this book. This story is heart-warming and heart-breaking all at once and I loved it because of that fact. 

All The Bright Places is a book told from two perspectives. We see from the point of views of both main characters, Violet and Finch. I now have come to love books with different perspectives and I feel that Jennifer Niven did a marvellous job at writing in both perspectives. There was not one single point that I didn't know which character was telling the story. Both were so complex, original and unique. I loved the characters for who they were also. Finch being that spontaneous, charismatic guy and Violet being the opposite, a popular girl gone south. I must admit that I did have a problem with some of Violet's actions at the start of the book, but through the development of each character I turned out to love them. The side characters in this book also made the book much more realistic and told the whole story, from Amanda, to Finch's family, to Violet's parents, and their both sets of friends. We wouldn't be able to see the full picture without them.

My likes for this book are never ending. I did after all give it a five star review and to contrast that my only dislike I had I have mentioned above which was Violet's actions and character at the beginning of the book. 

The ending of this book just had me so....... It just got at me and I loved the way it ended. Truly it couldn't have ended in a better way. And that is all I will say on that note. 

I also really appreciated the way that the book contained phone numbers for helplines for mental illness, grieving and depression. It was an extra little step that may help a great number of people.

Jennifer Niven is an author of quite a number of books, but this is the first book which I've read that she had written. From this book, and my enjoyment of this book, I can be certain to say that I will be reading Jennifer Niven's later releases if the topic or blurb catches my eye. But if this doesn't occur, I will be sure to be re-reading All The Bright Places. 

I would recommend this book for realistic fiction lovers who don't mind reading books on tough subjects such as mental illness. For any of you who do decide to pick up this book, I hope you thoroughly enjoy it!!

Here is a link to the book on The Book Depository as I am an affiliate there. Please consider if you are going to buy this book by buying it using the below link. Thank you!!

Also if you would like to see the spoiler discussion I had with Lissette click here.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Book Review - What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell

What I Saw and How I Lied

Author: Judy Blundell

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance.

Published: July 6 2009

Pages: 265 pages (Paperback Edition) (Scholastic Children's Books)

Read: March 2015

Rating: 5 Stars

It's 1947 and 15-year-old Evie is desperate to grow up, go on dates and look glamorous like her mother. But then a handsome and mysterious ex-GI turns up. Peter served with Evie's stepfather during the war and seems to have a strange control over him; slowly, Evie realises she's falling for Peter, despite his dark secrets.

Book 9/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

What I Saw and How I lied is a stand-alone historical fiction novel. It is set only a few years after the end of World War II and follows a teenage girl as she comes of age, discovers secrets and falls in love all in the middle of a conspiracy. 

I bought this book years ago and the sole reason why I bought this book (this was during the time I had the phase when I bought books solely on their covers) was because the cover was really awesome!! It is a paperback book but it has a dust jacket like a hardback, can I say cool.... And it's the only book which I have which is like this and I haven't seen any other books like it yet either. So yes, when I bought this book I read it and I have to admit this is the fifth time that I have read this book and it is just as good every time.

I loved the plot and story in this book. It had me hooked for the first reason was because it was historical fiction and it was set around the time of World War II. The other reason was that it was not just a coming of age story but held dark and dangerous conspiracies and mysteries throughout the whole book while we got to see the story of Evie growing up. It was a perfect mix  of themes to keep me on edge and I loved every twist and turn. 

Evie was the substance behind this book and she was the one who I wanted the best for. I wanted her to grow up and be happy. I invested so much of my heart just for Evie. Peter was another substantial character which grabbed my attention and he had me rooting for him too. The other characters in the book, including Evie's stepdad, his mother, Evie's mom and varies other characters all made the book what it was. They were all different, all complex with different personalities, motives and situations in their life and they all truly gave the full picture of what life was like back in 1947.

As for my likes and dislikes, I can fully say that I enjoyed every piece of this book. Yes, at the beginning there is a few dull moments, but those moments are needed for the rest of the story. Evie also did some things which I would not have agreed with but I could understand her motives behind it all and she changed dramatically from the beginning to the end of this book.

The ending I found to be bittersweet through the events that unfurled. I was happy with the ending that was given and the information that was given to close this book. I enjoyed it and couldn't have see a better ending for this book. It closed up with all questions answered.

Judy Blundell is the author of this book and this was the first book which I have read from her. She has written another historical fiction YA book which was published in 2011 titled 'Strings Attached' and I shall look into it and perhaps read this book in the future. 

I would recommend this book for historical fiction, realistic fiction, mystery book lovers. This book holds the appeal of historical fiction and also keeps you on your toes in the way of a mystery. It may be more suited for younger young adult (15 - 17) as this was the age which I first read this book and have continued to do so even at 19. It really all depends on taste. 

If you would like to purchase this book, please head over to The Book Depository using the following link as I am a book affiliate there :)

Saturday 4 April 2015

*Spoiler Discussion* - All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Hello everyone!!

I am here today to do a spoiler discussion with the wonderful Lissette over at Lissette's Labyrinth about the recently released book - All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
Again I warn this post is full of SPOILERS so if you haven't read the book in question you should not read any further!!

Just a little introduction to this book and the author. All The Bright Places is a Young Adult, Contemporary,
Realistic Fiction stand-alone which has been circling book blogs and booktube channels since its release on January 6th 2015. It is the newly published book to Jennifer Niven, who is also the author to the Velva Jean series. Jennifer Niven is a American author and has always had a passion of writing and will continue to do so as she continues to write and get her stories out into the world.

1. What made you pick up this book in the first place?
S - I picked up this book after walking past it just a week before thinking nah, I'm not going to read this book, to actually seeing it everywhere on BookTube and blogs and then when I saw it again in the shop, sai what the heck I'll give it a try.
L - It had gotten a lot of hype on BookTube and I saw on blogs and reviews that everyone who read it loved it. I saw that it was available in my library so I thought might as well see for myself.

2. Did you know much about the plot / theme of the book before going into it?
S - No I didn't. I read the blurb back when I saw it released first (I'll post a picture!!) and then forgot about it for a while to come back and see it on all the blogs and booktube channels, but I'll be honest, every time the book came up, I skipped the bit where people explained what the book was about because I really didn't want to know.
So, long story short I knew the following going into the book - That the story was about Violet and Finch. Violet had lost her sister and Finch wanted to kill himself. And they meet on a bell tower and then there's a school project about I didn't know what at the time and the ever tragic quote on the front of the book 'The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die'
L - I knew the theme was mental illness and the plot I knew little about the characters. All I could gather was that it was about two kids named Finch and Violet who were going through something difficult, Finch looking for ways to die and Violet looking for ways to leave her town and move on from her sister's passing.

3. What did you think of the characters Finch and Violet from beginning to end?
S - I liked both characters very much. I connected well with both characters and found them to be very realistic and connectable.
Violet was a character who I sympathised with at the beginning after hearing about her situation. but I also found her to be quite, I don't really know how to explain it, but I didn't like they way she let her sisters death define her and used it as an excuse to stop writing and stop doing school work and practically stop her life. But as the book progressed and as she started to learn how to live again, I really liked the character of Violet. 
Finch was someone who was unpredictable. At the beginning he was spontaneous and likeable but as the story progressed it was easy to see that his spontaneous behaviour and character was him trying to erase his identity and him trying to become someone who didn't suffer from depression. I thoroughly loved Finch's character, how he came up with the school project which ultimately did save Violet in the end, even if it did kill him. I loved Theodore Finch to the very end. Simple as. 
L - I though Finch and Violet were great character, they were written well. Finch from the beginning, he was unpredictable, moody, a little weird but at the same time very smart. Towards the middle of the book is where you really got see that there was something wrong with him, he acted unrational,indecisive, would get angry easily. In the end, I felt that he was very complex characters but he was just looking for someone to understand him and not judge him. From the beginning, I understood where Violet was coming from, grieving her sister but I didn't like that she didn't even want to put any effort at all to get back into a car or writing even when she was with Finch, she was mean towards him. She kept letting her sister's death take over her life until the middle of the book where she learns to live through Finch's help he helps her get over her fear of being in a car, writing again.

4. Would the story still have had an impact if Finch and Violet had remained close friends?
S - Really thinking about this, I don't think it would have. I had expected Finch not to die. I don't know why, but when he did commit suicide, I was taken by surprise. I guess I was just living in a fairytale world where everything would turn out alright. But it didn't and because of this it held a bigger impact to the book. Perhaps it would have had an impact if Finch lived and they both remained friends but how the story was told gave it a bigger impact in my opinion. 
L - I feel like I'm the only one who feel that it still could of because throughout the book Finch and Violet refer to themselves as best friends even when they get together. Also, it reminds me of bridge to terabitha since Jesse and Leslie were best friends while Leslie's death had a great impact on him. I think that if Finch and Violet had remained close friends it would have still be an impact on Violet and she would have learned from it. 

5. What did you think of the way the story portrayed mental illness?
S - I found the story to portray mental illness very well. Jennifer Niven captured both the grieving mind and as well as that the way that depression takes hold and how hard it is to get out of. I believed she described depression well in the way Theodore felt and the actions that he took. 
L -  I thought the story portrayed it in a great way because it shows how anyone can suffer from it and there is always someone that a person can go to when they feel a certain way. I loved how the author dealt with the topics of grief, depression, and suicide because it was portrayed in a way that is realistic and it's topics that not many books talk about because it is a tough subject to discuss.

6. What did you think of Finch's family and why do you think nobody noticed anything?
S - I really didn't have an opinion as such on Finch's family. I don't think they did anything wrong. Well not his mother or sisters anyway, his father, yes. But back to his mother and sisters, many people turn an eye, it's the living truth. People look away from bad situation, especially if its someone they love that's getting hurt. I believe that his mother was feeling bad about the divorce and was more selfish than she should have been and simply looked away. Finch to her was probably just going through a bad patch, a phase, something he'd get over. As to why nobody noticed anything is that Finch hid things very well. He may have stayed to himself, teenage boy, and had acted out before, hormones, and his councillor may have suspected something but Finch laughed it off.   
L - I'm not sure what I thought about them because I feel that they were only there when something needed to happen to get the plot moving on. I think that it goes with a person not wanting to seek help because they will be looked at a certain way. With the way Finch's family was, I think that they just felt it was normal because no one had ever brought it to their attention that it wasn't.

7. Why do you think the author decided to make Amanda a person with suicidal thoughts and not reveal this until the middle of the book?
S - I think that the author did this to show that even though people can be popular and well liked, that they can still suffer from depression. It isn't just the sad, lonely people. 
L - I think that the author decided to make Amanda a person with suicidal thoughts to show that it can happen to anyone,no matter whether it's a person who's popular, unpopular, or different.

8. Do you think Finch's death could have been prevented?
S - Honestly, I don't think it could have been. I could be wrong but that is just my opinion. 
L - I think that if Finch had talked to someone sooner, it may have, but he didn't even want to do that so I don't think so.By the time, he left, nobody did anything not even Violet until he left messages for everyone.

9. What rating did you give this book?
S - I gave this book a 5 Star rating. 
L - I gave this book 5 stars

10. Who would you recommend this book for?
S - I would recommend this book for fans of contemporary and realistic fiction. It is a dark topic which is in this book but still I believe that it will touch many people's hearts. 
L - I would recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary that deal with tough subjects, if you like Laurie Halse Anderson's books, you'll love this book.

11. After reading All The Bright Places, will you read another book written by Jennifer Niven?
S - I believe I would read another of Jennifer Niven's books if the blurb caught my attention. I'm usually not a person that just buys books because a particular author wrote them and just buy books if they interest me. 
L - I would read another by Jennifer Niven if the blurb of the book catches by interest or if it's recommended by a friend.

Friday 3 April 2015

2015 Releases I Can't Wait For!!! April Edition

2015 Releases I Can't Wait For!!! April Edition

It is already almost April!!! Where the hell is the year going??? Anyway here are the books!! I will write the relase date and the edition on each book as some book editions have different release dates!!

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong - April 1st 2015 

This is the sequel to Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong and I absolutely loved that book and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel!! Besides the covers are awesome!!!!

Positive by David Wellington - April 1st 2015
Anyone can be positive . . .

The tattooed plus sign on Finnegan's hand marks him as a Positive. At any time, the zombie virus could explode in his body, turning him from a rational human into a ravenous monster. His only chance of a normal life is to survive the last two years of the potential incubation period. If he reaches his twenty-first birthday without an incident, he'll be cleared.

Until then, Finn must go to a special facility for positives, segregated from society to keep the healthy population safe. But when the military caravan transporting him is attacked, Finn becomes separated. To make it to safety, he must embark on a perilous cross-country journey across an America transformed--a dark and dangerous land populated with heroes, villains, madmen, and hordes of zombies. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger may be his fellow humans.

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson - April 2nd 2015
Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close - until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don't realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby - April 21st 2015
When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. 

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

Rook by Sharon Cameron - April 28th 2015
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she. 

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley - April 28th 2015
Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak--to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world--and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power--but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity--including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - April 28th 2015
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It's a story that's literally burning to be told. LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. ELIAS is the academy's finest soldier-- and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he's ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias's paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. Vow your blood and body to the empire. Keep your heart for yourself.