Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Book Haul

It's a lot of books, but it was worth it.

Finally, I'm here with my August book haul - and there's a lot of books. Ten to be precise. Actually though, and it's probably best that I mention this now, I received two other review books which I've read, however I do not feature books which I'm giving away. As well as this I received Alex As Well from Charli, however, I've left it in the car.

I didn't actually buy or receive any books until the 10th of August, when I kind of went nuts in Waterstones Piccadilly whilst in London. I'd saved all my money for London and so decided to pick up two books I'd been meaning to get for a while  - Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and A Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke - which happens to be signed! I also saw Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, when I said to my Mum that I was uncertain whether to buy it or not, she just went "get it anyway" out of the excitement of being in such a big bookshop. Then when I arrived back from London, three books were waiting; Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando, Panic by Lauren Oliver - both of which are from Hodder & Staughton, and my first ARC (!) - Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant from Electric Monkey. I also got Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout for review, but really hated it so currently it is trying to find a new home.

So that covers 6 of 10 books. Earthquake, the sequel to Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike, was a book I'd been dying to read ever since finishing the first book, so it was promptly read after ordering it from Amazon. For anyone who is planning to read Earthquake, I know this is just my opinion, although I'll continue with the series, Earthquake was nowhere near as good as Earthbound.

The next books I bought both happen to be green - this coincidence wasn't planned. Unfortunately when Isla and the Happily Ever After was published on the 14th, I wasn't able to get it straight away, so I waited until I could go into Waterstones in Manchester, so that the book could be purchased in a buy 1 get 1 half price deal. This lead to not only buying Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, but Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Neither of these books were really what I expected, but I cannot recommend them both highly enough.

Finally, the last book I bought this month was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. As I'd planned to read this this summer, but hadn't actually bought it yet, I picked it up in Waterstones last Tuesday. I'm planning on reviewing this pretty soon, but for anyone who hasn't read this yet, you should know that all the hype has been worth it.

Anyway, that's all the books I got this month. Have you read any of these? If so let me know in the comments.

Holly x

Friday, 29 August 2014

Pottering On: 1 Year Later



If you've been reading Lost in a Library for a while, which isn't many of you I reckon, then you may remember that this time last year, I did a post on Finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. On the 26th August 2013, I finished the final Harry Potter book. I know the day of the week, the date, the time, the time I arrived at the epilogue etc. And finishing a series that I treasure so much, meant a lot to me. It's now been a year, and I feel like I just want to talk about it a bit.

For me, I'm a film Potterhead, which sounds stupid, but I was introduced to Harry Potter, via the final film. May or may not have mentioned it before, but the way I became obsessed with Harry Potter was that when the final film came into the cinemas, it was the only one I'd ever been old enough to see in the cinema, so for me that was a big thing. I watched it, loved it, and then slowly through the Hermione Granger Wikia, learnt everything I needed to know about Harry Potter from Chamber of Secrets to Deathly Hallows. Immediately I was fascinated and by October 2011, I'd bought the first two books.

As a slow reader, it took me nearly 2 years to read the Harry Potter series. Since then my reading pace has sped up and I reckon that nowadays, it would only take me a few weeks to get through all 7 books. But those 7 books took up a good portion of my life if you think about it. Techically, I spent 1/7 of my life reading those books, and I loved that 1/7.

The main thing I wanted to talk about here is that, although it is kind of coming across as rambling, time doesn't change how much you love a book. Harry Potter got me through the two worst years of my life so far, and it's my idea of escapism. My love for Harry Potter hasn't changed just because I've not read the books for what is now 1 year and 3 days. If anything, my love for these books and these films has just grown and expanded with time. 

Harry Potter has given me life when I've felt lifeless, and has made me do things that I NEVER would have done e.g. I can guarantee that there's no way that I'd be typing this and talking to you now if I hadn't read Harry Potter. Often I'm asked if I'll ever grow out of being a Potterhead. My answer to that is that I'll continue to grow into it, I'll always be a Harry Potter fan.

Always.

Holly x

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

I am not okay.

This book may have ruined me. Actually, no, it has ruined me. 

Everything about Perkins' final book in the Anna and the French Kiss series was just perfect. The book follows Isla, who we saw briefly in Anna and the French Kiss as she enters her senior year of high school and hopes to pursue her love for fellow student, Josh. At the start of the book we meet Isla once again, in New York where - drugged up on painkillers in the dead of night, she stumbles across Josh in a cafe and nevertheless - she embarrasses herself. Whilst a bit of an unusual opening chapter, Isla came across as witty and entertaining - basically classic Stephanie Perkins.

The characters in Isla and the Happily Ever After were stunning; so detailed and richly described. This means that within 400 pages you get to know the characters so well that at the end you don't really want to let go. Stephanie Perkins has a way with words that means once you dive into this world, you'll never want to re-emerge from the depths of her writing. 

Isla was a character that was very easy to relate to, and that's one of the things I liked the most about this book. Whilst I love the idea of fluffy romance which we saw in ANNA and LOLA, this was honest, and truthful, and quite frankly, very real. The idea of Isla and Josh (for the record, this is on the blurb, not a spoiler) getting together very early on and then experiencing the ups and downs of a typical relationship was great and certainly memorable. Kurt as well! I love how this book dealt with Asperger's Syndrome so well. Bringing mental health into books about love and romance makes this story all the more real.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that ANNA AND ST CLAIR ARE ENGAGED?!? I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! One of the brilliant things about seeing characters from the previous book- no matter how briefly- is that there just this huge amount of love for these people, who seem so real. It was brilliant to see Anna, St Clair, Lola, and Cricket once again, and see characters that we've grown to love so much.

Whether this is my favourite of the trilogy or not? I'm not too sure. Once again, this was definitely the most relatable book in the trilogy and that's something I really appreciated. Right now, it's between ISLA and ANNA. But really these books are on a whole other level to a lot of fiction. Often people say that you should read a lot of books by the same author to be able to say that they're your favourite author, but really I only need three books to say that Stephanie Perkins is definitely one of my favourites.

Personally, I can't stand fluffy books, and so if you told me a year ago that I'd read all three in the trilogy and adore them - Isla being the first book I've ever cried at - then I would have laughed. But I honestly cannot recommend these three books highly enough.



Holly x

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The British Tag




I was tagged to do this by the lovely Helena from In A Few Nutshells and the amazing Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf. In recent months I've tried to cut down on the number of tags I've been doing but honestly, as a proud and patriotic British person, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to do this spectacular tag.



1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? + How many sugars?
As a British person, it pains me to say that I don't actually drink tea. For 11 years I've had a fear of milk and there for I've never drank a cup of tea before. Not even the tiniest sip.



2. Favourite part of your roast
Roast Potatoes! It's that or gravy.



3. Favourite dunking biscuit
Again, this is a tea related question, but we British do eat biscuits a lot. So I'd go for Hob Nobs :)



4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
Probably complaining. British people are known for being rather pessimistic and we like to moan and complain a lot. I'd say I'm pretty good at this. Or watching QI and admiring Stephen Fry.



5. Favourite word?
Iridescent. It's been my favourite word since I was about six.  Other favourite words would be lovely, wonderful and spectacular - typically British words.



6. Cockney rhyme slang?
Apples and Pears. That's all I know. I'm not from London okay! I'm Mancunian.



7. Favourite sweet
I don't eat sweets so I'm going to go for chocolate, and you can't beat Cadbury's choclate whether it be a flake or dairy milk.



8. What would your pub be called?
It would have something to do with wildlife, so maybe as they're one of my favourite creatures - "The Splendid Owl" perhaps. Yeah, I like that.



9. No.1 British person
Emma Watson. She is my idol and I've got so much respect for her. 

No. 2 would definitely be J.K Rowling.


10. Favourite shop / restaurant
My favourite shops are Waterstones, HMV and maybe Paperchase. Restauraunt wise - Pizza Hut, or Table Table, and I know it's not a restaurant but I LOVE Costa :)



11. What British song pops into your head?
Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners, Asleep by The Smiths, Heroes by David Bowie, Wonderwall by Oasis, Shout by Tears for Fears, Patience by Take That. Other than Take That, you can see the 80's music obsession.



12. Marmite.
Yes.



Thank you for tagging me Helena and Amber!!! I tag Sophie from A Day Dreamer's World, Rachel from Booktastic Reviews, and Jean from Oberjean.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Undone by Cat Clarke

Undone
Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it. Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself. Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.

Cat Clarke has done it again. 


Yet again she has created one hell of a book - and it really worked.



Undone is about Jem who has been in love with her best friend Kai for years, even though she knows that he's gay. Their friendship is incredibly strong but one day, that's all shattered when a video of Kai is posted online and subsequently, he commits suicide. One month later, Jem receives a box of letters - one for every month of the next year - all of which are from Kai.



In regards to characters, I loved Kai. Kai was this person who was impossible to hate - even if Jem does hate him for leaving her alone and that made it all the more heartbreaking that he killed himself. The emotions that are experienced by a suicidal person were reflected perfectly and I feel that made the story all the more realistic. On top of this, Jem was an incredibly complex character, and whilst the things that she did were sometimes terrible, you completely understood her actions.Whilst she was generally a good person, all the actions carried out in revenge of Kai's death, although terrible, everything she did was vaguely understandable.



One of the main things that was done well in this book was grief. Grief is a theme that can be projected really well, or terribly in fiction. As someone who has lost a friend, I felt that Clarke hit the nail on the head when describing how someone feels after another has died. The anger and frustration felt was described perfectly and it made the book all the more emotional. Overall I loved this book, but for me it wasn't as ingenius as I felt Torn and Entangled were. Perhaps it was a little on the long side but like with every one of Cat Clarke's books, I was left speechless.



Holly x

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

London Day 2: Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Warning: Once again, this may contain serious rambling and Fangirling.



So after the day in London, and a disastrous hotel stay (stagnant water from taps, unclean bedroom, and in all seriousness I was nearly knocked out by a shower head,) we headed to Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. This was the third time that I'd been to the studios where Harry Potter was filmed, needless to say it was amazing, and I could never get tired of going there.

Ultimately I've chosen not go on into huge detail here, but instead to suggest a few places that, if you get the opportunity to visit, you take a close look at these sites.
Firstly, the Great Hall, which without trying to spoil too much, is one of the first places you see upon arrival, everything is exactly how it was in the films, except on this set the long tables have been moved to the sides. It's also what's called a hot set, meaning that there are flames and it gets particularly warm inside. In each corner of the hall, there are costumes from each house as well, however I also want to point out that you only get 2 minutes on this set before you're moved on, so take photo's quickly!

Secondly, Stage J. Coincidentally (and honestly, it is purely coincidental) the set stages are named J and K. Stage J is basically a huge room filled with several of the best sets. These include the Gryffindor Common Room, Dumbledore's Office, the dormitory, and part of the Ministry of Magic. Within this there are countless props from the films too, such as the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione's Time Turner, the Deluminator, and the Golden Snitch - and that's in just one case. Here I do advise that you look at everything carefully, because there is a one way system, once you've moved on to the next thing, your not meant to go back.

The suggested time to take when going around the studios is 3 hours, but personally, I believe that you need longer than that, given that there is SO much to see. The aspect of rushing also comes hand in hand with the Back lot. The Back lot is essentially where some of the transport from the films is kept. Whilst the broomsticks are back on Stage J, the Knight Bus (yes, it actually is a 3 story bus), Sirius/Hagrid's Motorbike, and Mr Weasley's Ford Anglia are all out there. Additionally, you can see James and Lily Potter's house in Godric's Hollow, 4 Privet Drive, and numerous chess pieces from Wizard's Chess in the Philosopher's Stone. Butterbeer is also sold in this area - and it tastes amazing! Unfortunately I'd like to point out here that if you ask what's in it, they'll refuse to tell you. I'd advise that whilst your here, don't feel the need to rush as it's rather a quick area to get around. However, if you do get Butterbeer (which is £3 per cup), you're not allowed to drink it anywhere else.

Finally, if you've stuck with this until now - thank you, I'd like to just briefly discuss Diagon Alley and the shop. Diagon Alley is a very brief set to get through, and again it's one-way so you really need to be sure that you've finished looking before moving on. Usually in the summer, events take place here. Last year it was Summer Spells, and this it was Bludgers and Broomsticks. When you finally reach the end of the tour, an enormous shop awaits. The only thing I have to say here is beware of the prices. I spent £77 on only a few items this year and so it's by no means cheap. For any Harry Potter fan though, no matter how much you spend, whether it's a few pounds or in the hundreds (done both :( ), it is absolutely worth it.

That basically summarizes my trip within advice that I know I could have done with whilst at Warner Bros Studio Tour. I highly recommend that whether you're a Harry Potter fan or not that you take a visit, because you learn so much about films. 

I hate to break it to you, but unless plans are changed, the next post will be Potter-related too, so sorry if that's not your cup of tea.

Holly x 

Monday, 18 August 2014

London

WARNING: May contain serious rambling and fangirling.




On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August, my Mum and I went on holiday to London, needless to say before I go any further than I had an incredible time, with quite a few disasters along the way.

As it saves time, we travel by coach, and around 10am, the coach driver told us that we would be in London by 12 o'clock. In retrospect, he was being rather hopeful, as when we arrived at Baker Street, trapped in traffic, it was apparent that with the Palestine Protests going on, and Ride London taking place, the police had basically locked down the capital and we would be lucky if we got off the coach at all. By 2:15, we were FINALLY getting off the coach, far away from where we'd originally been told we'd be dropped off. With only 2 hours in London, we decided that although there were so many sights that we wanted to see, and was no way that we'd manage to get to any of them, that we would go to Waterstones Piccadilly - the biggest bookshop in Europe.


Though we were reluctant, the only way of getting anywhere was by travelling via the London Underground. This is something that I've wanted to do for years and loved the experience. In the process, it also helped with two of my biggest fears; being underground and escalator as on the tube the escalators are huge. 

When we arrived in Piccadilly Circus, Waterstones was only a few yards away and soon enough it was like having a serious fangirling moment. 8 floors of bookish heaven - and a massive YA section. Once we'd arrived at Waterstones, we only really had an hour or so before we'd have to get back on the underground, therefore it was a lot less relaxing than we'd imagined. I did however manage to pick up three books, one of which is signed - you'll be able to see those in my August Book Haul.

It doesn't sound that exciting but in spite of our misfortunes I can honestly say I had a brilliant time in London. The next post I do will be surrounding Warner Bros. Studio Tour!

Holly x

Friday, 15 August 2014

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

CursedDying sucks – and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows. Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things – including boys. 
 When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children with abilities even weirder than hers. 
 But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

I received this from Hodder and Staughton for review, in no way have my opinions been effected through getting a free copy.

Unfortunately, I don't really have that much to say about this book, simply because I didn't like it. For the first 100 pages this was a page turner, I even tweeted saying how much I was enjoying the book. Fast paced, dramatic and entertaining - at first it seemed perfect, but Cursed turned sour quickly, soon becoming rotten and dull. 

Ember was a very interesting character to read about. After dying and being brought back to life in a car crash, Ember discovers that everything she touches dies, and so she hasn't had any contact with another living thing in 2 years. Additionally, her 5 year old sister, Olivia has powers that completely contrast hers; being able to bring things back to life. If you like things like magic, mind control etc, then this might be the kind of book for you. 

Personally, I strongly disliked Cursed, like I've already said, it was only after the 100 page mark that I began to have problems. The characters weren't well developed - just seemed to be a presence and not a being - this wasn't with just one or two characters either, it was with nearly all of them. 

Another concern that I have was that I didn't feel that this was original in anyway whatsoever. The plot was exceptionally similar to many other stories covering paranormal themes. Also, I wouldn't suggest reading this if you've read Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike, as the plot is almost identical. 

Could have been something great, if it wasn't so unoriginal.
Thank you to Hodder & Staughton once again.
Holly x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

RoomiesIt's time to meet your new roomie. 

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room. 

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

I received this from Hodder & Staughton in exchange for an honest review - in no way have my opinions been effected through getting a free copy.

I'm 15 years old. In 4 months I'll be 16, and so the idea of University really intrigues me. That is a place that I aspire to get to in 3 years time, meaning that when the opportunity to review this came up, I couldn't say no.

Elizabeth (EB) and Lauren where great characters and their different personalities shone through in their words. EB was witty and thoughtful and all Lauren really wanted was some peace and quiet, which made me empathise with her greatly. Both characters were a joy to read about, but I feel that they could have been expanded a little more, because there were only a couple of chapters for both EB and Lauren where you saw their actual personalities before they were "in love" shall we say. 

That leads me onto my next point. One of the main problems I had with this book was that it was purely insta-love. Not with just one character either, both. In my eyes, giving this constant sense that a girl and a boy meet and they are instantly attracted to each other is pretty unrealistic. Given that the theme of University and roommates is a very realistic aspect of the book, I felt that the insta-love took something away from the story.

Plot wise, this was an easy, quick read with enough twists and turns to come across as real and not overly consumed with drama. One of the best features were the varied family dynamics in both perspectives. Lauren had a large family who she loved but needed that little bit of space and freedom, and EB hardly spent any time with her mum who was constantly going on dates, so whilst she had a lot of freedom, she just wanted to have a proper mother. Giving this story such varied characters worked really well in its favour and kept me as the reader intrigued and entertained.

I loved this book and was disappointed when I came to the end. Not because I didn't like it, but because I wanted to read more about the characters. I want to know more about EB and Lauren, and I want to know what happened to them because I care so much about the characters - that makes a story a good story. 

Whilst it had it's problems, Roomies was a real page turner that had me from beginning to the end.



Holly x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Film Review


Where do I begin?

I wanted to do this whilst I had the film fresh in my mind, but life got in the way and I'm now here two weeks later, sharing this review. John Green's novel about cancer is one of my favourite books ever. It takes a lot for me to say that because I have very high standards in my mind, but it is honestly one of my favourites. To say I was pleased with the film is a lie.

The Fault in Our Stars is potentially one of the best films I have ever seen. As someone who watches a lot of films that says a lot. And a lot of people will disagree with that statement but the fact is that I don't think I've ever been so emotionally distraught through watching a film. 

8/8/2014. 
I know, maybe I should have wrote this whilst it was fresh in my mind, but I think now I have finally gathered my thoughts. Obviously, if you've read The Fault in Our Stars, then you'll know what the book is about, if not then watch the trailer above! Can I just say before anything else that I think that the casting for this was amazing. Shailene Woodley was phenomenal as Hazel and quite frankly, Ansel Elgort was Augustus.

The transition from book to film isn't always great, but it was done spectacularly here. Yes, there were things that whilst I was sat in the cinema, I was thinking "That wasn't in the book" or "That isn't how they did things in the book." - but what can you do? Some scenes were, in my opinion, just spot on. By spot on I mean, Josh Boone hit the nail on the head with mirroring chapters of John Green's best selling novel. Many will disagree on this but the film was how I saw the book in my head, and to me, that counts as perfect adaptation.

Favourite scenes: Everything in Amsterdam, because you know - AMSTERDAM! The cinematography there was stunning and just really captured the city. As well as this, scenes with Hazel and her parents (her parents were brilliant), and the eulogy scene. No doubt, I loved it all, but these bits in particular stood out in my mind.

Just one more thing, the soundtrack is incredible. There is the odd song (*coughs* Bomfallerella) that I'm just like, meh. But then then are songs that just give me the feels. There were two songs in particular, Not About Angels by Birdy and All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran, that I need to point out. This is because the way they were placed into the film couldn't have been done any better. Using All of the Stars at the end just completed the film for me.

I cried. By now, some of you will know me well enough to know that I don't cry at books, and I very rarely cry at films. Apparently this counts for having a heart of ice, but the fact is that sometimes I just don't find things that emotional. The book didn't make me cry, however the film did. That moment when Hazel is driving away from Augustus' funeral and Not About Angels is playing just really got to me, and to my surprise I just had tears streaming down my face - by the time the credits came around I was silently sobbing. There are reasons that this happened, and if you want to know I suggest you take a look at my Book of the Year 2013 review of TFIOS - because that kind of explains a lot, but that moment just really got to me.

A heartbreaking, yet heartwarming film that makes you laugh, cry and smile. I cannot recommenced watching this enough. 

Holly x

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

LandlineGeorgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now. Maybe that was always besides the point. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . . 

*Tightly embraces book*

God knows when this review will actually be posted, but right now on the 26th of July, I finished Landline 4 hours ago. These past four hours have felt colourless, drained and dull compared to the many moments I spent reading this. Landline was a splash of colour that has kicked off my Summer holiday perfectly.

I'm going to attempt to write this whilst the internal monologue of fangirling is going on, but I can't guarantee if this will be coherent because this book was just stunning. One of the things I loved the most was that Landline was clearly very character driven and the characters are something that I want focus on greatly here.

Georgie, Neal, Seth etc, I adored them all, but each and every character obviously had their flaws. Through the book I was often flipping between supporting Georgie to supporting Neal and I like the way that was done. Personally I liked Neal a lot, I know some people don't and that's understandable given his cold, emotionless manner, but honestly, Neal was one of my favourite characters. And Seth! (Sorry I know this has become a bit rambly) Seth was amazing, witty and loveable although towards the end when he confessed his love for Georgie, about 20 years too lateI did feel extremely sorry for him.

The relationships in this book were incredible. I loved the dynamic of Georgie and Seth's close friendship, and that worked so well. Also, this may come across as a controversial opinion, but I really appreciated Georgie and Neal's relationship; yes, it was going through struggles and they didn't have a great connection at times - BUT THAT'S LIFE! I'm too young to be married but anyone, no matter how old or young knows that that's life, there are ups and downs. However, their love was so strong in flashbacks that I just wanted to give them both a massive hug.

Plot wise, I just need a second to express how great the plot of Landline was. Divided up into sections following the course of the week running up to Christmas, the story flowed fluidly and after putting it down for the night and picking it up the next day, this story was very easy to follow. Every little aspect made perfect sense, the whole debacle with the pizza made sense later on, as did the pregnant pug. That yellow phone! Obviously, magic isn't a quality that has come across in any other books Rowell has wrote, but it was just perfect here. And the link that the phone had to the rest of the story was simply ingenius in my eyes. Can I also point out, as a Potterhead, the several Harry Potter references that just...gah!

Overall, Landline will make you laugh, smile and potentially cry, but it will find a way into your heart and remain there for a long, long time.



Meow,
Holly x

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nick and Norah are both suffering from broken hearts. So when Nick sees the girl who dumped him walk in with a new guy he asks the strange girl next to him to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. Norah would do anything to avoid conversation with the not-friend girl who dumped Nick, and get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never quite broke up with. And so she agrees. What follows is an epic first date between two people who are just trying to figure out who they want to be - and where the next great band is playing.

Be prepared. Be prepared for a rant.


I was sent this by Electric Monkey for review and in no way has my opinion been effected by receiving this book. I contacted Electric Monkey requesting this book after it was said that you could in an email, and to be honest, I was pretty excited. But the reality is that I didn't like this very much at all.



Don't get me wrong, there aspects that I liked, and I'm glad that I ploughed through this anyway. The dialogue was humorous and entertaining at times, and I liked the character of Toni/Tony - that little segment of the book made me laugh, but other than that I was disappointed.



One of the main things that bothered me in this book is something that I mentioned in my review of Grasshopper Jungle, and it was that there was SO much swearing. Occasional use of swearing, and if neccessary, I can understand. However, the way Nick and Norah used such language came across on every single page. As mentioned before now, I believe that swearing and using bad language takes something away from the writing. It makes writing not flow as well and it comes across as just too much. Swearing after practically every other word doesn't count as forming a coherent sentence. Well, apparently in this book it does.



The plot was also incredibly confusing, the romance came out of nowhere without any signs or symbols that it was going to happen (this for the record, isn't a spoiler). One minute they're just talking and the next minute they were dramatically kissing. It just wasn't realistic.



I think I need to stop now otherwise I'll burn the keys of the keyboard. Perhaps this just wasn't for me.


Holly x

Monday, 4 August 2014

Published in August

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date: 14th August 2014
339 Pages (Usborne)
Last in companion trilogy.
Gates of Thread and Stone
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her. Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

Author: Lori M Lee
Date: 5th August 2014
First in a series
Ghost HouseAfter the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger… Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Date: 26th August 2014
320 Pages (Harlequin Teen)
First in a trilogy.

Holly x

Saturday, 2 August 2014

July Book Haul


The bear pretty much sums up July's reading...

The only book I actually bought in July is probably my favourite out of all of these - Landline, yes, Landline by Rainbow Rowell. As soon as this was published I found myself scouring Waterstones for a copy, and just when I was about to give up on finding one, to my delight there was a large pile in the corner. Normally I wouldn't buy hardbacks as they are SO expensive, but apparently this doesn't come out in paperback for a long time so it wasn't worth waiting. Needless to say that Landline was quickly devoured and was spectacular to say the least.

As part of a book swap, I also received Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve from Fionnuala at Books For Birds. Unfortunately, I haven't got round to reading this one yet, but as someone who is looking to read more YA fantasy, this sounds excellent and hopefully I'll get round to reading it this summer.

The next three books I received were from the amazing Cat from Through A Cat's Eyes. Mentioning of a book clearance I offered to buy some from her and thus got Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, August by Bernard Beckett and Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. So far, the only one I've read is Someone Like You, but I'm hoping to take the other two to London with me next week.

Finally there is Valentine Joe by Rebecca Stevens. We discussed this book a while I go and she kindly offered to send it to me once she'd finished reading it. This centers around World War 1 in Belgium, and so having been on a trip to Belgium recently to see the war graves - including that of Valentine J Strudwick (who the book is based on) it meant a lot to me. It wasn't what I expected, but I enjoyed it and would certainly recommend this for anyone who likes history.

I was additionally sent Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist but I've decided not to feature it in this haul due to passing it on to someone else soon.

Thank you so much to Fionnuala, Cat, and Amber once again.

Holly x