WWW Wednesday – 14th November 2018

WWW Wednesday – 14th November 2018

Hey guys! I feel like all my posts have been starting the same way the last few times however, starting from today each Wednesday I will be taking part in the WWW Wednesday meme. That way at least I know there will be weekly content being posted and I’m also going to try getting back into reviewing again too.

So, to get started; WWW Wednesday is a meme led by Sam over at Taking On A World Of Words. All you have to do to take part is answer three (3) questions!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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At the moment I’m currently reading The Girl In Between by Laekan Zea Kemp. The Girl In Between follows Bryn, a teenage girl who suffers from Klein-Levin Syndrome (KLS) which means that she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that can last anywhere from a few weeks to months. Whilst in these states of sleep, Bryn lives in an alternate reality where she lives her past until one day a mysterious boy shows up. You can find the full synopsis here.

I’m not 100% sure on how I feel about it yet. I mean I’m halfway through it already but that’s just because I need to find out if Bryn finds out who the boy is and to also find out why he has suddenly appeared (I highly doubt it because there’s 4 books in the series). I’m not fully engrossed in it as much as I want to be and I am struggling to pick it back up again once I’ve put it down but like I just said, I need to know what is going to happen so I’m going to keep going and see how this one ends before deciding if I want to read the rest of the books or not.

I’m also listening to Tess Of The D’Urberville’s on audiobook. This book has been one of my favourite books for about 6 years now and I just absolutely adore it after studying it at school. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles is such a heartbreaking story and I wouldn’t even be able to write a short synopsis without spoiling anything so to see what the book is about then you can go here. This book is one I can read over and over again and no matter how many times I read it, I still feel the same amount of anger, sadness and heartbreak for everything that Tess is put through. I highly recommend this book to everyone!


WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

I’ve just recently finished reading the first two books in the Arc Of A Scythe Series and I am completely obsessed! Scythe starts us off by introducing Citra and Rowan to us, two teens who live in a world where death by natural causes has been completely eradicated and you can now only die at the hands of a Scythe. Citra and Rowan are chosen by Scythe Faraday as apprentices and so begins their journey on learning the art of killing as well as understanding why Scythes have to do what they do. Only one of the characters can become a scythe and they both then find out that whoever wins the ring must glean the other.
Thunderhead pretty much starts off where Scythe finished. Again we follow Citra, Rowan and a few more familiar Scythes as conflict within the Scythedom is growing day by day. With one of their lives in danger, it all becomes clear that there is a master plan in the works to ruin everything as it is. As the Thunderhead observes what is going on, will it decide to intervene and help save what is wrong? Or will it standby and watch the world fall apart?

I absolutely adored these two book and I’m so excited for book 3 to be announced. With the way Thunderhead ended, I don’t think I can wait too long because the ending was HUGE!! The plot was just so different to a lot of YA Sci-Fi I’ve read recently and it was just really interesting to see Shusterman’s take on the future. I found the characters to be extremely strong and there was a lot of character development too which was great. I loved the range of characters included in the story. There was the few I loved and then the few that I despised and wanted to see the end of.

If you’re into Sci-Fi/YA, then I highly recommend this series to you!


WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Image result for girls of paper and fire

In October’s Fairyloot box, we received a gorgeous edition of Girls Of Paper And Fire  by Natasha Ngan and for the first time ever they’re doing a read-along of it tomorrow so I’m looking forward to starting that and experiencing it along with everyone else! I’ve heard so many good things about this book and it’s made me even more excited to start reading it too!

Other than that, I haven’t really planned what else I’m going to read. I’ll need to wait until I’ve unpacked all my books after moving and go from there. There’s so many Fairyloot books I haven’t read yet so I might even make a start on them and I’m also hoping to plan my TBR for Book Roasts Magical Readathon that is happening in December! If you want more information on how you can take part in that too then head over to her YouTube channel or just click here and it’ll take you straight to her announcement video!


If you guys have done a WWW Wednesday post then please link it below so I can check it out and I’ll see you all again soon.

Be fab and have a good week ahead!

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Ready Player One: Book vs Movie

Ready Player One: Book vs Movie

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I last posted something but after reading this book and then seeing the movie at the weekend, it’s something I want to talk about and see how you all feel about it if you’ve read the book and seen the movie.

Before we do go ahead I do have to warn you, this post WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!

Image result for ready player one book Image result for ready player one movie poster

 

 

 

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Okay, so first of all, let me just start by saying that I absolutely adored this book! Literally from page one, I was hooked. Ernest Cline’s world was captivating from the get-go and I was so desperate to continue reading more and find out all about Wade Watts/Parzival and the hunt for James Halliday’s egg. There were so many pop culture references that I adored for example there were references to Harry Potter, old classic video games and movies and so much more! If you’re a fan of all things geeky then I highly recommend this book to you because I honestly don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The first thing I want to talk about with the movie is the casting. I was quite disappointed in the casting for the majority of the characters. Now to be completely honest, I never had a clear picture in my head of who I wanted to play each character but all I do know is that the chosen cast wouldn’t have been it and I don’t really know why it bothered me. The two characters I was happy with in the movie were Mark Rylance as James Halliday and Simon Pegg as Ogden Morrow as the way they made the actors look for the film is exactly how I pictured both the book characters so it’s not all bad.

Next I’m going to talk about the main thing that I was let down with. Whilst reading the book, I completely fell in love with the challenges Cline created for each of the characters to face when searching for the keys and clearing each gate. In the movie however, this is changed completely (apart from the last challenge). In the book, once a key has been found, the characters have to figure out the clue that takes them to the gate which they then have to clear in order for them to receive a riddle/clue for the next key. Once the copper key has been found, the character must defeat Acererak the Demi-Lich (from Dungeons and Dragons) in a best of three round of the 1982 arcade classic Joust. After completing this and finding the copper gate, they are then required to take part in a “Flicksync.” Now to give you a bit of an explanation, a Flicksync is a simulation in which an OASIS avatar assumes the place of one or more characters of a given movie.* For the copper gate, Parzival and any other character (I’ll call them Gunters from now on) who works out the clue to open the gate, find themselves playing the part of David (Matthew Broderick’s character) and they must recite every piece of dialogue perfectly. After clearing this and receiving the clue for the Jade Key, the Gunter is then expected to complete a 3D rendering of the game Zork to win the key and then to clear the second gate they must complete a 3D rendering of the game Black Tiger. Last but not least, in order for the Crystal key to be found, the player has to return a mythical guitar to it’s altar in the world of Rush’s 2112 album. Which lastly takes us to the final gate where the player has to face a number of challenges which are; beat Halliday’s best score in Tempest, complete another flicksync (this time it being Monty Python and the Holy Grail) and finally finding the first video game easter egg in Adventure.

Now I know that is a lot to fit into a two hour movie but, I would’ve liked to have seen at least one of the gaming challenges being included. In the movie, the whole gate clearing concept has been taken out and that leaves just the keys to be found in order to win Halliday’s fortune. So, for the Copper key, gunters have to take part in a race whilst trying to avoid famous obstacles such as King Kong and the T-Rex from Jurassic Park to name just a few. Once completing this the winner is met by Anorak (Halliday’s OASIS avatar) and is presented with the first key. For the Jade key, then we see our High Five team having to take on The Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ and in the end dance with Kira (Halliday’s love interest) in order to get the Jade key. Lastly for the Crystal key, the challenge is very much the same as the book minus the final flicksync and Tempest contest. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the changes and thought it was done very well for the film but like I said earlier, it would’ve been nice to see one of the game challenges come to life.

The next thing I’m going to talk about is the meeting of the characters. In the book, the characters don’t meet face to face until the final pages of the book which for me made it much better because there was so much anticipation built up and you had some sort of feelings towards the characters. In the film however it all felt very rushed and therefore I didn’t feel any sort of emotion at all with it and I was so disappointed because for me that was a huge thing to happen considering the story’s main setting is in a virtual reality so for these characters to finally come together and meet the people they’ve grown so close to was just kind of meh. I also hate how soon Parzival and Art3mis became introduced in the movie. Now to be fair it stuck with them meeting during the first challenge just like the book but you still didn’t get the same feelings about it which made me sad.

I think I’ll make this part the last thing I talk about because this post has already been longer than I thought it would be so I do apologise! Okay, so I get that the main thing is supposed to be that this is all about a virtual reality setting type thing but as well as going into this, Cline makes a great effort to go into the personal life of Wade Watts so we can feel some kind of emotion towards the main character and also find out about him as an actual person and not just his OASIS avatar. However in the movie, we have next to no description and also everything feels kind of rushed as well. When talking to my boyfriend about it (he hasn’t read the book), he told me that he was quite confused as to how everything happened and why things are the way they are and that’s purely because in the movie we don’t really get much of a background story for everything which would’ve helped the movie make more sense and also would’ve helped viewers gain some sort of attachment towards the characters too.

Overall I do think the film is good in it’s own aspect and I enjoyed it for what it was but I did enjoy the book a whole lot more (as most people tend to do) because we were given that little bit extra background knowledge on the characters and also because there was so much more depth and fun put into the challenges. All the pop culture references throughout were great as well and I must say, the way the Iron Giant was brought to life in the film made me so happy and gave me all the childhood feels! Again, sorry for such a long post but it’s something I’ve been wanting to talk about since coming out the cinema.

Have any of you guys read the book/seen the film? Even if it’s just one or the other or both I want to hear what you thought about them! I really loved this book and need more people to talk about it with so please leave comments below and we can have a wee discussion!

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REVIEW: TWISTER – JULIETTE FORREST

REVIEW: TWISTER – JULIETTE FORREST

Title: Twister

Author: Juliette Forrest

Genre: Children’s Fantasy, Middle Grade

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon 

Review: “The clouds must have cried themselves happy ’cause they were white again.” I am honestly so in love with this quote, simply because it reflects the innocence and pureness of the main character.

Twister is the story of a young girl who goes on the hunt for her missing Pa. With the help of Maymay, her friend Beam, loyal dog Point and the mysterious necklace Wah, Twister ends up on a wild journey whilst facing many different challenges.

First of all I want to talk about the language and writing in this book. Juliette Forrest does an impeccable job of using her writing to portray the innocence and adolescence of our main character Twister. Every emotion Twister feels, the reader feels as well due to the effective way Forrest writes. I definitely felt like I was in Twister’s head going because of the flow of the sentences and the word use throughout the book. It was all very childlike and for me it made the book even better and much more enjoyable.

I absolutely adored Twister. She was so young and sweet and an extremely likeable character. She had been up against so much yet she was still so brave and willing to do anything to help make her mum better after her pa went missing. We see Twister start school for the first time and joining with her peers who are nasty to her and yet she still manages to keep her wee head up and fight for everything she believes in. The love she had for her trusty companion Point (the family dog), was so pure and everything a relationship between a child and pet should be and for me it was such a poignant part of the story.

Beam was another character I loved and the twist that came later in the book is one that I seen coming straight away but I still loved it none the less. Again, mentioning Twister here because when she first met Beam, it was this strange little girl just standing watching her yet she still befriended her without asking any obvious questions even if she was a little suspicious. Beam constantly appeared when Twister was in trouble and did everything in her power to help her and for me, that was an important part of the book because it reflects the power of true friendship.

Aunt Honey is a character that I think reflects pretty much the crazy aunt that every family has, however in a much calmer sense. She had a lot to deal with in the book with looking after Twister’s Ma and also looking after Twister herself as Ma shut herself away after Pa went missing. I liked that she never took anything too seriously but she always gave the best advice to Twister and it was great seeing her have someone like that looking out for her.

A lot of the minor characters were all very lovable all except the bullies in the book. Clem, the biggest bully towards Twister, was someone that made my blood boil every time his name was mentioned. I literally hated having to read parts with him involved because I knew it wasn’t pleasant. It was made worse any time his father Hack was mentioned before you bet it was going to be made ten times worse. I guess when you seen how Hack treated his son, you did maybe, very slightly, feel sorry for him. But there is no way you can justify his actions.

There were a few moments in the book where I just sat yelling “NO JULIETTE, YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO KIDS” because I, as a 22 year old woman was struggling to cope with the losses we experience in the story and I couldn’t imagine being a 9-12 year old reading that and being as hurt, if not a whole lot more hurt reading what happens. After finishing the book, I realised as much as it was hurting my heart with some of the events that happened, it was good to have them happen in a children’s book because I guess it kind of teaches them that nothing in life is easy and you are going to experience loss throughout life.

Starting the book it did take me a little while to get into it but the more I read, the more I started to fall in love with the story and the characters. The story is very much a children’s fairy tale with the strong characters and the scary villain and for me, that is the perfect children’s book. Although, like I said, it did take me a while to get into the story, Juliette Forrest has done a magical job of creating a brilliantly engaging story that all children will be able to get into and enjoy.

Twister is a story about friendship, love, family, bravery and loss. With a whole range of lovable characters, I highly recommend this book to parents for their children. Juliette Forrest’s debut novel is absolutely brilliant and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work!

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REVIEW: THE HAZEL WOOD – MELISSA ALBERT

REVIEW: THE HAZEL WOOD – MELISSA ALBERT

Title: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Format: Hardback/eBook

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: Dark and twisted fairytales, gosh, I am in LOOOOOVE with this book so much! I just want to throw it in everyone’s faces and be like “READ THIS ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE RIGHT NOW I PROMISE IT WON’T DISAPPOINT!!!!”

The Hazel Wood’ is the debut novel from Melissa Albert, who has now reached NYT Bestselling status and rightly so, because this book was phenomenal. The novel follows seventeen-year-old Alice. After the death of her Grandmother (the famous author of Tales From The Hinterland), Alice and her mother finally settle, only for her mother to go missing not long after. With the help of the Finch, the search into the Hinterland for Alice’s mother begins with a lot of obstacles in the way as they go along.

Firstly, I must say I was really surprised by this book. I originally received an eBook copy from Netgalley to review and so I sat with my ipad and started reading. It took me about 3 days to finish the first chapter because I just couldn’t get into it. After that I just gave up and with the February Fairyloot box theme being announced then a lot of people began to speculate that this would be the book that would be included so I decided to hold off and see if it was. Amazingly when my box arrived last week I was happy to find that ‘The Hazel Wood’ was indeed the book that was included! So a few days later I sat with the hardback and if it wasn’t for having to sleep for work then I definitely would’ve finished this in one sitting! The story is so so gripping and you keep telling yourself “oh I’ll read one more chapter then get on with everything I need to do.” But nope, Albert doesn’t allow that, oh no, the ending of each chapter makes you want to carry on so it’s almost near impossible to actually put the book down.

The thing I loved the most about this was how dark and twisted it was, more so than I was originally expecting. The fairytale characters were creepy and for me that was one of my favourite things about the book. I felt sorry for the main character Alice because her whole life she’s been on the move so never really had the time to settle and figure things out but when she does there’s that little bit of hope things will start to look up for both her and her mum. Alice’s classmate Finch is probably my favourite character in the whole thing. He was just so sweet, caring and he had his own issues but he never let that show. I liked how similar both him and Alice were and I liked that it wasn’t something that was completely obvious to them straight away.

From the characters created by Alice’s Grandmother in ‘Tales From The Hinterland’ Twice-Killed-Katherine was probably the creepiest for me. I don’t want to spoil anything but her actions were creepy and just the overall character description was enough for me. There were times I didn’t want to sleep or turn the light out because I had such clear visions of her in my mind and it really wasn’t pleasant. Albert’s description of each of the characters throughout the story is so thorough and it’s one of the things I enjoyed about reading this book because you could imagine each one so well and have a clear image of them in your head as you went along.

Albert’s writing from page one is engaging and gripping and I can guarantee you will be hooked straight away. What I originally thought was going to be a normal YA book turned into a dark, twisted and psychological thriller which I absolutely loved! This book has a bit of everything, humour, love, mystery and horror so I guess in a way it has something for everyone. I definitely recommend this book to you all, especially if you are a fan of fairytales because I promise you won’t be disappointed. Thank you, Melissa Albert for creating such an amazing world and I really can’t wait to read more about The Hinterland!

 

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REVIEW: SOLITAIRE – ALICE OSEMAN

REVIEW: SOLITAIRE – ALICE OSEMAN

SolitaireTitle: Solitaire

Author: Alice Oseman

Genre: Young Adult

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: Alice Oseman is an author I’ve been hearing about for quite a while now and I’ve been putting off reading Solitaire, since its release in 2014. I honestly don’t quite know why but when I came across the Heartstopper comic a few days ago and was introduced to Nick and Charlie then I felt like it was a sign I should start this book and boy, I was not a single bit disappointed!

Solitaire tells the story of Tori Spring, a teenage blogger, pessimist and  in her last year of high school. When mysterious blog “SOLITAIRE” appears, random pranks start happening in Tori’s school. Reuniting old friends and meeting new ones, Tori’s life takes an unexpected turn and now she has to learn to cope with a whole bunch of new feelings.

Well, where do I start with this review? First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever came across a more relatable character than Tori. There was a lot of myself that I could see in her and this is one of the things I loved about Alice Oseman’s writing, in each one of her characters, I could see small parts of myself in them.

Tori is bit of an introvert, she doesn’t really get involved with anything, doesn’t really talk much and usually keeps herself to herself (never related to someone more) and then Michael Holden comes along and eventually changes things. The relationship between both Tori and Michael was one I really enjoyed following because watching them grow as friends was just nice and you could see how much they both related to each other and in a way needed each other.
I honestly loved Michael’s character as well. He was sweet, caring, funny and also another troubled character but he hid it from everyone else because all he wanted was for everyone else to be happy.

As I said at the start of this review, I started reading Solitaire because I came across the Heartstopper comic on tumblr and was introduced to Nick and Charlie. These are two characters I would’ve loved to see more of in the book and the fact they have their own comic series makes me happy!

In all, Solitaire was a strong, well written and fantastic debut novel from Alice Oseman and I honestly can’t put into words how much I enjoyed this story. I’m just sorry it took me so long to finally get round to reading it but I’m so glad I have now and I’ll be recommending it to everyone!

If you’re a fan of young adult, contemporary and a little bit of mystery then I fully recommend you give this a go, you will not be disappointed!

 

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REVIEW: BALLAD FOR A MAD GIRL – VIKKI WAKEFIELD

REVIEW: BALLAD FOR A MAD GIRL – VIKKI WAKEFIELD

33281816Title: Ballad For A Mad Girl

Author: Vikki Wakefield

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Murder Mystery

Format: eBook

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy book: Amazon

 

Review: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

When I read the synopsis for this book I was drawn in straight away and wanted to see what the book had in store as it sounded really interesting, unfortunately I was left disappointed.

Ballad For A Mad Girl’ is about a girl called Grace who throughout her life has always been the joker in her group of friends, throwing pranks, taking risks and just being the friendship clown in general. One night when challenging a boy from the ‘enemy school’ if you like, something goes wrong with Grace and from then on nothing is right with her. She starts hearing voices and having hallucinations all whilst trying to act herself but something sinister is happening inside of her.

It took me a very long while to actually get into this book and honestly even when I did sit to focus on it I think I was just reading it to give me something to do. I found it really hard to like the characters and there wasn’t much emotion in the writing. A lot of the story was confusing and for me it was never clear if Grace was genuinely possessed or if she’s suffering from mental health problems. The relationships between characters weren’t great either. I felt there wasn’t a lot of character development throughout the book and with Grace’s friends, all of them were unsupportive and seemed to shut her off rather than offer to help her or listen to how she was feeling. The character that annoyed me most regarding this was Kenzie. As Grace’s bestfriend she should’ve been there to help Grace in any way she could rather than leave her to suffer and struggle alone.

In regards to the relationship between Grace, her father and her brother Cody, Grace was sort of excluded from everything they did. I get that they were all grieving the loss of their mother/wife but at a time like that then you need all the family support you can get and I didn’t like that a lot of the time it felt like both her dad and brother were ignoring me. There was also a part which included Grace’s grandmother (her mother’s mum) and with the whole story I’m not too sure what purpose it had to be included at all. It was brought up maybe once after that and even then there was no explanation that cleared it up or helped it make sense.

I’m honestly gutted that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I’d hoped as I had such high hopes for it. I must admit that at the end it did pick up after Grace’s dad doesn’t come home and her and Cody go looking for him but then with the way it ended I was left disappointed again because you’re left wondering what happens which annoys me with books if there’s not going to be a sequel which is the situation with this book. Thank you to Netgalley for sending me a copy of the book for an honest review.

 

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REVIEW: ONE OF US IS LYING – KAREN M. MCMANUS

REVIEW: ONE OF US IS LYING – KAREN M. MCMANUS

 

Image result for one of us is lyingTitle: One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy book: Amazon

Review: I spent a lot of time picking this book up and then walking away from it for a good few weeks before finally deciding to take the leap and purchase it and I’m so glad I did!

Five students in detention however, only four leave alive. After the death of the school gossip, Simon, the four students that were in the room with him soon become suspects in the investigation into his death, turning all their lives upside down as secrets about their past start to come out during the questioning. Would Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy and Nate really go as far as to kill someone just to keep their secrets, well, secret?

One Of Us Is Lying’ is basically a modern day “The Breakfast Club” but there’s a death during detention which makes it that bit different. Each of the characters are similar to the characters in “The Breakfast  Club” but at the same time have their own uniqueness at as well. Nate and Bronwyn were my favourite characters in the book and personally I found them to be two of the strongest characters as well and couldn’t wait to read each of their parts. The rest of the characters I found to be pretty bland except Cooper who I was surprised about with his twist but at the same time also not surprised (if that makes sense???)

I disliked how much this book dragged on and the fact there were so many irrelevant characters that I just couldn’t connect with and felt like they added nothing to the story at all and because so many characters were being introduced and then brought up again every so often I found myself occasionally getting confused. Although I’ve said the book does drag a little, I must admit that there is plenty of things happening that makes it hard to put this book down. I really want McManus to do a book just purely about Bronwyn and Nate because they were two characters I adored and I loved Bronwyn’s sister as well as Nate’s Bearded Dragon, Stan. I loved how strong minded Bronwyn was and how she dealt with being investigated for a murder, she literally never let anything get her down and she tried to fix everything for everyone without actually harming anyone.

This book was exactly what I was expecting in almost every way, although I definitely didn’t see the twist in the book coming at all and the last 100 pages or so were a wild ride which I loved! If you’re looking for a new contemporary, murder mystery then I do highly recommend you check this book out!

If you’ve read this book already, then I’d love to hear what you thought of it so let me know in the comments!!

 

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