Tuesday, January 31

January Book Reviews

I’ll Give you the Sun

It’s taken me quite a while to find the words to write this review. And sadly I’m afraid I still have not found them. You see to some this book may be just another YA about love, pain and general life struggles but to me turning the pages was like walking through a secret garden with fairy lights hung in all the right places.

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 realise 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.

Author: Jandy Nelson

The Cover: It’s yellow. And it’s that really nice warm yellow that looks like a sunset on a perfect day.

The Characters: Noah and Jude are the protagonists. I hated them and loved them during different parts of the book. Then finally at the end I understood who they truly were and not just the little snapshots I had previously judged them on. Truth be told I am madly in love with both of them and practically all the characters in this book.

The Plot: it was perfect! You know how you try to make a jigsaw without a picture to help and you have no idea what it is your making until its left until the last the few pieces. That is essentially this book.

 Why Should you read it? The best reason I can think of, is that it makes you feel something. I mean heartache, joy, inspiration, love, creativity, anger, sadness - it’s all there! If you’re a fan of art, you’ll enjoy the colour in this book and the personality of Noah. Major hyperbole but that’s just him.

Why Shouldn’t you read it? I can’t find any rational reason, but if you are a heartless, cold and non-dreamer then you may not like it ( that much )

Seeing as the max stars you can give a book is 5 I give it 5 but if I could, I’d give it all the stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Girl On The Train

I am not a thriller reader and therefore my opinion on whether this book is a good “thriller” is irrelevant but as I am a reader I can say for sure that it is a brilliant read.

Every day the same: 
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. 
 Until Today:
 And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Author: Paula Hawkins

The Cover: The blurry train passing makes it look super creepy. I was a little creeped out but not enough to say it’s a horror. There is violence, murder etc. but not very graphic.

The Characters: Annoying. All of them. Not in a way that made me want to stop reading but in the way that is human. It makes for a more realistic story.

The Plot: The start is all about a woman who is now single, an alcoholic, unemployed and still in love with her ex-husband. As well as that she is so nosey and obsessive with other peoples’ lives. I guess there is nothing that interesting in her own. Things get very interesting when a girl goes missing. And the rest is all about trying to find out what happened to her.

Why Should you read it? It’s already a movie, and I think it is important to read a book before it becomes a movie ( no idea why I think that ) . The story is gripping and I would never have guessed the ending.

Why Shouldn’t you read it? Maybe if you’re too young or if the book is too depressing ( it’s sad watching a person becoming less of themselves as they spiral downwards with alcohol ).

I give this book 4 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ 

Pigeon-Blood Red

A loan shark gangster, a lowlife gambler, a ruby necklace and a double murder. It’s your classic noir thriller.

After an unfaithful husband and his lover try to double-cross a loan shark, they endanger the lives of the man's unsuspecting wife and an old flame who comes to her rescue. Pursued by a "killer with a conscience" the wife and her newly found protector must decide what to do with a stolen ruby necklace worth millions. And their pursuer must decide what to do with them: murder them as ordered -- although one of them saved his life -- or refuse and risk the life of the woman of his life

The Cover: Without the dark, ominous cover and spatter of blood, I probably would have no idea what this book is about. Maybe something about pigeon raising and their red blood.... Turns out that Pigeon-Blood Red is a type of ruby necklace. Really great cover. 

The Plot: Even though a lot happened in “part one”, there was nothing unexpected and I found the pace quite sluggish. It just didn’t grab me the way I wanted. Things looked up though in the second part when I became very intrigued, particularly by the characters. It had the potential for a thrilling end but the suspense just wasn’t there.

The Characters: Without the in depth characters, this book would have failed. The main character appears to be Robert, an unfaithful husband who steals the ruby necklace from his loan shark, but in actual fact as the story progresses I was deeply enthralled by Rico. That guy is a mystery and a masterpiece. If this was a movie, I could see Sylvester Stallone playing him. You never really get to know him but from his actions and POV you can see glimpses of a good guy underneath all that muscle. Secondly, Robert’s wife Evelyn was another character that was essential. She brought the normal too it. It can be hard to relate to a thief and murderer but with her an Paul, I felt it grounded the story for me.

Why should you read it? It's a classic story and the characters are intriguing. Thinking about why characters do things and what kind of moral conscience they have will keep you captivated.

Why shouldn't you read it? It lacks the suspense it needs to make it brilliant. I wasn't up all night thinking about the ending.

Overall it had potential but never achieved what I was looking for. When I closed the last page, it didn’t leave me hanging or in shock. It will be interesting to see what is in store for the next two books.

I give this book 3stars.
★ ★ ★

Happy Reading! 
Always, M

Monday, January 16

Books : 2017

My name is Marian and I am a bookaholic. It's gotten bad. I think my bookcase is suffering from a nervous breakdown. All my tbr books are piled on my bookcase ( there is actually no room in my bookcase ). So I decided to reorganise and take some pretty pictures of the books I (mostly) own and that I shall read in 2017 ( or in years to come )

1. Afterworlds
2. The Bone Season
3. Sinner
4. Linger
5. Shiver
6. The HithHiker's Guide to the Galaxy
7. Six of Crows
8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I call these my pretty books. They remind of the sky in summer. All blue and yellow. And I am just dying to read them (Particularly The Sky is Everywhere because I am MADLY IN LOVE WITH I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN!!! )  But I have priorities.
9. The Girl of Ink and Stars
10. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
11. Never Let Me Go
12. This Book is Gay
13. Holding up the Universe
14. All the Bright Places
15.  The Sky is Everywhere

These are books I have been given to read. Well that's not entirely true. I was given the ebook of Intrepid and Vagabond and I read both of them ( and Loved them!! ) and I wanted to reread them but honestly I would have rather eat my cats disgusting smelly food than read another eBook. *but Marian, aren't you into technology? Don't you study Computer Science?* yeah well shut up. Paper for life! The lovely people at publicity services sent me the next Kitty Hawk books, which I am super excited. Not only are the stories great, the author is so lovely.
16. Intrepid
17. The Birth of Anarchy
18. Vagabond
19. Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the R.M.S. Titanic
20. Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

These are my Classics. So absolutely beautiful and treasurable.

21. Little Women
22. Emma
23. The Great Gatsby
24. A portrait of the artist as a young man
25. Atonement
26. Catch-22
27. The Bell Jar
28. Fahrenheit 451

These books have been on my shelf for a long time. I don't know why I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. They look mainly like thrillers so that's probably why. Me and thrillers don't always see eye to eye.
29. The Poison Garden
30.The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden
31. Gone Girl
32. Running Girl
33. The Knife of Never Letting Go
34. She is Not Invisible
35. The Demon's Lexicon.
36. Miss Peregrine's Home for peculiar Children.

And these are the books I decided to put at the bottom of the pile. I'll read them once I read all the others. *Marian! How could you love books less than others?!* The issue with these books is that they are part of a series or I already know what happens.
37. All I Know Now
38. The Girl in the Spider's Web
39. Fantastic Beasts
40. Wicked
41. A Game of Thrones
42. The Hobbit
43. Quidditch Through the Ages
44. A Storm of Swords.

So there it is -  44 books. 356 days. Will I get them all done? ( last year I read a shamefully low number of 12 - I am a slow reader with very little spare time, okay! ) May the odds be ever in my favour :L

[make that 45 books, I just received The Vagina Monologues from my lovely boyfriend]

Have you read any of these? How long does it normally take you to read a book?

Happy Hunger Games!
Always, M

Saturday, January 7

Dream Loot Crate ( Adventure )

Loot Crate is a subscription box service for geeks and gamers. They deliver a monthly unique box full of pop culture merchandise. I recently received an email from the lovely people at loot crate telling me about their project and asking fans to create their very own Dream Crate. Anyone can get involved so if you're a Potterhead, Disney Princess or just want to have a craic at this, then go ahead and choose what you would put in your Dream Crate!

Trying to think of items to put in and a theme to consider was actually so difficult. I mean they're are so many things I Love!! So I asked myself what would I like to receive and naturally my answer was Harry Potter, Books, Disney and Wonderland tidbits. How do you link all these things together? I was going to make my theme Whimsical and include something for each letter ( Wonderland, Harry Potter... ) But that proved too difficult and limiting. Instead my theme is Adventure. All of my favourite franchise occur somewhere. And these lands that they are in are some of the most magical and awesome places : Wonderland, Neverland, Narnia, Hogsmeade, Oz, Hundred Acre Wood.


To Explore these lands I am including many things in my crate that will help me along the way and other bits and bobs that are Adventure themed.

So my theme is: Adventure is out There!

Here's what I put into my dream crate. Normally there's about 4-6 items but as 8 is my favourite number and it is my dream crate ( and also because I just couldn't decide what to leave out! ) I decide to have 8 different merchandise.

1. Our Adventure Book: I love scrapbooks and I will need to keep my photos from my travels somewhere.

2. The Marauder's Map: I'll obviously need this in Hogwarts and it's just so pretty to look at.

3. Hatter's Hat: Anyone can go by Horse or rail, but the absolute best way to travel is by hat.

4. Jack Sparrow's Compass: It points to the thing you want most.

5. Peter Pan Poster: "To Live would be an awfully big adventure" an inspiring poster that I'll treasure in Neverland.

6. Belle T-Shirt: "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere". To wear as go exploring.

7. Winnie The Pooh bookmark: "As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen". For the books I pick up and the friends I'll make.

8. Dorothy Pop Vinyl: For when I'm homesick. She's wearing her ruby slippers. Just close your eyes, click your heels 3 times and repeat "there's no place like home".

You may be wondering why there is no Adventure Time items and it being Adventure themed, well I actually have never seen adventure time but if I was to put anything in, I'd probably put that yellow shoulder bag with the dog.  Somewhere to store all my things.
What would you put into your own Dream Crate?
Always, M

Wednesday, January 4

Another Year Gone

 As Professor Dumbledore does say.

It’s funny how as I get older the years seem to get shorter. Today a year is merely 1/20th of my life. Whereas when I was 4, a year was a whole quarter of my life! It’s all about perspective.

Compared to this time a year ago, when I was planning for my year ahead, full of optimism and motivation, today I think back on 2016 and wonder “Have I achieved all what I set out to achieve?”. And of course the answer is no. But that doesn’t matter. What is important is that, I have my goals and that I am on my path to achieving them. (It’s my New Year’s post so of course I’m going to be cheesy :L )

 I’ve read a frightful amount of posts and articles all reflecting on 2016 and what a “horrible” year it has been. A lot of celebrities died, Brexit, Syria, Terrorism, Trump. I don’t like to dwell on the negative but I admit it has been a rather unfortunate year.
Personally my year was quite good. I travelled to London, Spain and Copenhagen. I attended college and worked for the summer. I read some good books and watched some great movies. I lived my life.

Now it's time to move on from last year and continue towards dreams. My aspirations this year will probably include trying to be a better person, a better friend and a better blogger. This year I'm going to be better.

Seeing as Dumbledore is my main inspiration for this post. I'll leave you with my favourite quote of his.
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

Happy New Year!
Always, M